What makes someone love a brand? How does this relationship start, and what keeps someone loyal to this brand after many years? Answers to this question may vary from one person to another, but at the end of the day it all seems to boil down to one thing. The creation of great content.Businesses marketing in today’s world are finding it more and more difficult to reach and engage audiences through advertising platforms that have had decades of past success. The emergence of social media for example has kept people away from their TV screens, and onto smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Not surprisingly, social media plays such a large role when it comes to leveling the communication playing field due to the fact that anyone can say almost anything, and for the most part it’s free to do. What so many companies continue to overlook though, is that when everyone is given a free, two-way platform to share information, people tend to engage with those worth listening to, rather than those who are ‘loudest’. This is why creating thought provoking, enriching, and inspiring marketing content is absolutely paramount when aiming to build a trusting and loyal audience.

To create great content means to build a community, not a list of customers. To tell stories, not products and services. To engage and interact, rather than lecture. It means to not only hear your customers, but to listen to them, too. And of course, one must not forget that one’s visual content is just as critical as written or spoken channels.

Engaging with your audience has proven to work so well because as humans, we are hard-wired for it. We love receiving and responding to messages that relate to us on an emotional level, and will keep coming back for messages that satisfy this need.

If there’s one thing we can take away from the ever-growing importance of creating quality content for your brand, it’s that we must ensure that great content is the basis for which your marketing plan must revolve around. The most successful content marketing companies do this by keeping the main message consistent, as well as creating transparency between the company and the audience (see McDonald’s Canada “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign in 2014).

Many wonder how critical content marketing will be down the road. Can we say with confidence that 2015 is the year content marketing has reached its peak importance? The answer is probably not, but there is no definite way of knowing. What we do know though is that when it comes to marketing in today’s online world, content is king, and has no plan to step down anytime soon.