In the “early” days of the internet, before social media and smartphones, blogs were all the rage. The concept of an expert and enthusiast providing insight about a topic of interest compelled people to read what they had to say. Of course, these blogs were harder to find; you’d need to start on a message board or website dedicated to a theme. Or, people with large audiences used their platform to share them.

The reality is that a generation later, blogs have come very much back into vogue, under the umbrella of content marketing. This is a term that encompasses non-traditional marketing methods like behind the scenes photos or videos, and DIY tutorials as well as blogging. Here are some reasons why it’s relevant and helpful.

It Cuts Through the Clutter

Savvy marketers know this universal truth: people hate advertising. They know when they’re being advertised to, and they are naturally resistant, or even resentful towards it. This is the case even when they love a brand that is advertising, or they need its product. Content marketing is a way to reach people that looks different and doesn’t conform to typical advertising channels like 30-second television ads or web banners.

It Provides a Benefit

The key to content marketing is that it must provide a benefit to its audience. For example, if you sell nutritional supplements, your blog should talk specifically about how they can improve your health. If you sell power tools, a video blog showing how to use them to quickly repair a cabinet hinge could be helpful. Is this advertising? Sure. Will people overlook it if they see the benefit? Absolutely, if done properly.

It Helps SEO

Another critical reason that content marketing is an effective tool is that this sort of unique, rich content will help you with search engines. One of the cardinal rules of SEO (search engine optimization) is that fresh content improves your rankings. If you are posting blog or video content to your website and social accounts and tagging individual pages with relevant keywords (not just your homepage), your content marketing should post your organic SEO presence and help you drive traffic.

Done well, blogs, and beneficial videos are a great example of a win/win. You are posting content that will help drive your traffic and business, and your audience is given useful information, tips, or instructions that will help them and endear them to your product.