If you do content marketing for your business, don’t miss Pratik Dholakiya’s useful round up of 12 trends you can’t ignore, posted last week on Search Engine Watch. This timely piece discusses the many ways in which smart, substantive content marketing strategies have replaced pushy advertising campaigns as a way to effectively engage customers and generate sales.

We already know businesses need a good strong online presence to succeed in today’s market, and that content is king. This article spells out how to finesse that content to maximum effect.

First off, your marketing content has to be top quality and compelling in order to get attention and buzz, which leads to more hits and more attention and better placement in search engine returns. As Dholakiya’s piece points out, 93% of online research begins with search engines, so improving your ranking is crucial to expanding your audience. “While search engine optimization using keyword research and other tools will remain important,”  Dholakiya writes, content will be the primary driver for search engine rankings—and that in turn will help new customers to find you, and stick with you.

Another trend: the days of the hard sell are over. Savvy consumers are turned off by blatant advertising and have learned how to tune it out. Content marketing reaches them a different way, by being informative and interesting and adding value to their engagement with your brand. Sponsored content and advertorials are far more effective than banner ads. Smart, successful advertisers are collaborating with established, well-respected publishers in order to get their messages out, and taken seriously. They are producing content that can play across different channels, and that maintains a consistent voice, with material that can play on a consumer website and at a trade show. They are incorporating blog posts, case studies, videos and white papers into the mix.

For more about the latest trends in content marketing, click here to read the full article.

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