The 14 Most Important Benefits of Content Marketing [With Examples]


You might be thinking to yourself, “Amanda, why in the world would you sit down and write this massive guide? Long-form isn’t always the answer!”

That’s 100% valid. But it occurred to me that a guide like this could be very useful to content marketing newcomers and experts alike.

If you’re new to content marketing, this guide will help you see all the ways you can utilize it.

If you’re a content veteran, you can confirm you’re getting the most out of every piece of great content you produce.

And for any content marketers, this post can help you get buy-in for your marketing plan with folks who aren’t as familiar with the strategy and its benefits.

So I’ve listed every benefit I can think of, sorted them into categories, and added some tips on how to measure these benefits.

Here they are — you can either read the whole guide or jump to the benefits that interest you most.

Content marketing benefits include:

  1. building trust with your audience

  2. expanding brand awareness
  3. communicating your brand voice/vibe
  4. answering your prospects’ biggest questions
  5. showing the impact of your product/service
  6. helping retain current customers/clients
  7. Improving your chances of ranking for relevant terms
  8. Helping Google (and users) understand your brand
  9. Building great links
  10. Supercharging your social accounts
  11. Filling gaps in your social calendar
  12. Incentivizing email subscribers
  13. Bringing email subscribers to your website
  14. Creating space for comments/engagement

Let’s dive in!

Branding

#1 – It helps build trust with your audience

It’s hard to trust a person who doesn’t communicate with you, and in the same way, it’s hard to trust a brand that doesn’t have anything to say. 

Some brands stick solely to brand messaging, which can and has worked, but it also doesn’t give you a lot to work with in terms of connecting with folks. And when you expand a bit and speak to the wider industry, you can establish yourself (and your brand) as a thought leader.

Whether you decide to write a post about what your company strives to achieve or you create a resource that benefits your potential customers/clients, high-quality content allows you to demonstrate your values and, thus, start building trust.

Oura, a ring that collects and provides insights on your health data, has a blog that features a variety of posts, including a section titled “Research & Validation.”

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These blog posts don’t just share interesting stories — as the section title suggests, it validates Oura’s usefulness, thus building trust. It’s hard to build this kind of credibility without content.

#2 – It expands brand awareness

Every single thing you create and promote provides a new access point for a potential client or customer to become familiar with your brand.

You’re trying to reach people in every part of your marketing funnel, and you need something to move them through. Content is often the answer here.

For example, blogging works well at the top of the funnel. You can have an awareness piece of content that ranks in Google and gets your brand name out to folks in the early stages of the buyer’s journey. Look at this Google search I did below.

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By having this evergreen content and ranking for this keyword, Indeed is getting out there in front of people who may be considering a career change (and interested in the career-related content they offer). 

Don’t just stick to things that are super on-brand, especially if you just want to get your name out there in association with your industry. Do keyword research and explore what other related topics are of interest to your target audience.

#3 – It can help communicate your brand voice/vibe

A brand is made up of so many facets of a company’s efforts, from customer service to the website to leadership commenting on brand reviews online.

But it can still be tough to communicate your brand’s full “personality” without using content.

Take this HelloFresh example. Instead of changing the copy on their website or any of their core branding materials, HelloFresh can show their fun/humorous side through content.

 

It offers extra entertainment value to folks while still maintaining its core messaging elsewhere of being nutritional, stress-free, etc.

So, think about how content can help you illustrate all aspects of your brand that you want people to see.

Sales

#4 – It can answer your prospects’ biggest questions

There’s a lot of overlap between marketing and sales, and that’s best illustrated by content that helps convert middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel visitors to your site. A blog post explaining the benefit of your service or product can serve as good conversion content while also serving as good educational content in the sales funnel.

This blog post by Shopify is a great example. 

image14It’s extremely thorough and directly helps anyone who’s interested in starting an online store. From an SEO perspective, not only are they ranking for more branded terms, but they’re also ranking for really important conversion terms like “start online stores” and “how to start an online store, according to Ahrefs.

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If you’re having trouble getting buy-in for content marketing campaigns, this is a great place to start because it has direct benefits for sales and conversions.

