Understanding what content marketing is and why it must be relevant and valuable.


Table of Contents

Content marketing has been proven to deliver resounding success over time. As one of the most effective methods of increasing brand awareness and recognition, establishing credibility, and driving sales, content marketing is a necessary growth method for most businesses.

In this article, we will explore the following topics:

  • A brief history of content marketing
  • Why content must be relevant and valuable
  • How content marketing affects SEO and social media
  • The benefits of content marketing

A Brief History of Content Marketing

Content marketing is not a new concept. It has been around for over 100 years. One of the classic foundations of the birth of content marketing goes back to the Michelin brothers (André and Édouard Michelin) in France.

The Michelin brothers made pneumatic tires and were trying to sell them along with an innovative product at its time called the automobile in an era where the roads were horrible in many places in France. People didn’t like to get outside of Paris and into the provinces.

The Michelin brothers realized that if they wanted to sell more tires, they had to get more people to drive farther and farther and use them. So they came up with the concept that is the birth of content marketing in the book “The Michelin Guide.” The Michelin Guide was unique because it reviewed restaurants nearby in Paris and the provinces.

The Michelin brothers are the ones who came up with the 1, 2, and 3-star rating system to say, This restaurant I know is way out there; it has terrible roads, but guess what to die for? It is the ratatouille. You got to have it. It is a 3-star restaurant, and it is worth making the trip.

We will give you a guide since you have to get out of Paris to get there. This guide will tell you where you can find gasoline along the way, which hotels you might want to stay at over knight, and, just in case you have to repair a flat tire, “How To Repair A Flat Tire, Particularly If It’s A Michelin Tire.” Because it’s pneumatic, it’s pretty easy to repair.

Guess what? That puts Michelin on the map.

That was because they weren’t trying to sell more tires or telling the audience about the features and benefits of round or tire repair. That was in there, but it was only a how-to article, not necessarily a feature and benefit. They were speaking to their audience about what the audience was genuinely passionate about, which in Paris in 1900 was food.

By creating content that got the audience into their new innovative automobile and driving out into the provinces for that remarkable 3-star restaurant, people got more flat tires and had to replace their tires, but the trip was what it. And by the way, Michelin sold more tires.

Why Content Must be Relevant and Valuable

Infographic on some qualities that make a piece of content valuable and relevant.

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – to drive profitable customer action.

Content must be relevant and valuable to be effective because of where we are today in the 21st century regarding content marketing.

According to HubSpot, “Content marketing helps businesses attract, engage with, and delight their target markets. By honing in on effective content marketing, you can increase conversions, improve brand awareness, boost revenue, establish yourself as an industry leader, and more”.

For content marketing to be effective, the content must be relevant and valuable to the target audience. This means that the content should address the audience’s needs, interests, and pain points in a meaningful and valuable way.

It is not just throwing more trash over the fence and hoping something happens. It is something where if you have made valuable and relevant content, then your customers will find you. That’s a whole different kind of proposition.

Let’s highlight some words in the definition that are critical to it. The content that you create needs to be relevant, and it also has to be valuable.


Relevance refers to how well the content aligns with the interests and needs of the target audience. If the content is irrelevant to the audience, they are unlikely to engage with it or take any action as a result.

If it is irrelevant, then you are not meeting your audience’s needs or interests, and why will they be interested in the first place? People have gotten way too tired of screening out the commercial that comes on trying to sell them unnecessary things.

For example, imagine a company that sells snowboarding equipment. If they create content about the best beaches in Hawaii, it is unlikely to be relevant to their target audience of snowboarders. On the other hand, if they create content about the best snowboarding destinations or tips for improving snowboarding skills, it is much more likely to be relevant and interesting to their audience.

To ensure that your content is relevant, it is important to have a deep understanding of your target audience. This includes knowing their interests, needs, pain points, and what motivates them. You can use this information to create content that addresses their specific needs and interests.

