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Effective Content Marketing for SMB's

Now more than ever, effective content marketing is an integral component of any brand's online advertising game plan. Studies show that there's been a 13% uptick in spending on content marketing over the last two years. As a slice of the average business' promotional budget, spending on content marketing is rising and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. You can expect to see the following content marketing tactics become more prominent in the coming months.

More Native Advertising

While there are many competing definitions of native advertising, suffice it to say that it's a way to put organic content in front of web surfers in an unobtrusive manner. Think Twitter's Promoted Tweets, YouTube's Recommended Videos and Facebook's Sponsored Stories. The idea is to nudge users in the direction of your premium content without seeming too pushy. Of all the emerging content marketing trends taking center stage in 2013, this one may well be the most important.

Increasingly Sophisticated Content Curation

Consumers have a limited amount of time to spend online browsing content. Even though Google and its competitors are always getting better at making their SERPs results accurate and relevant, users would rather rely on trusted, centralized hubs for their information. In addition to putting out their own content, companies will increasingly curate interesting or valuable content to add to their allure. Content curation saves people time and increases overall traffic in the long run.

Content Wikification

Nowadays, it's not enough to merely publish standalone, evergreen content that delivers value. In an ever-changing world, consumers expect a stream of up-to-date content on their topic of interest. More and more, content that attracts eyeballs is increasingly fluid and goes through revisions over time. For a good example of this principle in action, look no further than sites like The Verge or Engadget. Many of their articles are like a rolling commentary on the original source material that's always being added to.

A Renewed Focus on Video

Although some people still prefer to digest their content in written form, many regular Joes and Janes appreciate concise, attention-grabbing videos. The cost of putting out superlative video content continues to fall, which means that businesses can spend more time brainstorming clips that will eventually result in action. While getting your videos in front of the right audience is always challenging, the potential return on investment can be enormous for businesses that nail down their target demographics beforehand.

Mobile Optimization & Compatibility

Finally, you can bet the farm on an accelerating move towards greater cross-platform support that's facilitated by device-independent responsive mobile design. A mediocre site that's easily accessible from a broad spectrum of devices will often trump a great site that can only be experienced from a desktop PC. Ensuring that all content can be navigated via apps and mobile browsers will be priority number one for every business online.

Looking Forward

The keystone of content marketing has been and always will be quality rather than quantity. The only thing that's changed in the past decade is the use of social media as a delivery vehicle. Savvy businesses are capitalizing on these new tactics, techniques and opportunities to tilt the tables in their favor. In 2013 and beyond, effective content marketing will need to be more responsive, flexible and diversified to yield the desired results.

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