2013 was a big year for anything and everything that was content, social and digital. There was much talk about responsive websites; on how Google changed its algorithms to include phrasing structure; and what I feel is the most important, is how keywords (SEO) have become a topic of marketing discussions.

All this leads me to believe that there will be more integrated social landscapes that encompass content creation, web design, SEO and marketing… all in the hope of “getting found” and the right time and place: getting found on Google searches, getting noticed on networking sites, and accumulating a following through lead generation, e-newsletters, e-zines, subscriptions to blogs or forums.

As we speed towards 2014, businesses should stop and take note of the year that has just passed.

Here are some of the major takeaways that businesses should ponder about in terms of content:

The Blog: To resist is futile.
The blog is now a viable channel… the social media channel is merging with, or has been taken over by content marketing. The blog started out as the writing of random thoughts or musings in the hopes of connecting with like-minded individuals. What was once perceived as a forum of self-expression has now become an important part of business marketing communications and yes, even sales! The blog: it’s out there!  Professionals and laymen alike are all talking about it.  They are now getting the point: development of content, whether it’s case studies, editorial or news – fresh content is a necessity. Many don’t know how to go about it. And many are fearful. They shouldn’t be.

Communities mean something and have value.
So this isn’t exactly new… and it isn’t only about Facebook. Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are just a few of the popular ones. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just address this statement in the context of Facebook. Social Media (Facebook) is now a marketing itemized line in most marketing plans. Should every business have a Facebook Page? Or is it only brands that should invest? Facebook is a mass universe, so it’s most likely that you will find like minded individuals when they are on Facebook…. just like advertising in a print magazine…and reaching your audience while they are in relaxing reading mode. Building communities and constantly engaging them and keeping them engaged are important for brand awareness. There’s always an angle to employ Facebook for your business…suffice it to say, only to educate and to spread the good words of the fresh content your business is creating.

Work your Websites harder.
Out with the old brochure stagnant site, in with the new responsive, engaging site. Get rid of the flash and noise level. Business websites need to involve and embrace social media and content creation. They need to allocate time, effort and “space” towards creating a site that speaks to their brand. This is of paramount importance to increase your business performance on search engines. The website should be SEO primed and it definitely needs to be responsive! It’s about getting found… and about engagement.

So how important is it for businesses to have a content strategy in place? I’d like to hear your thoughts.