So relevance is essential. Relevance means that this content isn’t going to get screened out.


Value refers to how beneficial the content is to the target audience. If the content provides valuable information or solves a problem for the audience, they are more likely to engage with it and take action as a result.

Value can work in a lot of different ways. It can be enjoyable it can as well be helpful. You know value is an exciting proposition all by itself. And that’s the key to content marketing. It’s not just creating more spam.

For example, imagine a company that sells organic skincare products. If they create content that promotes their products without providing additional value, it is unlikely to be very effective. However, suppose they create content that educates their audience on the benefits of using organic skincare products and provides tips for choosing the right products for different skin types. In that case, it is much more likely to provide value to their audience.

To ensure that your content provides value, it is important to focus on providing useful and actionable information that helps your audience solve a problem or achieve a goal. This can include tips, how-to guides, case studies, and other types of educational content.

How Content Marketing Affects SEO and Social Media

Content marketing is complex. It often overlaps with other elements of marketing. The most typical overlaps are with social media marketing and SEO; they are probably already in your organization.

The SEOs may be on one floor, and the social media marketing people may be in a different building, or anything like that, but the new success formula says we got to get all those folks on the same table. We may have to do it virtually or use webinars to hold those meetings.

Some skeptics say content marketing is just a fancy new name for social media marketing. The answer is that there is some overlap because social media content is part of what content marketing needs to create, but it can also create content for your website, and that’s not social media.

Content marketing can also create content your public relations people can share with reporters or bloggers, which is not typically considered social media content. And by the way, all of that content can be optimized, so maybe it is part of SEO, not social media marketing.

That’s the other place content marketing overlaps, and it’s not coincidental. On February 23, 2011, when Google rolled out the first of its multiple versions of the Panda update, all of a sudden, even SEOs started to pay attention to content marketing.

Why? Because Google changed the rules, Google said that if your content isn’t valuable or relevant, it will not rank very well on our search algorithm. Suddenly, people who were used to putting keywords in the right places realized content matters.

Content marketing groups should collaborate with SEO and social media marketing groups. Content, search, and social are much more effective and successful when they help customers find the information and inspiration they seek in hundreds of micro-moments throughout the day.

The world is shifting, and organizational structures need to move with it. That’s not something you can change but something that will evolve, and for what it was, it turns out that the people who were in SEO did not admit at first that they needed to work with the people in content marketing.

That’s not necessarily part of the skill set required to be a successful SEO years ago. But now you have to get the content marketing and SEO folks to the table because they’ve got to work together, which means the organizational structure probably needs to shift.

This is because after the panda and penguin updates, the rule shifted, and it’s less about your title tag and more focused now on the quality of your content and whether that content is link-worthy, which means it’s compelling and remarkable. That is the type of content that’s going to get people to link to it because it’s incredible.

These “I want to know,” “I want to go,” “I want to buy,” and “I want to do” moments are ample opportunities for content marketers to win people over and influence their purchases and preferences.

The same is true with content marketing and social media marketing folks because social media marketing benefits from content marketing’s focus on outcomes.

The social media marketing folk’s initial goals and objectives are to get lots of likes, fans, views, and followers. This is because those seemed to be the metrics the platform gave us, so we used them to measure success.

Well, none of those measures measure real success because they are focused on being successful on the platform – wow, I have many fans – as opposed to being successful in business – wow, that generated lots of leads and sales.

There is a real discrepancy between the center of gravity, which in terms of social media marketing is any social media platform like Facebook. In contrast, in terms of content marketing, it is your organization’s website or blog. The target is not social media because you will not make much money on them.

Social media is not just set up to do business, so you’ve got to get those folks you’ve engaged on Facebook onto your website where they can buy something. That’s a radical shift for all the folks in social media marketing to say time out, but that’s not what I was told many years ago, and the answer is that’s correct.

Being engaging is helpful if it’s harnessed to a benefit. In most organizations, social media marketing people are under a cloud because they aren’t delivering business benefits and need to learn how to work with content marketing people to do that.