#5 – It shows the impact of your product or service

Nothing says win-win like content that illustrates how awesome your product/service is because not only does it often move people through the funnel and convert them, but it can also be a helpful tool in sales for those who didn’t see the content before converting.

Case studies are a great example of this, and most B2B brands have some sort of case studies or testimonials on their site to prove their brand is valuable.

I often use this case study we created when I’m a guest on podcasts, building a conference deck, or doing any sort of marketing effort that needs evidence that what we do works. But case studies like this are also used in sales to better illustrate our work to prospects.

Look at these examples from Monday.com, labeled as “Success Stories”:

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Telling the story of the great work you do can provide a massive benefit for marketing and sales alike.

#6 – It helps retain current customers/clients

Similar to the previous section, you can use a lot of these bottom-of-the-funnel materials to keep your current clients or customers, as well. This is often a very undervalued part of marketing in general, let alone content marketing.

MasterClass is great at this. They take content from the courses they offer and repackage it in interesting ways. I have a yearlong subscription, and rather than just leaving me alone to eventually watch classes, they send emails engaging me in new ways.

For example, rather than just promoting the entire courses, they’ll pull chapters from different, related courses to pique my interest. I received an email about their writing classes because I took the Margaret Atwood one. One section of the email said, “Realize your writing dreams,” and included example chapters from writing courses.

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This is a really smart way to try to pull me back in without the pressure of starting an entirely new class. It’s also a great example of how repackaging content can be just as effective as creating new content (though they do that, as well) when it comes to maintaining customer relationships.

SEO

#7 – It improves your chances of ranking for relevant terms

Without content, search engine optimization hardly exists. The whole point of optimizing for search engines is having a website you’re trying to rank, and presumably, that website needs to have content on it in order for it to be at all useful.

But you probably want to rank for more terms that are relevant to your core pages, like your products, services, about page, etc. That’s why so many companies have blogs or resource sections — to provide additional value and to rank for other related keywords relevant to their target audiences.

Take a look at this example from BB&T.

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The piece is very straightforward (and appears to be optimized to earn the featured snippet, which it earned).

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In fact, it has the No. 1 position for a number of relevant keywords (snapshot from Ahrefs).

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By creating this content, BB&T is helping people who want tips on how to save money for a downpayment, who also happen to be one of their target audiences, since they provide mortgages. 

This is the perfect example of how effective content can provide value, build organic traffic, and raise awareness among your potential clients and customers in a sustainable way.

#8 – It helps Google (and users) understand your brand

When you create strategic content for your website, it allows Google’s bots to get a better understanding of what you offer and what your website is about. 

If you want to be seen as an expert in something, you’re going to need more than a few service/product pages. You’re going to need content that demonstrates that expertise.

If you don’t believe me, then believe Google, as quality, relevant content has long been considered one of the primary considerations of their ranking algorithm. If you care about organic search, you need to care about this.

When coming up with an on-site strategy, many brands employ a cluster content strategy, which features a “pillar” piece of content that delves into a more general topic (like your core areas of expertise) and then related “cluster” pieces of content, which explore more specific subtopics related to the subject matter of the pillars.

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Source: HubSpot

We use this approach with our clients and have seen pretty impressive results. And it makes intuitive sense to create content about the general topics but then dive in deeper to illustrate your specific expertise on subtopics, as well.

#9 – It’s the best way to build great links

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Link building is by far one of the hardest parts of SEO. If you work on the content side of things and you aren’t sure why link building is important, the simple explanation is that Google uses links from other sites as an indicator of whether you know what you’re talking about.

And it makes sense — if no other website finds your content interesting or trustworthy, they’re probably not going to link to you, right? So Google is looking for these backlinking signals to see if you’re creating content that’s worthy of being linked to by other sites. If you have a lot of relevant, high-quality backlinks, you’re more likely to see better rankings for your website pages in Google results.

Building these links, though, is a very difficult task. But there is a way to do it successfully and at scale: a combination of data journalism and digital PR.

Basically, you create newsworthy research, whether it’s new studies, surveys, or reports, and then you pitch that new information to the media. It’s a lot of work, which is why we do it for our clients, but it can mean significant growth over time if you invest in it.

