Easily clip, great businesses to invest in 2016 and share what you find with family and friends. Easily download and save what you find. Please forward this error screen to 162. Content marketing has been moving at the speed of light in recent years.

Consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising and sales tactics that feel cheap, slimy, or underhanded. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity, transparency, and friendliness in a brand. The advent of the internet and social media has a lot to do with this. These channels help consumers pick and choose exactly which brands they interact with. As such, marketers have discovered that they need to approach the consumer differently. We can’t serve up the same old ads anymore and expect results similar to 30 or 40 years ago. Instead, we must add value to consumers’ lives to make them want to give us the time of day.

For some excellent proof, let these nine statistics do the rest of the talking. They really do speak for themselves. Pit content marketing against paid search, and content marketing gets three times the leads per dollar spent. Paid search has been touted as the be-all, end-all for cost-effectiveness. When the two are pitted against each other, content marketing has both lower up-front costs and deeper long-term benefits. Meanwhile, paid search needs a continual cash flow to keep getting results. Outbound marketing is the old way of doing business.

Outbound marketing consists mainly of promotional messages that try to tell consumers how great a brand, product, or service is. These ads are served to consumers whether they want to see them or not. These ads are pushy, interruptive, and intrusive. Turns out, people today generally don’t respond to this type of product-pushing. HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Ads Are Killing the Web: Are You Part of the Problem?

By 2014, they saw around 5,000. How are people dealing with this overload, where they’re bombarded with ads daily? In the face of consumers pelted with ads day in and day out, content marketing swoops in like a breath of fresh air. A 2016 Pew Research Center study shows that people are regularly turning away from TV as the main source of their news and information. Instead, they’re logging onto the internet. If you’re like The Little Mermaid and want to be where the people are, your brand marketing needs to be online. The best way to go about it, the way that people overwhelmingly prefer?

Combine that stat with the fact that small businesses with blogs see more lead growth. Content marketing builds trust in a way that no other method can match. Building trust over time means consumers pay attention and listen to your brand’s voice. It’s subtly persuasive without being in your face.

It’s built on transparency and a down-to-earth approach. Content marketing rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods. Traditional marketing is starting to look a little sad at this point, but let’s keep going. Content marketing, among all the other benefits, also drives higher conversions.

Content marketing may require more time, patience, and effort over the long haul, but the rewards are far greater. The result of content creation: You have lots of little pathways sprinkled over the internet that lead back to your site. And, the more content you create around topics relevant to your audience, the better your chances of boosting traffic from search and nabbing conversions. Businesses publishing 16-plus posts a month get almost 3.

Even if it doesn’t bear repeating, here you go. One more time for the people in the back: Content marketing, content creation, and blogging lead to leads. It takes an investment, but the returns are real. Bottom line: Skilled, consistent content marketing works Content marketing is the present and future of marketing. It’s efficient, compelling, and subtly persuasive.