The maturation of content marketing proves the practice is here to stay.

Content marketing has become the foundation of successful online presences. Nearly every business – large or small – uses custom content to give their brands voices on the web, speaking to potential customers each time a new article goes live. If organizations want to strengthen customer relationships through creative content, articles must be engaging to foster loyalty and company culture.

CMI B2C CMWhile a high percentage of marketers know their content marketing strategies lead to favorable outcomes, developing effective game plans that facilitate engagement remains the greatest challenge. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86 percent of B2C companies use branded content to reach new and existing customers, using an average of 12 tactics.

However, IMN’s recent multi-industry content marketing survey discovered that 35 percent of respondents credit crafting copy that engages as their biggest obstacle. Thirty-three percent say internal resource constraints prevent their campaigns from becoming effective. Interestingly, the CMI report noted that 77 percent of B2C brands say building customer loyalty continues to be their biggest content marketing goal. The figure differs from the IMN report, which found that only 17 percent hope their efforts boost customer loyalty.

The varying perspectives on what content marketing can achieve indicates that businesses create strategies to accomplish several objectives. Perhaps content marketing’s malleability makes it more appealing to wider audiences, and engaging copy can deliver numerous results. Fortunately, IMN offers some advice to marketers who continue to struggle with creating engaging content for their websites and blogs. The data suggests website copy, newsletters and social media content have the greatest impact on loyalty, even though email marketing remains the most popular form of content marketing program measurement.

As 2013 progresses, content marketing usage will mature as brands discover which tactics and channels reach their respective audiences. There’s no doubt that content will become the cornerstone of quality brand-to-consumer engagement, and in order to deliver engaging copy regularly, marketers will be called upon to offer their insight and expertise into the mix. B2C brands plan to increase spending on content by 55 percent over the next 12 months, according to CMI, and content marketing services will be used to generate original copy that compels readers to develop trust and loyalty for brands.

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.