For example, for our client Stoneside, we surveyed Americans about their plant purchases and related behavior during the pandemic in 2020.

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We pitched the project and got coverage on Treehugger, HelloGiggles, and more, earning a grand total of 59 dofollow links.

In creating content deserving of links (at Fractl, we call it “link-worthy” content), you’re not only providing value to publishers and a wide audience, but you’re also helping to bolster your backlink portfolio and improve your site’s SEO.

Social Media

#10 – “Social-first” content can supercharge your accounts

Sure, you can tweet inspirational quotes or post an image of your office on Instagram and call it a day. But if you want a truly engaging social presence for your brand, you have to be providing value (as is the case with every marketing channel).

One way to do that is to create “social-first” content, or content specifically made with your social audience in mind. This allows you to provide really tailored value to each audience on your various platforms.

For example, look at this video Netflix tweeted.

They’re not asking their followers to click a link; the content is right there for them. I’m not on the Netflix team, so I don’t know if it was created specifically for Twitter, but clearly suits the platform well and wasn’t promoted there as an afterthought.

#11 – You can fill gaps in your social calendar by promoting your longer-form content

When you share content you’ve created for other reasons (blog posts, research, etc.) with your social channels, you’re both helping to promote and distribute the work you’ve done to your wider audience while also diversifying the type of content you’re providing to them on the platform.

Here’s another Twitter example.

The Netflix Queue account promoted a longer interview on Twitter with a quote and photo. When you’re already developing content, you can use it to fill out your social media calendar and get it in front of folks who might be interested in the piece.

While it’s possible to stay just on social channels and only share images and short text, it’s valuable to have more substantial content to provide from time to time.

Email

#12 – You can offer subscribers exclusive resources

This is top of mind for me because it’s exactly what we do for our Cashing in on Content Marketing newsletter subscribers.

Every month, we provide a little bit of extra content, whether it’s a deck to help you get buy-in for content marketing or snippets of interviews that were never released to the public.

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By having “bonus” content you can give to email subscribers, you can incentivize signing up.

Note: This can double as a section about lead generation/conversion rate optimization, as well — by providing something people want and asking for their email addresses (aka creating “gated” content), you can build a solid email list and/or potentially drive new leads (and then new customers!).

#13 – You can bring subscribers from your email to your website

I’m used to getting a bunch of emails from brands with discounts and promotions, and I often ignore them. Most times, I’m not looking to buy anything in particular, so the deals don’t mean much to me.

So I was intrigued when a site I love, Society6, started sending me horoscope emails.

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I don’t particularly care about horoscopes, but sometimes I read them for fun, and the fact that this was coming from an e-commerce site piqued my marketing interest. While I thought it was a weird choice at first, I ended up kind of loving the idea.

Why? Not everyone who shops on Society6’s site will love astrology, but for those who do, they’re immediately sucked into the email and the brand. It’s not just an email about their products — it’s an email with content you might be interested in that then ties into products on their site.

When planning your email marketing, think about what content would interest your subscribers and how that ties into what you offer. Providing that added value to them will not only get them back on your website but might even convert them if your tie-in is well done.

Community-Building

#14 – It creates space for comments and engagement

Earlier in the article, I talked about how you can reach your audience and provide value through content. But you can also foster community with it, which is a whole different level of engagement.

Whether it’s on social media, an exclusive Slack channel, or anywhere else on the web, if you’re trying to build a community, content can help encourage ongoing conversation.

In Content Marketing Institute’s #CMWorld Slack group, Jeremy Bednarski posts a question every day for the audience, and sometimes he pulls in articles and other content to inspire the conversation.

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If you’re the one creating valuable content, you can leverage it in this way to spark discussion and also get the bonus benefit of potentially being mentioned in other communities, as well!

Why Content Marketing Strategy Matters

For those of you keeping score, I listed 14 benefits. And trust me, there are more ways it helps other tactics like PPC, but those aren’t my expertise, so they’re not as prominent in the piece.

Overall, in order to promote your brand, you need something to promote. Sometimes that’s your specific product or service offering, sure, but your digital marketing team might want something else to work with to get your message out to a wider audience, whether on social, using digital PR, paid ads, etc.

