So, what is Content Marketing and why should you care? Content Marketing is the term (buzz word) applied to the marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing custom content via the Internet (your web site and social media) to engage current and potential customers.

When it comes to shopping, customers understand that knowledge is power – and businesses that provide them knowledge in the form of relevant, custom content gain a competitive edge. Businesses that understand that have been shifting their marketing budgets away from traditional marketing methods, and allocating their dollars into Content Marketing.

Most customers appreciate it when brands provide valuable content, and more are good with the fact that content marketers are selling something as long as the information is useful – preferring information from businesses in the form of articles over ads. Customized content can help businesses maintain top-of-mind awareness among existing clients.

The sharing of content is also a means of prompting customer decision-making by delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information – driving profitable customer action. Some additional benefits of Content Marketing are the retaining of customers attention, and improving brand and business loyalty.

In a recent edition of Content magazine data was shared which demonstrates businesses increasing interest and investment in Content Marketing… and in shoppers’ growing interest in branded, custom content.

The Internet demands unique and compelling content be published on your web site and social media – which drives organic search optimization and improves ranking for keywords and phrases in the search engines.

Businesses can boost web site and social media relevancy through dynamic custom content. Content needs to be related to potential customers’ likes and interests. By ensuring content is both fresh and timely, businesses can deliver information that is valuable and insightful – improving the customer relationship.

Much of measuring and managing Content Marketing ROI is seeing that content is consistently updated, which helps increase a business’ overall pages to be indexed by search engines (and those amounts can be tracked through correct analytics). And the more keyword-optimized pages a site and social media generates, the more visible your business becomes to search engines.

But, providing dynamic content proves to be a challenge for many businesses as they share that their lack of time and editorial resources are the barriers to Content Marketing success.

Content Marketing, it’s all about time investment – your time, or staff time, or contracted web marketers time. Time spent creating relevant content consistently and profitably, is time well spent. Time-strapped businesses should consider working with a contract web marketing team offering editorial resources with custom content development capabilities.

Keep in mind that, Content is King… for web success in 2011 and the future!