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Content marketing is continuing to gain importance. Last year, companies spent an average of 33 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. And spending is still rising, according to a recent survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). More than half of all content marketers said their budgets would increase this year.
In 2013, we saw four content marketing trends emerge:
1. Author ranking
Although author rank isn’t new concept, it is becoming more important since Google recently began rewarding ranked authors in its search results. Now, in addition to producing engaging content, developing a personal author brand has become beneficial.
To increase your author ranking and develop branding, you can link to your original content on websites, blogs, social media, etc. Doing so allows Google to recognize you as the content’s original author. The more original content you author and subsequently share, the higher your ranking and search result reward. And the higher you are in search results, the better your chance of driving traffic to your business.
It isn’t all about you, either. To bring traffic to your business, you can also promote authors within your company by using the same sharing tactics, as well as rel=”author” markup and Google+ authorship information. To take it one step further, you could search for distinguished authors in your industry and connect with them.
2. Widening writer base
Because of the increasingly competitive communications industry, journalists and public relations specialists are starting to seek jobs at non-media companies. And with the increased importance of content marketing for businesses, every industry needs their fair share writers and editors. In today’s job market, content marketing and communications majors are a match made in heaven.
Content marketers have also been looking to guest bloggers, researchers and other collaborators to create content for their businesses. According to marketing professionals at Hannon Hill, we will continue to see a rise in cross-departmental collaboration.
Why let good content go to waste? If you only used each topic or idea once, you’d run out of content pretty quickly. Repurposing the same content for different channels, industries or target audiences helps keep companies afloat while struggling to churn out fresh and frequent content.
In 2012, 64 percent of marketers said that producing enough content was their number-one challenge, according to a CMI study that surveyed 1,416 B2B marketers in North America. With a growing number of marketing channels, social media and business blogs, pumping out new content is challenging.
There several ways to repurpose. For example, you can use existing research or statistics to report news and trends; turn an old how-to blog post into a new infographic to post on Pinterest; condense an eBook into a list of business tips to share on LinkedIn; or write about a single topic several times, each time tailoring it for a target audience. The latter is also a growing trend, allowing companies to create content that relates to each and every one of their unique clients. Tools for curating content have also come into play, with ones like Scoop.it, Scribit and Bundlr becoming popular ways to repurpose.
Although 2012 and 2013 saw an increase in the acknowledgment of the importance of content marketing, many companies still have not implemented a content marketing strategy or system. They are starting to think about it this year, though. For many companies, an increase in awareness has lead to an increase in consideration for how their content looks to their customers. When companies spend money on content writers, managers, contributors and designers in addition to analytics services and social media capabilities, it only makes sense to also spend money on a system or strategy that will ensure their content is uniform and efficient.
We think it’s safe to say that these trends are here to stay for 2014. Let us know in the comments below if you agree.