In this age of inbound marketing, the content you distribute can have a direct impact on your business’ bottom-line. Spewing out mindless information in the form of passable content is no longer acceptable for the people reading it – or the spiders crawling through search engines indexing it. Producing quality content is now an essential component for online marketing success…and the dollars and cents of your bottom line.

Here are the 6 ways content impacts the bottom line of business:

1.Content engages your audience

Useful, relevant and interesting information attracts readers, builds interest in your company and develops a likely pool of prospects. Content that offers problem-solving information for free and engages your readers keeps them coming back to you. The return audience makes them likely eventual customers.

2.Content generates visibility in social media

The BEST advertising is word-of-mouth. That is why social media is so powerful. When you satisfy readers of your content, they share it with their friends, who share it with their friends and suddenly you reach an entire network of people who suddenly know your name. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ build an instant reputation for your company when you publish regular compelling content regarding your industry.

3.Content makes your knowledge and expertise accessible

It is a common debate with new clients who bring me in to write their content and develop an editorial strategy: why should you give away information for free? Doesn’t that undermine your business? The answer is “No.” In fact, the exact opposite happens.

You have knowledge and expertise in your industry that people are already searching for on the web when they are looking for information or a way to solve a problem. Allowing them to find that information from you and not your competitors is the way you build trust, relationships and ultimately, customers. When you publish consistent, fresh content on topics related to your industry, readers begin to turn to you as their expert.

4.Content offers link building

Why do you care? Because link building is currency on the web. When you produce compelling, interesting and share-worthy content, people start writing about you and link to your articles or blogs. Clicks from readers provide new traffic while also building your search rankings.

5.Content appeals to search engines

In order for the busy search engine crawlers to find you, fresh, consistent content is essential. Stagnant websites and blogs not only bore readers who have no reason to return – but you become irrelevant so the search engines. When you publish regular content in the form of updating web pages, blogs, articles and videos, you give the search engine crawlers a reason to keep returning to your site. Those frequent visits directly translate to an uptick in rankings.

6.Content is there for the long haul

Though content marketers place a lot of emphasis on new content, it is important to underscore that your archived content matters too. As you build a great library of content that people are interested in, you are still generating exposure for your company by showing up in search results. Your investment in your website content will reap benefits long after the original publish date.

The takeaway is this: Content matters – compelling content matters even more. As people search and read information that matters to them, getting that information from you is the way to build trust with prospective buyers and stand out from your competitors. When those prospects turn into buyers, your reward for strategic and compelling content will be their sale.