Staying brand-focused all the time might start to feel like a flurry of constant ads, which might not land well with audiences.

That’s why quality content is often a foundational piece of all marketing tactics. If you’re trying to get buy-in for content marketing, consider using the following sections to illustrate how content can amplify other tactics that are already working for your brand.

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Ask Amanda About Marketing – Episode 10: ALL of the Benefits of Content Marketing


Get ready to learn about content marketing and all of its benefits.

marketing with benefits

No, not those types of benefits…

In addition to having new, high-quality content, content marketing can also improve a variety of metrics that help you reach one (or more) marketing goals. Find out every benefit of content marketing in this week’s episode.

Listen on Google Play Music

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Available on iTunes

This podcast seeks to answer your questions about content marketing and digital PR with straightforward, actionable tips. You can find all episodes here.

I’ll be publishing weekly, so subscribe to stay up-to-date, and stay tuned for more special guests in the near future!

Have a marketing question you’d like featured on the show? Email me your question!

episode 10

Episode 10: ALL of the Benefits of Content Marketing – Show Notes

This week’s question is one that’s been asked by our clients:

Are there other benefits of what you do – other than what you’re reporting on?

Mentioned Links / Additional Resources:

Let’s Add Some Context, Shall We?

To answer this question in a way that’ll make sense to everyone who doesn’t work with Fractl, I first need to explain what we usually report on.

A lot of our work is based on getting high-quality media coverage and building links for our clients, so our reporting often includes a list of all the links, the link types (dofollow, nofollow, etc.), and link domain authorities we’ve secured with our content development and digital PR strategies.

And who doesn’t love links, right? Links are a sign of so many things, from portraying media coverage to demonstrating a healthier backlink portfolio.

While there are many other goals to aspire to as a digital marketer, let’s assume for this discussion that a hypothetical client has come to you wanting to build links.

So what are the benefits, other than link building?

Great question.

Like I said, for this hypothetical client, assume they’re hiring us to build links and that’s it. They probably just want our help completing one part of their grand marketing scheme.

And what could their end goal possibly be?

Increase organic traffic! The link building that results from content marketing + digital PR leads to a much healthier and more diverse backlink portfolio.

Having better backlinks = a better Google ranking = more organic traffic in the long run.

So, sure, content coverage you earn now can give you some referral traffic, but it can also help you make significant strides in improving your organic traffic numbers down the line.

But wait – there’s more! (Ugh, it kind of hurt to type that.)

Because your content is getting media coverage, you’re also inherently increasing your brand awareness. Brand awareness in itself means that more people know about you, increasing the pool of people with the potential to become customers or clients.

Once you’ve built up more brand awareness, you’re closer to the next tier up, which is brand authority. The more quality content you produce and promote, the more that people will come to respect and trust your brand.

And guess what?

When people are aware of your brand, if they search something in Google and see your site pop up in the results, they’re more likely to click it because they already like you.

That means an increase in organic traffic. (See? It’s all wonderfully symbiotic.)

Just a few more things to get psyched about…

Creating and promoting great content, which can get you links, increases in organic traffic, and more brand recognition, can also mean more conversions.

When people recognize you, respect you, and see you everywhere, when they do finally arrive at a landing page with a great call-to-action, they’ll be more likely to click through.

All of this content marketing work serves as a foundation for trust. And just because you can’t measure trust, doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Have a question you want to submit to the podcast?

Email me at [email protected] or comment below!

Have any additional insight on content marketing benefits? Post it in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Full Transcript:

Amanda Milligan: Welcome to Ask Amanda About Marketing, a podcast in which I, Amanda, or occasionally a special guest, answer your questions about inbound marketing. Straightforward, right? If you want to submit a question, e-mail me at [email protected] I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get right to it.

So I think I’ve mentioned this before but I live in DC and we don’t have central air. So I have an air conditioning unit in the window in my bedroom. And the reason I’m telling you this is that my podcast microphone was in my bedroom. I went upstairs to grab it and I heard a very loud buzzing sound which once I sent an image of this bug that I discovered to my co-workers on Slack, they identified as a black wasp. So there is a black wasp in my room. I darted out had to regain my cool for about 20 minutes. Ventured back into grab my mic and then ran back out.

