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By the swarms, marketers are turning to content to drive more customers, leads and traffic.
At the same time, content continues to expand through different forms (long-form vs short-form, audio and visual, constrained vs unconstrained, etc.). That being said, we also understand that all content marketers are limited by budget, expertise and time.
Since this is the start of a new year, we have 10 recommendations for things content driven marketing will need in order to properly adapt with the changing times. These things are especially important if your goal is to outdo your competition and succeed.
We’re rooting for you!
To help you make smarter content marketing decisions, we surveyed 10 members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs, to weigh in on the following question:
What is one item every content driven marketing campaign should include in its 2014 plan?
1. Timing Tool
We’re on the cusp of being able to fully automate the tactical aspects of content marketing. Once that’s fully possible in 2014 (it’s called “autonomics”), content marketers will only have to focus on making engaging content and not on how to best get it out to their consumers. Every content marketer should plan on signing up for an autonomics platform in 2014.
— Brennan White, Watchtower
2. Kindle Book
I recently published my second Kindle book, and it was such a pleasure to put great content out on a new platform that’s always hungry for content. I really believe that content is most powerful when you can repurpose it and have it available on many different platforms!
— Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier Media Inc.
If you’re about to launch an aggressive content marketing campaign, it can be easy to let this key aspect fall off the radar. Make sure all of your content is succinct and to the point. Go through each piece of content line by line and eliminate all unnecessary verbiage.
— Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
4. Repurposed Content
Creating quality content is the hard part, so the less of it you have to do the better. Can you repurpose what you’ve already created? For example, can you turn an e-book into a series of articles or vice versa? Can you turn a video into a podcast? There are so many forms of media these days, and many are interchangeable. Repurposing content will allow you to expand your reach.
— Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
5. Google Plus
Google Plus is gaining traction every day, and it’s clearly very important to Google in determining organic search rankings. Entrepreneurs should make time to understand how Google Plus fits into their content marketing strategy, from sharing your own posts to making your posts easily shareable (so they get multiple plus ones).
— Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent
6. An Objective Third-Party Expert
Businesses often don’t realize how self-serving they sound when they publish content or speak about their topics externally. A better idea is to leverage an expert who already has credibility and reach in your space. This person, who is ideally a skilled writer and spokesperson, can provide your audience with valuable content and advice while subtly promoting your business’s benefits.
— Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work
7. Web Seminars
Webinars are the secret weapon of many B2B companies that rely on content marketing. Even if your attendee list is small, it is an extremely targeted and captive audience.
— Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics
Infographics are a fantastic way to visually display interesting content and should be a part of every business’s content strategy in 2014. Most businesses have unique data they can leverage for an infographic, and even though infographics may be more time-intensive to create compared to a text article or image, they are captivating and more likely to be shared frequently online.
— Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
9. Online Video
Online video embodies a huge marketing trend that will continue to flourish in 2014. It’s estimated that nearly 55 percent of all Internet traffic will be video by 2016, and online video users will double to 1.5 billion by that same year. Companies can better communicate and demonstrate their products/services through video. One minute of video retention is equivalent to 1.8 million written words.
— Arthur Ebeling, Koi Creative, Inc.
10. Articles Posted on Pinterest
Most people think Pinterest is only useful for “visual” businesses, such as an accessory or fashion startup, interior designers and wedding planners. In reality, you can post all of your content to Pinterest — even articles. The beauty is that it’s evergreen content. We still find engagement with items we posted nearly a year ago!
— Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
We’ve highlighted 10 must-haves for your 2014 content marketing plan. What other things have you included in your content marketing to-do list this year?
Btw, in partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Check it out.
p.s. We’re hiring! We’re actively looking for Happiness Engineers (Customer Care), and top-notch Programmers. See our open positions here. If you, or anyone you know, might be a good fit, we want to talk to you.