YECContent marketing is how you take full advantage of what the Internet has to offer your business. In order to attract customers to your site, or develop social media followings, you need to create content and put it on the web. We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council—an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising entrepreneurs—a simple yet interesting question: How do you use content marketing in your business right now and what results are you seeing? Their answers may surprise you.

1. Traffic Success
We use industry benchmarks, microsites and guest blog posts. These have proven to be extremely powerful in generating traffic spikes and residual long-tail traffic.
– Robert J. MooreRJMetrics

2. Excessive Work Requests
We’re a bit biased toward content marketing, but it currently makes up about 90 percent of our marketing efforts. To put it mildly, we’re turning away work. Content marketing may not be a perfect fit for every industry, but it is a very effective option for companies with primarily online customer bases.
– Thursday BramHyper Modern Consulting

Viral Marketing3. An Expert Reputation
One of the best ways to market content is to create a blog. Use it to showcase your talent and experience; provide your readers with actionable advice and tips. Make it creative and informative, but be as brief as possible. Post to your blog regularly, and market it on your social media accounts.
– Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

4. New Exposure
When current events make a blog post especially relevant, we re-purpose the blog entry as a press release. As a result, our blog content and the hyperlinks to our blog and homepage are being picked up by news sites for exposure to thousands of additional prospective consumers.
– Manpreet SinghSeva Call

5. Long-Term Reputation Enhancement
We have grown our content marketing tremendously during the past year, using it as a method to provide relevant and valuable content to our visitors, as well as SEO, branding and reputation management. We’ve had good results across the board, but it is a longer-term strategy that has taken time to produce those results. We plan to invest more resources into content marketing as we move forward.
– Joe BartonBarton Publishing

6. Increased Signups
I just compared our ad spend from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013 — last year, in Q1, we spent $13K on ads and so far this year, less than $100. But our signups are up because I’ve invested heavily in a content team. Content (i.e. blogs, infographics, etc.) that is shared by others pays long-term dividends. It’s like renting vs. owning a house: You still pay, but long term, you have something to show for it.
– Jim BelosicShortStack/Pancake Labs

7. Lower Sales Barriers
I consistently get articles with my byline — and those of other leaders in the company — published. If you naturally position yourself as an industry leader, the benefits are endless. You encounter lower sales barriers and develop more partnerships; you are also able to attract top talent.
– John HallInfluence & Co.

8. More Social and Blog Visitors
We are doing pretty basic things, like sharing our content and others’ content on social media, doing some guest blogging and blogging ourselves. Nothing is too magical yet, but we are getting there. The results have been fantastic, though, with social traffic up 20% and blog traffic up 218% in the past year. I expect to keep expanding our efforts, improving our content and seeing more traction.
– Andrew AngusSwitch Video

Hear more about content marketing with Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, on the eleventh episode of The Bcast, Bplan’s official podcast (at 14:02):
Click here to subscribe to The Bcast on iTunes »

AvatarScott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.