It’s been drummed into our head for years: Content is King! Well, perhaps it was the pre-coronation phase, for it appears that the time for content to actually rule has indeed begun.
Gone are the days of being able to manipulate the search engine results pages (SERPs) with massive doses of faux link building and other black hat methods designed to claim the top search spots for their immense value regardless of whether you had anything of value to offer. With some 27 million pieces of content posted daily, sorting out the wheat from the chaff is Google’s quest. And Google is getting significantly better at identifying the actual worth of a page, and its popularity, allowing the cream to rise to the top.
So let’s consider a few trends and best practices for content marketing in 2014.
- Make a content plan - Just like major publishers use an editorial calendar, you should make and follow a content plan, one that is flexible enough to allow spontaneous adjustments when needed.
- Make a blog - Since each month more than 329 million people read blogs, and businesses that have an active blog are getting 97 percent more leads than those who don’t have one, what’s your excuse now?
- The advent of branded content - Another newish term lately is branded content. This is content created to sell while at the same time providing 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 - Preparing your content with SEO in mind is a must. Social sharing, links and tying in with email are items to consider. It never hurts to keep Google in mind when developing 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 extremely important.
- Optimize for mobile – 56 percent of Americans now sport a smartphone, and aren’t 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.
Make 2014 the year you create and perform winning content marketing strategy. It will pay off!