Content marketing is far from dead – in fact, it’s going to be one of the most important aspects of your digital campaigns this year. I want to help you start this year with a fresher, more effective approach to content by talking about some important tips and facts about content marketing.

Content Marketing is Not Just About SEO or Building Links

Effective content marketing is an essential part of SEO and link building strategies, but many companies made the mistake of focusing so much on optimization and links that they forget what content marketing is all about. Today’s consumers have all the information they need at their fingertips, and are usually quick to identify and dismiss content written solely for blatant self-promotion or getting an inbound link. This makes it even more important to go back to the basics of content creation: to inform, educate, or entertain.

“News of the Brand” comic by Tom Fishburne
Nobody wants to consume content like this.

Creating great content that addresses your audience’s needs and piques their interest should be your priority. Even Google’s algorithm updates and guidelines have evolved to emphasize the importance of content quality and the value it offers to your audience. Don’t just look at the number of visits your content page gets, or how many pages link back to it. Look at metrics like engagement and conversions, and really make it a point to observe what your audience enjoys reading and sharing.

Serve Content in Large and Small Portions

Many companies produced long-form content regularly in 2013 because longer, more in-depth content was better for SEO, but times have changed. With your audience depending more and more on mobile devices to discover and share content, they often prefer content that’s shorter, digestible, more visual, and easy to share. That’s why websites that produce short content about a wide range of topics, like BuzzFeed, are getting so much attention and exposure on social networks.

TL;DR cat meme
Many consumers often react to low quality, long-form content that was obviously written for link building purposes with a dismissive “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read).

Many consumers often react to low quality, long-form content that was obviously written for link building purposes with a dismissive “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read).

Long content is still effective at establishing your brand’s authority and reputation as a reliable source of information, but you have to add shorter content into the mix. A great image or quote can be just as memorable as the lessons readers can learn from reading a well-written and lengthy piece of content.

Employees can be Some of the Best Sources of Content

Marketers have been talking about how “the brand newsroom” will be a common trend in 2014, and it’s easy to see why. The people who work for a specific company can offer a lot of insight, commentary, and content ideas if given the opportunity, incentive, and tools. Tapping into your own internal network of experts provides a lot of opportunities to come up with unique, insightful content that represents your brand well.

Integrate, Integrate, Integrate

At last year’s Marketing Mix and Metrics Summit, Pam Didner, a Global Integrated Marketing Manager for Intel, spoke about the challengers today’s marketers face, and the importance of integration. There are so many channels available for marketing and advertising that it’s easy to spread yourself out too thin, especially if you don’t have a unified and consistent strategy. Didner advises marketers to “Identify key challenges and possible areas for integration. Start small and connect one dot at a time.” Determine which of the available channels work best for your brand, and focus on integrating those into the rest of your marketing and promotion efforts.

Content marketing will continue to evolve as consumer demand and preferences change. Sign up as our partner today to start working with SEO and online marketing experts who keep up with the industry’s latest trends and best practices.

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