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Stop Chasing Sales and Get Your Web Content Right Help your customers -- and your sales -- by producing meaningful, honest content.

By Ann Handley

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Here are two startling facts about online marketing. The first: 70 percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via content marketing rather than ads, but (and this is the surprising part) brands spend more on advertising than on content such as articles, according to ContentPlus. The second fact: 91 percent of B2B marketers employ some sort of content marketing, but just 36 percent of them believe that content to be effective, according to a study by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute.

Why are those facts startling? Because while content is increasingly a factor in both consumer and business decisions, brands are either uneasy with their content-marketing efforts or are missing the boat entirely.

Why does content matter? Consider how you approach a purchase: Whether you're looking to buy a lawn mower or a health plan, you likely Google options, read online reviews and recommendations and maybe poll friends on Facebook or Twitter. (In fact, that's exactly what I did when I wanted to buy a digital camera.)

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