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Content Marketing Goes Beyond Google. It's About Relationships.

Content Marketing Goes Beyond Google. It's About Relationships.

I want you to think about a topic, product category, or industry you’ve Googled more than a handful of times.

What comes up most? Blogs? Resource pages? How-tos?

What types of companies create the content?

I’m willing to bet they’re companies that sell a relevant product or service. Maybe their offering is a solution to the problem you’re trying to solve.

If you Googled anything health and fitness related in the early 2010s, blogs and resources showed up in the search results with an endless number of articles answering those queries. For anything marketing related in the mid to late 2010s, HubSpot blogs and resources showed up everywhere in the search results.


google content marketing

These are just two examples (that I personally experienced), but there’s likely a similar case for every industry.

Google began its triumphant march to the top of search engines in 2000, and ever since, companies have been clamoring to show up on page one. A top spot on Google means traffic, and traffic means sales. But Google isn’t the only thing that has shaped the companies that were built by content marketing.

It also comes from a deep psychological tendency we have as humans.



The Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity is essentially the idea that humans, when they’ve had a favor done for them, feel compelled to return that favor.

So if you help someone do something, teach them something new, or give them something, they want to repay you.

This is the concept of content marketing in a nutshell.

As a company, brand, or creator, sometimes you give things away. Those things could be informational or useful, such as how-to guides. Maybe it’s entertaining and funny content, or perhaps they give away art, like a well-developed video or photo.

Giving those things away builds your reputation as people begin to think: “This brand always has the answers to my questions about X industry,” or, “I love following this brand because their content always entertains me.”

The brands that create those personal connections and build the reputation they set out to build are the ones who win when it's time for their buyer to convert.

Buyers want to reward the brands who have given to them selflessly. And this is how you win at content marketing.


Beyond the Google Machine

Although content marketing started with search engines and Google, those efforts now span across all digital channels (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, etc.).

Brands and employees fully understand the value that can be created with a robust, multi-channel content marketing strategy. Additionally, many things are changing about the Google search engine, creating confusion even among experts and leading to volatility of search results. It shouldn’t be the only place marketers find their audience. 

Ultimately, Google algorithms can change, LinkedIn could disappear, or another digital media channel could pop up and dominate. Using a variety of content channels can facilitate building relationships with your customers. Likewise, having a direct channel with customers, like an e-newsletter, is essential.

It’s about building and nurturing relationships with your customers. 

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A Company-Wide Content Marketing Mindset

So what does adopting a content marketing strategy look like? It’s about creating a new, unique voice and providing useful or compelling information. It requires thinking about what your customers want to know and what they value. Use the expertise within your organization to let your brand shine. 

There’s a common misconception that it’s as simple as posting a few blogs and social posts, then expecting a windfall of traffic and sales.

But an effective content marketing strategy is really a mindset shift — and not just for marketing, but the entire company. It has to focus on value first.

It’s all about putting the customer at the center of everything you do. Sounds cliche, but it’s true. Here are some examples:

  • Engaging with them to understand their pain points, then creating content to address those pain points
  • Closing gaps in the sales process to create a smarter, more informed customer who moves through the sales process faster
  • Supplementing customer service and success efforts to help converted customers work through issues and keep them coming back for more
  • Consistent content marketing campaigns build authority, which can lead to increased credibility and trust


And once you establish this mindset shift, it important to understand that content marketing takes:

  • Time
  • Effort
  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Knowledge
  • Resources

Seems like a lot of work, right? Well, anything great takes time.


Is Content Marketing Worth it?

TL/DR: Yes. But I’ll elaborate.

Although it takes time and money, it can significantly reduce the need for paid marketing spend. Paid marketing spend has a diminishing marginal return; the more you spend, the less you get out of each dollar.

Whereas content marketing has an increasing marginal return. Every piece of content you create can bring you value months and years down the road. You can create it once, and distribute it multiple times.

Every company wants to create a strong brand with loyal brand advocates, but the majority still fail to execute on the day to day of brand building. Content marketing can be a key factor in achieving that beloved brand.

It goes beyond just increasing sales, and works to forge relationships with potential customers. It requires listening to their questions, concerns, or what they value and engaging in meaningful dialog.



About Matt Rea

matt rea author Matt is a revenue executive with over 10 years of experience leading teams at startup and growth stage companies. He is currently the VP of Revenue Operations at GreenLancer where he leads the marketing, sales, and customer success efforts of the company to grow revenue.

To learn more about GreenLancer, visit They are currently hiring! If you’re interested in working with a mission-driven organization and a supportive employee culture, check out their open roles and apply now.