I5338785518_5cd0786870t’s that time of year again! With 2014 fast approaching, now is the perfect opportunity to sit down and make some New Year’s Resolutions; not only for yourself, but also for your business.  This year, there’s one goal that should be on every company’s list– to make the most of a marketer’s most powerful tool: content. Through original, quality content, businesses can tell stories, convey goals, and connect with customers.

And there’s more: having great content can also make you easier to stumble across on the web. Both Google and Facebook have recently made changes in order to emphasize quality content. Google introduced Hummingbird, its new search algorithm, is better configured to find high-quality content. Likewise, Facebook has altered its newsfeed so that it showcases posts with quality articles and comments.

Clearly, having informative, original content is becoming increasingly important to a company’s online presence. Here’s how you can commit to providing content that will turn heads in the new year.

  1. Make a plan: The best way to get anything done is to have a strategy, so sit down and think it through. Who are you trying to reach? What do you want to say? How will you spread your message? The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to implement a fresh new content plan! We love this framework from the Content Marketing Institute.
  2. Get creative: Don’t think your industry lends itself to fun, engaging content? Think again! Brainstorm to come up with creative ways to make your industry exciting.
  3. Be a resource: When creating original content, keep your customers in mind. What sorts of articles will be most useful to them? The best content is also the most useful.
  4. Include a Call-to-Action: In some of your articles or posts, include a relevant call-to-action for your readers. Ask them the share, tell them about a deal, or direct them to your website. This is where you turn followers into customers.
  5. Share, share, share!: After publishing your content, make sure you get it out there! Promote it on your social media accounts, website, newsletter, and any other channels you have access to.

With planning, creativity and a little know-how, your original, high-quality content can be a huge asset to your business.

5393485546_89f70a3102What are some of your other business New Year’s Resolutions? How will your business use content marketing in 2014? Let us know in the comments!

And while you’re looking to prepare your business for success in 2014, now is the time to review the business information contained in your D&B credit file. Check for inaccuracies and submit corrections for free! Sign up to view and update your company’s D&B information on Company Update

[Images: Ed DonahueJorgen Kesseler]