Why Content Marketing Works and Is Crucial for Marketing Success

Content marketing is much more than a digital marketing buzzword. It’s an age-long marketing approach that existed before the Internet and is a modern-day game changer. It has gained widespread acceptance and usage and is fast becoming an industry standard.

Customers are shying away from advertising and other traditional outbound marketing approaches and expecting more from companies. Many innovative businesses have shifted to content marketing to meet these expectations, develop a deeper relationship with customers, and boost sales and revenue organically.

In 1996, Bill Gates wrote a famous essay titled ‘Content is King’ and described the future of the Internet and marketing to be powered by content.

Before I elaborate on why content marketing is the king of marketing and why it works, let me briefly define what it means for B2B companies.

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing Institute defines Content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, drive profitable customer actions.

Unlike outbound marketing, which involves pitching products or services, content marketing provides relevant and helpful content to prospects and customers, helping them solve their challenges. This allows the company to earn trust, build relationships and authority, and organically drive conversions.

Why Content Marketing Is the King of Marketing

Content marketing is often referred to as king because marketing is only possible with great content. It empowers other marketing channels – email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, etc. – and should be deeply woven into every company’s marketing process.

Strategically creating, distributing, managing, and marketing high-quality and relevant content via organic and paid marketing channels increases the chances of generating results.

If you generate results without consciously adopting content marketing, imagine the results when you intentionally power your marketing with strategic content marketing.

9 Reasons Why Content Marketing Works

Content marketing works for many reasons. It’s at the heart of all marketing channels and is the hub that supports and connects every other aspect of marketing.

Consumer values and behavior have changed. Consumers are more intentional about interacting with companies and expect much more than the product they’re buying. Pull marketing now thrives over push marketing.

Here are the top reasons why content marketing works for every industry.

1.   Content Marketing Drives Qualified Organic Traffic

This is a crucial reason why content marketing remains on many successful companies’ lists. Companies that adopt content marketing, optimize their content, rank high on search engines, and drive highly qualified prospects actively searching for solutions.

According to Demand Metrics, content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 63% less.

Here’s a practical example.

Someone searching Google for ‘the best software to execute a problem’ is ready to take action and is highly likely to do so after reading informative content.

Imagine such a piece of content generating at least 20 marketing-qualified leads a month for over seven years. That’s good business without extra investment.

2.   Prospects Need Your Content

Several studies have shown that internet users spend a lot of their time online consuming content – 6 hours and 58 minutes per day, to be precise. These are prospects and customers consuming content related to their challenges and solutions.

According to the GE Shopper Research Study, 81% of consumers go online to find information and answer any questions about a product or service before heading out to the store to make a purchase. Google data supported this and highlighted that 53% of shoppers constantly research before buying to ensure they make the best choice.

B2B is similar. According to the 2022 Demand Gen report, 62% of B2B buyers read at least 3-7 pieces of content before they talk to a salesperson. If a piece of content from your company helps them solve their challenge, they’re likely to convert.

They can be searching for how to use a product or solution your company provides. Developing helpful content around these challenges or solutions is a great way to gain trust, confidence, and conversion.

3.   Content Marketing Builds Trust

96% of consumers don’t’ trust adverts and are skeptical of taking action.

Intentional consumerism has gained wide adoption; customers now care much more about a company’s values and crave a deeper connection with the companies they patronize. An average of 20% of customers from 11 countries in a 2022 Statista report said they pay more for brands that reflect their values and can be trusted.

Companies that leverage content marketing to build trust and genuine relationships with prospects enjoy more sales. 7 in 10 customers buy from a company they trust and believe this trust is built through helpful content and effective content marketing.

4.   Drives Customers Loyalty, High Retention, and Lifetime Value

The nurturing nature of content marketing makes it ideal for customer-centric, future-minded companies.

Customers are much more likely to stick to a company if they have a good experience with that company. Effective content marketing helps companies deliver exceptional CX and build emotional connections with prospects.

A well-nurtured prospect who stays with a company from the top to the bottom of the funnel trusts the company more and becomes a loyalist and advocate. If the content marketing and experience delivery level is maintained, the company will have a high average order value, retention rate, lifetime value, and referrals.

This, of course, significantly boosts the company’s profit margin.

5.   Content Marketing Is Based on In-depth Understanding of Customers

To successfully market to a prospect, one must know the target audience inside and out.

According to Semrush Director of Organic Search Kyle Byers, “Understanding what your audience needs and values will be your key to content marketing success in 2023.”

The first step of content marketing is taking the time to research customers and develop customer profiles and buyer personas according to your company’s market segmentation.

A study showed that many B2B marketers conduct audience research for their content marketing. This is crucial to why content marketing works because this research gives insights into many factors that must be considered for conversion optimization.

Factors like demographics, occupation, income level, research avenues, pain points, blockers, and more are considered during content marketing strategy development.

This high-level understanding of the customer and their behavior helps companies adopt the right strategy, develop and distribute the right content, and generate high results.

