There’s a ton of buzz – all perfectly valid – around content marketing and how to engage agencies to make the most of it. Content marketing is a tremendously valuable tool in the inbound marketing arena as the Content Marketing Institute suggested in their recent article – 3 Cases that Prove the Power of Content Marketing.

In the article they point to the obvious three:

1. Search engine optimization improvements – this one is a no-brainer. Write good, optimized content and search engines will find it. Write enough good content and people will also find it.

2. Rent free media or advertising – good content can be engaging and actionable. A good blog drives visitors and creates dialogue around a product or service.

3. Content marketing supports lead generation and sales – good content moves people through the sales cycle and creates thought-leadership, resulting in sales ready leads.

These three content marketing benefits are huge, and one of the key reasons why content marketing agencies are busy these days. But there’s a fourth reason to employ content marketing and it has to be done very methodically, and that’s for brand reputation and, dare I say, brand reparation.

It’s inevitable – especially for a B2C company of size – that people are going to say things that aren’t nice. They may not even be entirely true or taken in context, but that won’t stop them. They’ll post negative comments at one of the many ‘review’ sites out there that solicit them. User-generated content has a tendency to rank quickly and voila! Your negative comments are seen on page one of Google for a brand-related search. Not fun!

There is a way to employ content marketing to overcome this ranking, or at least push it down off page one. It’s not a quick fix and here lies the conundrum: it’s hard to write a ton of GOOD content, so the tendency is to write a lot of content no matter what. In fact, there are agencies out there that will write tons of blog posts on your behalf and post them to blogs of all types on the cheap. What a deal! Over time, these blog posts may, in fact, enjoy some quick ranking success and presto! that negative review site has been wiped off page one in favor of… oh, crap content with your brand all over it.

Alas… take the time to write good content, be creative in where you post it and how you promote it, and in time those negative comments will be a second thought. What’s more, the good content will take its place.

Content marketing doesn’t have to involve original writing per se. Examine all the other positive sites that are ranking just after that review site and what do you see… a Yelp page? LinkedIn page? Maybe your Facebook page? Employ content marketing strategies at these sites as well since you have a head-start in ranking with them. Write reviews, create Facebook content that engages and draws likes, and you should see some upward movement here that can knock down that negative site.

Content marketing has a number of valuable benefits for organizations of all types, but I can’t stress enough how important writing GOOD content is. Your brand is at stake after all!