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How to Craft a Winning Content Marketing Strategy for 2014

what-is-seoIf you've been internet marketing for almost any amount of time undoubtedly you've heard the oft-repeated saying that Content is King. Well, as it so happens, it's finally right.

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 meant 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 mandate. 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 plan for your content - Understanding what and when you're intending to publish content greatly simplifies other tasks connected to it, such as marketing, and helps with consistency. Most publishers report that creating enough content is their number one problem, so eliminate the pressure of needing to do it on the fly!
  • Have a company blog - Every month more than 329 million people read blogs, and the company that has an active blog is harvesting a cool 97 percent more leads than their competitors. Your blog is your easiest and fastest way to connect your brand with prospects.
  • Branded content - A concept fairly new to the scene, branded content is intended to sell with entertaining, high-end content (generally with a visual component) that is inextricably tied to the brand.
  • Try new content channels -There are several very highly-trafficked content channels available you may not have taken advantage of. Take a look at LinkedIn sponsored posts, Google+, and Slideshare, to mention only a few.
  • Be sure to SEO your content - Keeping SEO principles in view while developing your content can save time and improve rankings. Don't make the job harder by having to fix it later.
  • Employ a social media strategy - A full 80 percent of users would rather learn about and connect with brands on Facebook, it's no longer just a recommendation that you have an active and engaging social media plan.
  • Make sure you are optimized for mobile - 56 percent of Americans now have a smartphone, and are using it daily to make purchases and find your business! But that can't happen if your site only looks great on a 21 inch screen using Explorer. Optimize for all browsers and be sure your content is brief and to the point on mobile. Nobody likes to read volumes on a tiny screen.

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!