How important is content as part of your overall marketing strategy? The answer is that if done well, content is the foundation for the entire building that is marketing. 

To be clear, when I say content, I don’t mean PR as in a journalist writing about you. I also don’t mean the copy that’s on your website. When I say content, I am referring to you producing industry content on the company blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or elsewhere. 

Once you jump into the content game, the rest of your marketing efforts are made increasingly simpler. 

Here are five parts of your marketing that become easier once you start producing content. 

Your social media accounts finally offer some value. 

By now, if your company is not on social media, you should fire your marketing team. Everyone knows how potentially powerful social media is, but not many companies really think about what they are doing on social media. 

Too many people and companies use platforms like Twitter as a broadcast platform. They think of these platforms as a megaphone. Instead of focusing on the media, they should try focusing on social. 

That means they need to start thinking of how to provide real value instead of obsessing over how many followers they have. Well, if a company produces content regularly, now they have what to share on social media. 

If you’re an AI company and you produce content about AI, all of a sudden, people interested in AI have a reason to follow you on social. 

The foundation of all search engine optimization is content. 

Anyone who knows how search engine optimization(SEO) works will tell you that content is the foundation. To simplify it, the goal of offsite SEO is to get as many incoming links as possible. When Google sees a site with thousands of incoming links, they understand that that site must be an authority in its space. 

The question is how do you get links. Some SEO people go and buy links thinking they’re going to trick Google. Instead, focus on organically getting people to link to you and encouraging people to talk about you on the internet. How do you do that? Content. The more you write, the more people talk about you. The more people talk about you, the more they link to you. Period. 

All of a sudden, your PR isn’t PR. 

What is the first thing a journalist will do after receiving a pitch from you? That’s right, they’ll Google you. 

When they Google you and come across all your industry content,  all of a sudden, you’re not just another company pitching that journalist. Now you’re a content creator just like they are. Content changes the whole dynamic and shortens the road to getting press coverage.

Your business development benefits from a head start.

Think about your business development efforts. Whether you’re a startup or a larger company, surely you are looking for strategic partners to help grow your business. 

Now think of the other side. What is that potential partner looking for? They’re looking to partner with leaders, not followers. They’re looking to collaborate with brands, not companies. 

Well, when that potential partner Googles you and they see no footprint on the internet, that is a huge red flag. Alternatively, if they Google you and see you are producing a ton of industry content, suddenly you are the leader and the brand they are looking for. 

Investors are looking to invest in good people so make sure you are what they’re looking for. 

Every tech investor I’ve ever met says the same thing. “We are looking to invest in people.” That’s very nice but before that first meeting, how do they determine if a company has good people when evaluating whether to take that first meeting? 

The answer is that they do their due diligence. Part of that process involves them looking at your site, your web presence, and of course, they look to see your thoughts on your specific space. 

So to answer the question, your content becomes your company’s business card and if an investor wants to learn more about you before that first meeting, give them that opportunity by showing them how much of a thought leader you are in your space.  

To summarize, content isn’t just a part of your marketing strategy, it is the foundation of it all and if done right, every other aspect of your marketing will be exponentially more successful. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

By AKDSEO