If you’re not using your website for content that speaks to the needs of your customers, you’re missing the boat you need to be on to grow your business.

If you build it, they will come, right? Not if we’re talking about your website.

We know almost everyone has a website, from your local veterinarian to even their furry friends. Yet only a portion of those with websites are using their site to serve their customers and build their business. The ones who do it right are reaping the rewards from customers who love them.

Most of us visit hundreds of websites and social networks every week if not every day in the course of our lives to keep up with the news, learn something new, catch up with friends, post pictures, buy groceries, pay bills, or Google a question and find a solution.

We’re so busy online, we’re frankly just NOT going to wander around aimlessly or enter your website or Facebook page into our browser’s address bar unless you have something we want. (And if we can find it easily on our phone, so much the better.)

The question is, will what you have to offer show up when your customers are looking? Will the answer you provide lead to a new or deeper relationship and perhaps, eventually, a sale? You bet it will, especially if what you are offering is in the form of information, helpful tools or free resources that are valuable to your customers (make sure it’s about them, not you or your products).

If your customers don’t find an answer from you, they will find it somewhere else, most likely from someone who IS investing in content marketing.

According to a report about the growing content marketing profession prepared by Curata and LinkedIn, “the use of content marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. Perhaps it’s because, as Seth Godin, author and oracle, famously said, ‘Content marketing is the only marketing left.'”

Investment in content marketing is booming, and growing, as businesses reallocate budgets traditionally used for other kinds of advertising to boost their websites with original content specifically for their current and potential customers.

Content marketing tools and resources

And who is creating that content? With good research, you can do it yourself. Here are a few great places to start:

If you’re busy running your business, consider hiring a professional (many content marketers are available via affordable monthly retainers). Some of the best content marketers are former journalists, victims of digital disruption, whose traditional jobs at newspapers and magazines are vanishing with their industry.

Granted, content marketing is not an instant fix. It’s an investment in momentum that will build over time. The sweet spot in content marketing where your efforts begin to pay dividends can take up to 18 months or longer to reach.

If you’re not using your website as an anchor for content that speaks to the needs of your customers, you’re missing the boat you need to be on to grow your business.

And if you’re not regularly creating content for your customers and promoting it online where they already live, work and play, your website will be like the Titanic — the most beautiful vessel of its time, a marvel and technological wonder. Until it sank.

Photo at top: A cruise ship anchored offshore in the Caribbean awaits passengers on land excursions during our family vacation in 2016. Are you missing the content marketing boat? About me.

Below is an infographic on the state of content marketing in 2017 prepared by Zazzle Media from a survey of thousands of marketers in the UK.

State of Content Mrketing in 2017 [infographic]