Content is the currency of the web. As more people leverage the Internet to search, shop, and socialize, it’s important your brand shows up when your customer is looking for you. Reaching today’s consumer requires having a solid online presence built through valuable content that positions you as a reliable source in the industry.

In fact, research by Hubspot suggests that 47% of buyers reviewed 3-5 pieces of content before they contacted a sales agent. So, most people engage in your content first before deciding to do business with you. If you’re not strategically incorporating content into your digital marketing and sales processes, you’re gravely missing opportunities to connect with your audience and drive business growth.

Therefore, embracing content marketing is a must. As we progress to 2018, it’s time to begin formulating a strong content strategy to create a foundation for long-term success. Here are 6 reasons why content marketing is important for your business and how it impacts your company’s online goals.

1. Positioning Your Brand as a Thought Leader

A huge advantage of content marketing is that it bolsters your thought leadership, making you a trusted expert in the industry. You can rise through the ranks as a thought leader by simply publishing useful, relevant content that educates, inspires, and engages. Sharing solutions to common problems and addressing frequent questions gives followers a reason to keep perusing your social media pages and website.

2. Increasing Brand Awareness

From your blog articles to your videos, social content, and infographics, your content strategy drives awareness to your brand. Optimizing your content for search draws new prospects and customers, appearing at the right time when people are looking for you.

Regardless if you’re a new startup brand seeking to gain more exposure or a small business trying to make an imprint in your space, you can increase visibility and get in front of your audience using content marketing.

3. Strategically Moving Leads through the Buyer’s Journey

Good content is used in every phase of the buyer’s journey. Once you attract visitors with your blog and social media content, you leverage content to capture prospects as leads using content offers such as ebooks, whitepapers, templates, webinars, and more.

As an email subscriber, leads are further nurtured through your email campaigns and more content. To close them as customers, video product demonstrations, customer reviews (yes, that’s content too), and how-to’s are key pieces that help leads make an informed decision.

Therefore, your content marketing is crucial to effectively move your leads through their unique journey to becoming customers.

4. Driving Quality Traffic to your Webpages

Did you know companies who published 16+ blog posts per month received almost 3.5 times more traffic than those only publishing 0-4 posts? Additionally, Facebook sends 82% of social media traffic to long-form articles and 84% to shorter (news) ones. In other words, sharing and promoting content creates a big opportunity to drive traffic to your webpages.

Traffic generation is one of the most common challenges marketers experience in their digital strategy. Yet, creating content that resonates with your audience, adds value, and is promoted on the right channels can attract new visitors, helping to improve your SEO ranking and business goals.

5. Enriching your Lead Generation

Growing your email list is the lifeblood of your business. Cultivated leads converts into revenue. Actually, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured ones. Content marketing is important to your business because it generates qualified leads who are interested in what you have to offer. Relating to their needs and pain points compels followers to stay connected to your brand so they can learn more.

6. Promoting Sales and Customer Retention

Just as content attracts new prospects and leads, it also plays a huge role in closing buyers and converting them into loyal fans of your brand. Video content, for example, has a significant impact on driving sales. After watching a product video, 64% of users are more likely to purchase it online. Also, a whopping 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation when making a buying decision.

Finally, by sharing compelling content that continues to solve problems and offer creative solutions, you’ll delight your customers to the point of wanting to promote your business to their network – sending free referrals your way!

Content marketing is the most effective way to do business in an ever-evolving digital age. It’s important that your brand embraces and implements such practices to connect with today’s consumer. As you share helpful information that solves problems and positions your company as the expert, you’ll naturally attract likely customers who are more apt to doing business with you.