Perhaps the scariest part is that when I went back in I didn’t see it anymore, which means it’s just lurking in there and at some point, I’m going to have to deal with this but for right now I have this podcast to get done.

So thank you for existing, listeners, so that I can deal with this at a later time. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming this week for episode 10. I can’t believe it’s been ten episodes already. We’re going to answer another client question because our account management team has done a great job of compiling some of the most typical questions we get from our clients and I think that if we answer them, it’s something that’s going to benefit all of you as well because if our clients are asking us these questions, odds are that other clients and other customers are going to be asking similar questions and I’m happy to help you form the answers to those inquiries. So this week’s common client question is:

Are there any benefits of what you do other than what you report to us?

To start this off, I want to explain what we typically report to our clients so you understand the context of this question. A lot of the work that our clients are looking for from us is from a link building capacity. So a lot of our reporting involves the number of links we’ve earned with our content and outreach strategies, the types of links, whether they’re dofollow links, nofollow links etc. And the domain authority of those links are reported on as well in order to get a better understanding of the quality of the links that we built. So I think the easiest way to approach this question is to assume that this hypothetical client’s goal when they came to us was to build links; but just to provide a little more background, this whole discussion about goal-oriented marketing is actually the reason why we decided to reorganize the Fractl site earlier this year and make it very goal specific.

And that’s because it’s easy to have multiple goals and to kind of mix your tactics uptrying to achieve too many things simultaneously and things can get a little confusing when you’re trying to tackle a lot of different initiatives for a lot of different reasons. So it makes way more sense to streamline things. Think, “what am I really trying to achieve at the end of the day here and why am I hiring somebody to do it for me?”

So there’s a lot of overlap but it’s still important to have that end goal in sight because it does affect the strategy that will lead to achieving that particular result that you’re looking for. That being said, I think that’s why it’ll be easier on this podcast to talk about one of those goals and then all of the additional benefits because it’s going to look a little different depending on what your goal is. So for the sake of this podcast, let’s assume that this hypothetical client wants to build links. That’s why they hired us. Maybe they have other strategic things going on internally and you know, they have things are going to do after with you know, the link building we’ve done for them, but they just want us to help the link building component.

So let’s talk about how a client who wants link building can see a lot of other benefits to content marketing outside of maybe that link report that we deliver.

The first thing I want to talk about is the benefit of increasing organic traffic in the long term. Maybe that’s actually the client’s end game but they’re working on a greater strategy internally and they just want to hire us, for example, for the link building side. But building quality links improving your backlink portfolio is a huge component of increasing your organic traffic over time. And the reason why is because building links to your site means Google’s going to favorite in the rankings and the higher ranked you are the more likely people are to click on your site when they search for something related to your brand. So that’s a huge benefit. If that’s not your primary goal. It’s a hugely beneficial secondary goal.

Another reason building links the way we do it which is through creating really great content and performing digital PR is that your brand name is getting out there which leads me to the second piece here, which is increasing brand awareness. There are so many benefits to increasing brand awareness. That’s a benefit in itself. And then it has auxiliary benefits that come as a result of your brand name being out there. So let me just start with the general. It’s also going to be the most obvious, which is that if while you’re building links more people know about who you are, that means more people are likely to become a customer or client. But once you started building this brand awarenessbecause you’re getting media coverage from all this great content, you’re creating or you’re on site content is really strong and people are really enjoying it. Then you’re also going to be building brand authority if your content is really high quality and you have really good solid publishers who are talking about the work you’ve done.

That’s absolutely going to build authority and again further increases your chances of getting new leads because there’s awareness and then one tier up is authority and trust. And link building can really help supplement the strength of all these different tiers that you can continue to build on them. Then consider how increasing your brand awareness compliments increasing organic traffic because the people have seen your brand and they’re starting to really trust your brand’s information and rely on you as a source then if they make a search query and your brand comes up as one of the top results, they’re going to be more likely to click on that because they’re already familiar with you and they already like your information and count on you. So that’s what I mean when a lot of this does overlap and you get a lot of complimentary benefits when you do content marketing work, but again still important to keep your eyes on what exactly you’re looking to achieve while also recognizing the other benefits you get from doing the work.

