Starting a new business is in equal parts exciting, nerve-wracking and oh-so stressful. It certainly takes a special breed of person, one who thrives off the adrenaline of seeing a plan come together in a highly competitive environment – the faint-hearted need not apply.

One of the biggest challenges a start-up business will face is building a name and reputation for itself. So, how should you plan to generate some buzz and make your brand stand out in a crowded industry? With everyone’s favourite c-word of course: content!

If you’re inserting an eye-roll or two right here and thinking that such frivolous activities such as setting up a company blog can be postponed to later when your business is a little more established and you have a bit more time to play with, you might want to think again. Content marketing actually lends itself particularly well to newbies. Here’s why your brand new business needs content marketing:

1. It makes you CREDIBLE

Let’s cut to the chase – it’s highly unlikely that prospective consumers will be queuing up waving their hard-earned cash at you if they don’t have a reason to trust you. The modern consumer has a hard time trusting a brand’s promotional messages and prefer instead to listen to someone they have built up a bond with. That’s why stats from TapInfluence found that 74% of consumers turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions and that influencer marketing content delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

You have to build trust to win consumers’ confidence and content marketing is an invaluable tool for proving to your audience that you are a veritable goldmine of useful information – a brand they can rely on. Ensure your content is authentic, adds value and responds to what your audience is looking for and you will soon find you’ve become a trusted voice in your industry.

2. It drives TRAFFIC

You might offer the most dazzling and revolutionary products and services your industry has ever seen, but if nobody knows about you, you could end up taking the secret to your grave. Advertising has its place, of course, but why not take advantage of a tactic that costs a hell of a lot less and get your content properly optimised for the search engines? Forbes recently declared search engine optimisation to be one of the most effective marketing strategies online and it’s not hard to see why. With due care, attention and a focus on the keywords your audience are likely to be searching for, you should expect to see your content boosted in the search rankings and a steady flow of traffic as a result.

3. It lays out your VALUE PROPOSITION

For those that might take more than a single sentence to fully convey what it is their business does, content marketing is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only can you explain in various forms of content just what it is you do, you can take your time getting across just how you can benefit your audience. Which is mostly what they are interested it. Whether you use the written word, infographics or harness the power of video, you can use content to explain the core value proposition of your business in the manner best suited to your audience and why they ought to love you.

If you’re a business that’s just starting to find its feet in the world, you’re constantly looking for ways you can maximise exposure, boost your reputation and do all this without cutting into an already potentially tight budget. Content marketing means you can achieve these goals without trying to compete against larger brands’ budgets. All you need is a little blood, sweat and maybe some tears. Or you could turn to the professionals to handle this for you.