​A new study shows how even small businesses see the value of branding throughout their internet marketing efforts.

​Content marketing isn’t just some new trend that has caught on in a few industries – it’s the future of marketing as a whole. In 10 years from now, the way businesses operate will greatly differ than their performances today, and custom content will be at the center of it all. Because of content creation’s obvious trajectory, small business owners are accelerating their branding initiatives to establish credible presences on the web.

According to the quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor survey, 84 percent of small business owners say that brand building is the most important characteristic to the future success of their companies. While the study evaluated trends specific to the Canadian market, much of the same sentiments carry over to the United States. This has driven SMBs to craft differentiating characteristics to further distance their products and services from the competition. Ninety-three percent of respondents indicated that having unique branding is more important now than ever before, likely because of the internet’s vast reach.

“Having a powerful brand is vital in today’s economy, it can be the difference between a business that blends in with the crowd or stands out from the competition,” American Express Canada’s Vice President and General Manager Athena Varmazis said. “It’s refreshing to see business owners placing an emphasis on branding since it’s their platform to tell their business’ story with current and future customers.”

The main challenge: Businesses are either focusing too closely on day-to-day operations or too narrowly on branding that they disrupt essential balance for growth. Brafton’s Andrew McDonald’s recent blog emphasized the importance of building solid business models before developing brand voice. Social media marketing is the ideal way to reach prospects, but the behind-the-scenes processes must be established and strong in order for any consistent voice to develop for the web.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.