4 Content Marketing Secrets Every Small Business Should Know

Prior to the social networking age, the only industries that had to worry about continually producing fresh, original content were academia, news and entertainment. Today, with blogs and social platforms like Twitter and Facebook representing major components of most brands' marketing strategy, businesses in all fields are expected to be expert content curators, and the old "publish or perish" adage now applies to just about everyone.

"Brands are feeling pressure to produce more and more content to meet the demands of their customers and prospects," said Patricia Hume, president of content-curation application Trapit. "According to our recent survey, marketers believe that companies should share 10 or more pieces of content daily, and that's just to stay relevant."

Content creation and sharing may seem like a daunting task, but with a solid game plan and the right technologies, it doesn't have to be. Based on the results of Trapit's survey, Hume said marketers should keep these four things in mind when developing their content-curation and marketing strategy: [Tips for Effective Content Marketing]

Quality and originality are critical. If companies are curating the same content as everyone else, they'll likely just get lost in the content echo chamber. High-quality, unique content is crucial for companies aiming to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industries, but being unique doesn't mean you have to create the content yourself.Identify content from original sources that is relevant to your audience's media-consumption habits, and then use content-sharing platforms to tweak the article summary or add your opinion before the content is distributed. That way, your company's voice can be added to a piece of content when it's shared, creating truly customized content curation.

Don't forget about relevancy. More than half of Trapit's survey respondents said it's difficult to find the right content to curate for their audience. Quality and quantity are very important, but a good marketer is always thinking about the audience. If the content being curated is off-target, the likelihood of end users engaging with it drops substantially, as does their trust in your brand as a thought leader.

Contextual intelligence and automation can help .Marketers currently spend 28 percent of their time on content marketing, and they plan to increase that time by an average of 33 percent in the next fiscal year. Even with added time, most marketing teams don't have the bandwidth to constantly refine and refresh the nuances that go into making content relevant for their target audience. That's where contextual intelligence comes in. On Pandora radio, for example, you can provide real-time feedback on which songs you like and don't like. Pandora learns from this engagement, and is able to cater future songs accordingly. This is exactly the type of contextual intelligence needed in solutions for savvy content curators. Learning from contextual intelligence and automating the curation process save marketers a lot of time and ensure the content is relevant.

Content is more likely to be consumed if it is visual. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Trapit survey revealed that 82 percent of respondents believe that content is more likely to be consumed if it is visual. Looking ahead to 2014, content marketers evaluating the best curation strategies and platforms will need to look at the ability to curate relevant videos and pictures.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.