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With the close of 2012 and the start of 2013, companies are reviewing what they accomplished during the past year and what they can improve going forward. Small Business Trends reported that companies can give themselves a pat on the back if they began a content marketing strategy at some point during the year, as the approach likely increased brand awareness and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Companies that have not accomplished this, however, are not out of luck. The start of a new year means it's time for New Year’s resolutions. Content marketing is an effective way to continuously engage a targeted audience with interesting news pertaining to a specific business or industry, Small Biz Trends noted. The practice can also put a face to a company and create emotional bonds - something consumers are looking for more and more.

"The market is demanding tailored communications that talk to their problems, their industry, their company and how your product or service will benefit their business," entrepreneurial consultant Ryan Caligiuri wrote in a Globe and Mail column that also highlighted the growing importance of content marketing in 2013. "Remember that when creating blog posts, presentations and webinars."


Developing a content marketing plan
When beginning a content marketing strategy, small businesses first need to decide how much time they can commit to it, who will be responsible for creating the content and how will it be distributed to the audience. These steps will be important to developing effective marketing campaigns, as engaging, strong content is key.

Small businesses will also need to focus on creating solid content to boost SEO, another Small Biz article stated. Generating high quality content will become one of the biggest trends of 2013 for small and medium-sized companies. Smartphone and tablet adoption will continue to rise in the next year, as well, proving how important it is to make content available to those on mobile devices.

Other top marketing trends of 2013 include data analytics strategies that use consumer information compiled from channels such as social media to determine customer trends and behaviors, which can lead to insights that spur better ad campaigns. Video will also prove to be a popular marketing strategy next year, according to The Globe, especially among consumers on smartphones and other mobile devices.

How will your business utilize content marketing in 2013? Share your ideas and plans in the comments section below.