With the first month of the year behind us, most marketers have a clear idea of the channels they’ll use to engage their audiences. It’s important to remember, however, that web marketing must be done carefully – people don’t want ads bombarding them day-in and day-out.

So how can brands reach their audiences with sales in mind without pushing prospects away? To find the answer, companies need to rethink the business of marketing, and look at it as an art of persuasion. Web content gives brands the opportunity to craft their own stories online, creating an experience that speaks and listens.

The major problem with traditional media is that it presents an idea, but fails to follow up and continue the conversation with prospects. Content builds upon past successes, which is why Econsultancy found that 70 percent of B2Bs and B2Cs will expand their content creation efforts in 2013.

With content marketing becoming standard practice across the world, we as an industry need to realize the full potential of the web’s reach. It’s time for organizations to tear down their corporate veils and act more like people – it’s less spammy and more engaging. Of course, there’s always a place for industry jargon, but let’s get personable. If you want your prospects to consider you a down-to-Earth brand, show them why they should respect and appreciate your products or services.

Written custom content can speak to industry trends to inform audiences, and it can act as the perfect customer care outlet. Your copy can tell customers how to use your products, and it can create a forum for your clients to publish their own reviews. When you start looking at content marketing as a practice to make and strengthen friendships, you’ll find brand loyalty, conversions and ROI come naturally.

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.