How to Make Content Marketing Pay for Your Business in 2014
It's been drummed into our head for years: Content is King! Well, perhaps that was the pre-coronation phase, for it seems that the time for content to actually rule has truly begun.
Content marketing is without a doubt the hottest buzzword going into 2014, and for good reason. Some 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. And with Google's search algorithm getting smarter, and by that I mean being able to properly discern a piece of content's actual popularity via social signals amongst other things, it's harder and harder to foist unmerited content on the search results.
So let's look at a few trends and best practices for content marketing in 2014.
- Make a content plan - Just as major publishers use an editorial calendar, you should make and stick to a content plan, one that's flexible enough to allow for spontaneous adjustments when necessary.
- Make a blog - Since each month more than 329 million people read blogs, and companies that have an active blog are getting 97 percent more leads than those that don't have one, what's your excuse now?
- The advent of branded content - Another newish term of late is branded content. This is content intended to sell while at the same time offering an undeniable entertainment value.
- New channels - Exploring new content channels you might not have tried before ought to be on your to-do list. LinkedIn sponsored posts, Slideshare and Google+ are awesome outlets to plunder.
- SEO your content - Organising your content with SEO in mind is crucial. Social sharing, links and tying in with email are items to think about. It never hurts to keep Google in mind when writing your content.
- Have a social media strategy - Since 80 percent of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook, an active social media plan in conjunction with your content is imperative.
- Optimize for mobile - 56 percent of Americans now have a smartphone, and are not shy about using it! Make sure your content is optimized for mobile viewing and reading. No one wants to read volumes on a small screen, so always remember that.
2014 could be the year your content helps you separate from your competition, if you plan for and execute it. It will be worth it!