6.   Builds Relationships

Customer-centric companies build healthy customer relationships with quality content marketing.

Email marketing, social media marketing, community engagement, live interviews, podcasts, industry webinars, etc., show customers you care about them.

Companies that engage customers get feedback and leverage the input to improve personalized marketing and CX delivery, key differentiators in competitive industries.

7.   Content Marketing Makes It Easy to Stand Out

In today’s fast-paced, highly competitive business ecosystem, serious-minded companies leverage content marketing to achieve marketing success through differentiation.

Companies adopt branding and content marketing approaches like storytelling to highlight their values and attract customers who believe in the same values.

This helps a company stand out and drive conversions from like-minded customers.

8.   Your Customers Are Your Marketing Team

With strategic content marketing, customers take over marketing while you focus on product management.

For instance, a company conducts and publishes customer interviews on its website as testimonials, customer reviews, or expert insights. The featured customers will be proud to identify with the company and share such content with their followers.

Statistics from Bright Local’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2023 showed that 98% of customers read online reviews for local businesses. Northwestern MEDILL Spiegel Research Center’s data supported this by pointing out that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% higher. Also, customers are likely to trust an organization more and take the required action when they see a testimonial or online review.

This goes a long way to increase sales, company revenue generation, and the bottom line.

9.   Consistent Content Marketing Generates a Compounding Effect

Content on the Internet doesn’t expire. This means that a piece of well-written, evergreen content can continue to generate traffic, leads, and revenue for a company as long as the content stays published.

Much better, the more the content ages, the more backlinks it attracts, which is the more it ranks and drives more traffic. The more traffic it gets, the more the readers will continue to refer back to it and share it with their friends, family, and followers, who will also share with theirs.

The chain continues, and the content becomes a passive income avenue for the company.

There are many instances where a piece of content has generated so much leads and revenue over a specified time.

Statistical Evidence of Why Content Marketing Works and Why You Should Invest in It Today

Being one of the first in your industry to adopt content marketing for lead generation and conversion can benefit your company in many ways.

If you or your C-suite and high-level managers are yet to realize its effectiveness, here is a comprehensive list of statistics showing the importance and effectiveness of content marketing.

  • Approximately 83% of purchase decisions occur before a buyer reaches out to an organization, and between 70% and 80% of purchase interactions now happen in the digital sphere. Many decision-makers are embracing this change – 2021 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study by Edelman and LinkedIn, supported by data from Gartner and McKinsey.
  • According to Semrush Global State of Marketing Report, out of 1700+ marketers and business owners surveyed, 97% said they had some degree of content marketing success.
  • The 2022 B2B Content Marketing report by CMI showed that 73% of marketers have a content marketing strategy.
  • 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it’s effective, and 10% say it generates the most significant ROI.
  • 82% of marketers actively use content marketing, and 60% of the surveyed marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales.
  • Marketers today create content for multiple audience segments – marketing to three audience segments being the most common – Hubspot 2020 State of Marketing.
  • Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is essential to their marketing strategy.
  • 69% of marketers invested in SEO in 2021, according to Hubspot State of Marketing Report for 2021.
  • On average, companies with blogs generate 67% more leads than others. They also earn 97% more inbound links, 55% more site visitors, and 434% more indexed Google pages. – Hubspot.
  • According to the 2022 PageFair Adblock Report, 290M monthly active users globally have their adblock on, and 94% of global publishers say they cannot precisely quantify the revenue loss incurred due to adblocking.
  • 70% of people would instead read an article about a company than see an ad.
  • 54% of decision-makers say they spend over one hour reading and reviewing thought-leadership content weekly.
  • 65% of consumers immediately feel a brand is positive and trustworthy after reading a piece of that brand’s educational content.
  • When deciding between 4 brands, 6% of consumers who read a piece of educational content by a brand chose that brand when prompted to purchase.
  • Immediately after reading a piece of content by the brand, consumers were 131% more likely to buy from that brand than consumers who did not read any content.
  • According to Hubspot State of Marketing, 2020, 60% of marketers said their CAC has increased in the past three years.

Boost Business Outcomes and Future-Proof Your Company with Content Marketing

If you’re a B2B marketing stakeholder, now is the right time to dive into content marketing. It’s the present and future of marketing, and those who invest today will remain top in revenue generated, profit margin, and overall market share.

Content marketing is cost-effective, sustainable, returns high ROI, builds loyalty, and is precisely how customers expect marketing.

If you need help figuring out where to start or adopting content marketing but not getting the desired results, we’d be happy to walk you through some of our tried and trusted marketing strategies for B2B companies.

Don’t limit yourself to just publishing blogs and posting on social media when you can develop a robust content marketing mix that includes everything you need to achieve marketing success.

Seven Oaks Consulting has extensive experience executing content marketing for B2B companies. We can be your content marketing partner to help you optimize your marketing and generate the positive business outcomes you deserve.