Web marketing needs to strike a balance between maintaining relationships with existing customers and beginning partnerships with new ones.

If web marketing begins to feel like maintenance, you may not be targeting the entire sales funnel. A lot of recent news has proven how important content marketing can be for shoring up an existing customer┬ábase and maintaining contact with clients. As Brafton reported, the story of Amazon Prime demonstrates how essential it is for companies to avoid taking their customers’ opinions for granted.

Similarly, the news that Synthesio gained $20 million in funding to gauge customer sentiment is proof businesses are rightly obsessed by what their clients think of them. Even Google is getting in on the act, as the growing semantic web is increasingly dependent on the general attitude of website users and reviewers.

Back to content basics

Yet this obscures the fact that customers still need to learn about businesses at the outset. And while traditional keyword measuring isn’t what it used to be, companies should still be striving to put themselves firmly in view of leads and prospects through organic search.

Bizable recently studied almost half a million sales leads, tracking them from first touch (when customers first encountered an organization) to conversion (when they purchased). Over half, or 56 percent, had search as a first touch, and 41 percent of the leads included search as a last touch – or the final contact with organizations before conversion. In fact, in 9 out of the 10 industries surveyed, search was the most important first-touch channel, including 85 percent of the retail leads, 77 percent of finance leads and 77 percent of real estate leads.

Reach out and connect with someone

It’s easy to not see the forest for trees, or in this instance, miss the customers for the leads. Businesses have to walk a narrow tightrope, with prospects on one side and existing clients on the other. Fortunately, both objectives can be achieved through the same means. Content helps keep social media fresh and engaging, while networking platforms help SEO efforts, both subtly or overtly. Don’t become too focused on a single aspect of the process, or the imbalance can affect overall marketing strategies.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.