Publishing high-quality content is critical for advancing your business and rising above your competitors.  Content is your avenue for getting highly ranked by Google, attaining recognition Crush Your Competitors with Contentas an industry thought leader, reaching a wide captive audience, and inciting increased lead generation and
new business.  Google placed a huge importance on the value of high-quality content with its Hummingbird algorithm.  Creating relevant, top-notch content that really speaks to your prospects is now required and expected.  Strive to answer important questions and solve vital issues, while informing yet also entertaining your audience.  You must deliver significant value with your content to see powerful results; make sure your content marketing strategy is competition-ready for 2014.

Invest in Visual Content

Visual content, including images, video, webinars, SlideShare presentations and infographics, is rising in popularity and influence—becoming a hallmark of winning online marketing.  The power of visual content lies in its ability to delight and inform, while asking little of its audience.  Your prospects are more likely to watch a concise yet entertaining video in its entirety than read a long, complex piece of written content to its end.   

The quick adoption and immense popularity of visual social networks, particularly Pinterest and Instagram, are evidence of the vast influence of visual content.  Written content, which demands more focus than visual content, can be optimized by adding eye-catching images or even video elements.  Leverage the appeal of visual content to rise above your competitors.

Boost Your Reach

To achieve winning content marketing—dramatically increased reach and website traffic as well as high rates of website traffic and lead conversion—calls for the creation highly shareable content first and foremost.  Social icons and social sharing buttons embedded in your blog content can prompt greater content curation.  Syndicating your blog content on websites with a big and relevant following, such as Social Media Today, can help you reach a wider captive audience and attain recognition as an industry thought leader.  Also, share your original content on the major social networks—at least Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  Remember not to share only your own content on social media though, because it could make you appear overly self-involved and not authentically engaged with your social following. 

Capitalize on Real-Time Engagement and Newsjacking

Try your hand at newsjacking this Super Bowl Sunday.  Oreo's real-time marketing during the Super Bowl blackout last year is a prime example of winning newsjacking, which stirred up a whirlwind of social media activity and cast a bright a spotlight on the brand.  The Super Bowl is a unique opportunity for advertisers and marketers, because it is a rare time, when viewers do not use DVR to skip through commercials.  Many people are actually excited to watch the Super Bowl commercials and discuss them with their friends—in person and with their social networks.

No one knows what the standout social media moment may be during this year’s Super Bowl, so be on the lookout for any opportunities for clever social media engagement.  Taking part in the social media discourse, as a trending story breaks, grants you access to a larger-than-normal captive audience.  Strategic participation could win you a bigger social following, amplified brand recognition, boosted website traffic and even new leads.  Better yet, sharing highly relevant, real-time, original content could have an even bigger upside this Sunday.   

Be a Likeable Brand with Character and Style

Your company as well as your content should have a likeable persona.  Your content needs to stand out and distinguish you from your counterparts.  What makes your brand unique?  Figure this out and play up these attributes in your content creation and marketing efforts.  Captivate and inspire your audience; give them content that demands to be shared on social media due to your in-depth and valuable knowledge, fresh ideas and killer style.  Without highly shareable content, you will not accrue social capital, and your business will feel the pain.  Do not let your company suffer; crush your competition with strategic content marketing.