Yes! I agree that without ranking you are not going to get valuable traffics to your site, without traffic there is no sale, no revenue nothing. But wait! When your content marketing team is sitting to write something that they are thinking?
Do they are thinking, how to rank for some keyword that will drive traffic? and following that, they are applying some SEO tactics and writing an article on that basis? Then you need to think again!
Let's go back and see the basics of google. what will google like? someone who is doing SEO to rank or someone who is writing something deserves to rank?
Let's give you an example that will help you. let's say I am a user and I am searching "list of hotels in Agra", what I am expecting? I might be looking for a list of all hotels, a list of best hotels, a list of bad hotels(where I don't want to go), or maybe I want top 10 hotels list. and you have written an article on the list of top 10 hotels. Will that list satisfy my intent? No!
Think about your users what they are looking for? and try to give all answers, because if you are choosing shortcuts you might get rank out in these days high SEO competition.
Here are some tricks that you can apply while writing
Write for yourself not for google, yes you need to do SEO but keeping the user in the mind because "USERS ARE NEXT BIG THING"
Be confident while you writing, It's time to challenge google, write something that if google doesn't rank at #1, it's their algorithm problem. Write something that deserves to rank.