Ever landed on a company website with no blog? These days the lonely blog-less site is harder to find, but when you come across one, even that of a local business, it’s as if something important is missing – like when you first saw The Mona Lisa’s naked brow line. Why is nothing there?

Blogging has increased exponentially over the last several years, along with other content marketing efforts. Yet, many small to mid-sized businesses neglect to invest in a content marketing plan that drastically increases business. Once these businesses do finally get into the game, it’s too late: The best spots in the search results are captured by the competition. According to a MarketingSherpa report from 2007, a mammoth 70 percent of clicked links in search results are organic, not paid. What does that mean? It means that relevant content and SEO drive new business and deserve time, attention, and a sizeable budget.

What Is Content?

Content is the Internet: site pages, blog posts, audio, video, images, infographics, memes, and more. Traditional advertising is old school, while content is master of the Information Age. Unlike ads, content speaks directly to customers needs and builds authority and trust, furnishing them with relevant information to make important buying decisions.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads, according to a report by DemandMetric. Great content is the first step; a content marketing plan ensures business owners get desired results. A smart content marketing plan is metrics-based. Where are your customers? What are they looking for? What are they looking at? Business owners who don’t know the answers to these questions, or who haven’t invested in a content marketing expert often find themselves shooting in the dark and being less than satisfied with the results.

The Future of Content Marketing

The value of content and new content marketing strategies is only going up in the future. SMBs are wise to invest their time and money in content marketing now in order to reap the rewards of this growing trend. Not sold yet? Here are ten key stats (from Writtent and InboundWriter) that prove content offers a huge return on investment:

  1. 8 out of 10 Internet users spend almost a quarter of their online time reading blogs and social media posts. (Content Marketing Institute)
  2. A blog creates 97% more inbound links than a site without one. (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, 2010)
  3. Content marketing produces 6x higher conversion rates for company websites. (Aberdeen)
  4. Websites with more pages (401 to 1,000) drive 6x more conversions than websites with fewer pages (51 to 100). (HubSpot Lead Generation Lessons from 4,000 Businesses, 2011)
  5. B2B bloggers report an average of 67% more leads per month than those that don’t blog. (Social Media B2B)
  6. 90% of consumers search for custom content and 78% think custom content means a positive relationship with customers. (TMG Custom Media)
  7. Custom content was the No. 1 priority for 57% of marketers in 2014. (Altimeter)
  8. The future of marketing is custom content, according to 78% of CMOs. (DemandMetric)
  9. 86% percent of successful businesses have invested in a dedicated content strategist. (CMI)
  10. 62% of companies outsource content marketing to a firm— a 7% increase over last year. (Mashable)

Ready to invest in content marketing for your SMB or local business? The expert content marketing team at IntelliBright provides a smarter marketing plan that produces real results: more leads, more sales, and more revenue. Request a Free Consultation Now.

About Jen Udan

Jen Udan is a writer, editor, blogger and marketer based in Austin, Texas. She has worked with a number of tech startups and has interviewed founders, industry leaders and YouTube stars.