In some cases, they may not be creating the right kind of content that generates leads and sales as opposed to being inexpensive enough for me just complete my next fan or follower.

The key metrics here are no longer how many likes, comments, or shares you get. That’s nice, but how many sales and leads did you generate, and what percentage of those converted into sales is best? That’s a radical change, but again it helps when the social media marketing people are at the table with the content marketing people.

You have got actually to tell interesting stories. You have got to create valuable information. Yeah, you can make it relevant that’s the optimization part.

Content marketing has grown tremendously in terms of web search interest since the first Panda update. Google drives us in this direction, so content marketing is relevant today.

Benefits of Content Marketing


Cost is one of the reasons why every business is embracing content marketing. Unlike traditional marketing methods that require large budgets, content marketing can be done on a small budget and still generate effective results. By creating and promoting content targeting a specific audience, businesses can attract potential customers to their website or social media channels without spending a fortune on advertising.

Increase in brand awareness and recognition:

Sharing valuable and informative content on your website or social media channels shows that you are an expert and knowledgeable in the industry. By consistently doing that, you will create a loyal following of customers who will look to your brand for insights and advice. Additionally, when people find your content useful, they are more likely to share it on other blogs or social media pages, increasing your brand’s exposure and reach.

High search engine rankings and more website traffic:

Search engines see quality content as a valuable asset to users, and they reward well-optimized content by ranking it higher in search results. Creating high-quality, engaging, and informative content attracts online traffic, which leads to search engines ranking your website higher than your competitors who don’t.

Establishes credibility:

Effective content marketing helps you earn the trust of your target audience. By consistently creating and publishing valuable and informative content demonstrating your expertise, you position yourself as an authority in your industry. This helps grow your reputation and attract more potential customers because people are interested in learning from knowledgeable and trustworthy experts in the field.

Generates leads:

By creating valuable content that provides your audience with helpful information, you increase your number of potential customers. Content helps you build brand awareness and create a loyal customer base that continues to grow and support your business long-term. Offering relevant, engaging content to your target audience will enable you to build a relationship with them, nurturing them through the buying journey and ultimately converting them into paying customers. Doing so builds trust and credibility with your audience, leading to increased sales and revenue.

Helps build relationships:

Content marketing is essential for businesses to reach and engage with their target audience. By creating valuable and relevant content that speaks directly to your audience’s needs and interests, you establish a connection with them that goes beyond just selling a product or service. Additionally, by consistently providing quality content through various channels like social media, email, and blog, you can maintain a relationship with your audience over time and keep them engaged with your brand.

Final Thought

Content marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to attract, engage with, and delight their target audience. By creating relevant and valuable content, businesses can increase brand awareness and recognition, establish credibility, drive sales, and build lasting customer relationships.

Start creating relevant and valuable content today. Relevance and value are two key factors in creating effective content marketing. Creating relevant and valuable content for your target audience will increase engagement, build trust and credibility with your audience, and ultimately drive more conversions and sales.

Start creating relevant and valuable content today by auditing your existing content and determining what works for your business.


What is the value of content marketing?

The value of content marketing lies in its ability to attract, engage, and build relationships with a target audience by creating and distributing relevant and valuable content. This can lead to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty and drive profitable customer action.

Why is content marketing important?

Content marketing is important because it helps businesses establish credibility and authority in their industry, attract and retain customers, and drive profitable customer action. By providing valuable and relevant content, brands can build trust and loyalty with their audience, leading to increased sales and revenue.

What are the keys to content marketing success?

The keys to content marketing success include understanding your target audience, creating high-quality and relevant content, distributing content through the right channels, measuring and analyzing results, and continuously improving your strategy.

What are the types of Content Marketing?

The types of content marketing include blog posts, social media content, email newsletters, whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, videos, infographics, webinars, and podcasts. The key is choosing the content types that will best engage your target audience.

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