Brands have grown used to crafting custom content for their blogs - it's not a trend anymore.

The internet played a pivotal role in lead generation and conversion in 2012. According to new global estimates by eMarketer, B2C ecommerce sales grew by 21.1 percent to top $1 trillion globally last year. In the United States, sales increased 13.9 percent to reach $364.66 billion, leading the world in online transactions. More, eMarketer expects this figure to rise in 2013 by 12.2 percent to total $409.05 billion. This uptick will come as consumers transition their shopping habits from buying at brick-and-mortar outlets to online retail hubs – another sign that brands must be online to make a profit.

Brands use content to drive online sales

Econ CM outlook for 2013Unsurprisingly, a new study from Econsultancy and Responsys found that 71 percent of businesses will increase their digital marketing budgets in 2013. The “Marketing Budgets 2013 Report” noted that the average expected budget increase reached 28 percent across the globe. Where do marketers say they’ll allocate additional resources in 2013? Once again, content marketing led the popular vote by a landslide.

Approximately 70 percent of Econsultancy’s respondents say their companies will increase their content creation efforts over the next 12 months by funneling manpower, resource and money toward the practice. Recently, Econsultancy ran another study with Outbrain, finding that 90 percent of respondents will use web content to drive lead generation, nurturing and conversion efforts in the new year. Sixty-five percent of Econsultancy and Responsys’ survey respondents indicated they will increase SEO content creation and email marketing in 2013.

How content affects the ecommerce industry

Online content can support ecommerce sites just as much as it can drive organic traffic to other types of websites. When companies invest time to create unique product descriptions, produce video content that showcases their offerings and distribute media via social networks, they draw in consumers to their web experiences. Through the development of effective content marketing strategies, brands compel site visitors to convert and become part of the web experience.

As content marketing becomes an increasingly prominent component to brand building on the ‘net, companies will realize that the practice isn’t a fad anymore – it’s a highly respected and effective way to build and support brand initiatives.

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.