If you’ve been internet marketing for any length of time no doubt you’ve heard the oft-repeated proverb that Content is King. Well, as it turns out, it’s finally right.

Content marketing is without question the hottest buzzword going into 2014, and for good reason. Some 27 million pieces of content are shared daily. And with Google’s search algorithm getting smarter, and by that I mean being able to properly discern a piece of content’s actual popularity via social signals among other things, it’s harder and harder to foist unmerited content upon the search results.

So how do you make that magic on your own sites? Here are some trends and best practices for content marketing in 2014.

  • Make a content plan – Just like major publishers use an editorial calendar, you need to make and stick to a content plan, one that’s flexible enough to allow for spontaneous adjustments when needed.
  • Make a blog – Since each month more than 329 million people read blogs, and businesses that have an active blog are receiving 97 percent more leads than those who don’t have one, what’s your excuse now?
  • The advent of branded content – Another newish term lately is branded content. This is content designed to sell while at the same time providing an undeniable entertainment value.
  • New channels – Exploring new content channels you may not have tried before ought to be on your to-do list. LinkedIn sponsored posts, Slideshare and Google+ are awesome outlets to plunder.
  • SEO your content – Organising your content with SEO in mind is critical. Social sharing, links and tying in with email are items to keep in mind. It never hurts to have Google in mind when building your content.
  • Have a social media strategy – Since 80 percent of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook, having an active social media plan together with your content is imperative.
  • Optimize for mobile – 56 percent of Americans now have a smartphone, and aren’t shy about using it! Ensure that your content is optimized for mobile viewing and reading. No one wants to read volumes on a small screen, so keep that in mind.

Make 2014 the year you create and perform winning content marketing strategy. It will pay off!