So let’s move on to number three, which is building social traction. If you’re creating content that’s either extremely valuable or extremely engaging or hopefully both and you’re getting a lot of attention on social media because people are sharing your content and they think a lot of people will benefit from it, then not only are you getting more brand awareness—just built in because people are sharing it and the contents getting more exposure—but also, a lot of the times, the sharing is coming from the coverage you’ve achieved through digital PR.

So you’re bolstering the authority and the relevancy and the value of that media coverage which is continuing to add authority to your content. And then Google sees this kind of social traction as a positive sign of authority of your brand and your site which can help increase your Google rankings again and thus contribute to increased organic traffic in the long term. Again, it is so fun to consider how all this works together and it’s really great. But you could be working towards one goal while still benefiting so many others.

The fourth point I want to talk about is attracting and converting potential customers. Now, this type of goal is more often going to be one that has the most different strategy than all the other goals just because you’re trying to convert people the content might look a little different and who you’re reaching out to might look a little different. It’s more of a niche approach and a lot of people go for the niche brand awareness approach too, but if you’re trying to attract and convert potential customers, you might be taking more of a focused route.

But that doesn’t mean that the great content you’re creatingthe great coverage or the great engagement you’re gettingall of that still means that people are going to become aware of you and they’re going to trust you and if they already had in mind what they wanted and you land on their map and maybe some of your contenteither, you know, off-site content with a great call to action or on-site content with a great call to action that they find thatall of this background of being familiar with you, understanding that you’re putting content out there that people appreciatethat’s all going to increase the chances are going to continue to read more about you and that ultimately when they land on that information that great call to action, they’ve had all of this lingering in their heads and they’re going to be more likely to take action. So even if it’s on a direct approach, a lot of this is foundational. The sad part is, it’s really hard to measure. So people undervalue it. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not important.

So finally I have some bonus benefits I want to talk about. Because, we’ve actually heard this from one of our clients who was talking about all the different benefits they got from working with us, which is always great to hear. And they said that in addition to just the increase in brand awareness that we typically hope for online, you know, just getting your name out there, they were getting more recognition that conferences like they were seeing that brand recognition reflected in real life, which is always really cool to see and they were getting more job applicants, you know, higher quality job applicants who are finding them out quote-unquote in the wild and that they were really interesting. So those are just some other things to consider. You don’t hire a content marketing agency usually with those things in mind like I want to get, you know, better people to apply for our open positions. But it just goes to show: you should pick a goal, pick the strategies and tactics that are going to work for you to achieve that goal, but also keep in mind how many other benefits you’re getting out of taking the content marketing route, particularly over other options.

It is just so widely encompassing in terms of how you’re communicating with your audiences, which even if you’re not measuring it or you’re not directly tracking it or you’re not even sure because you can’t get into the heads of everybody as much as we want to do as much as we try there’s a lot we can do but you will never be able to read minds. This is all still crucial and that’s why it’s important to be producing content, to be getting your name out there. Because it all has an impact on the general psyche of online audiences. So definitely keep this in mind. I mean, this is why I’m in this industry. I find it so fascinating how it all works together and how many different ways you can communicate with people effectively and provide value and what that means as a brand.

So, so many benefits. I’d be happy to talk about that more and if you have any I missed please post them in the comments on the blog post that we have on the page. You can find all of the show notes for each episode at frac.tl/blog and in particular, if you have any case studies or any examples of how content marketing has benefited you particularlyyou and your brandand in ways that you maybe didn’t expect, I would love to see that and I think a lot of others would too.

So feel free to reach out. You can either post a comment or email me. Again, that’s [email protected] and we can get a conversation going because I think a lot of the times also if you’re not talking to other people in the same industry, you’re not getting a full picture of what’s possible and how you are benefiting from this work. So I hope that the podcast is at least been helpful in that way.

Thanks again for listening! If you enjoyed this episode, click subscribe. Don’t leave me with the realization that I’m talking to no one and please rate and review on iTunes so I can keep making this podcast better and your lives easier. Take care.


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