When creating any form of content there are a few basic things you must do and I will quickly review those, but in 2014 you are going to have to work even harder to catch your audiences’ eye. Let me explain some ways to do that.

The Basics

Again, Research and Target the Right Audiences

You really shouldn’t be doing any form of marketing prep without having a complete break down of which audiences you want to target. You need to know where to reach them, understand what they need, what they like, what they don’t like and you need to know what kinds of items they like to share. This is a must.

Offer Something that Is New and VALUABLE

Find a way to offer new information, new forms of humor, new twists on current information and make sure that whatever you are discussing is valuable to the audiences you are targeting.

Don’t Publish Badly Written Content

I know everyone says, “Well, of course!” Well, I am telling you that I see horrible content everyday, even on “respected blogs/sites”. There needs to be some editorial guidelines in place and you need a sheriff/editor that has no problem saying, “This doesn’t cut it.” If you don’t have some editorial guidelines in place (that everyone agrees upon) I suggest you create them in 2014.

For 2014

Focus on Quality over Quantity

Everybody and their mother is killing themselves to offer content on a daily basis. Well guess what? No one can read everything and we are all inundated with tons of information coming from every direction. There is too much being created and most of what is being created is junk.

What stands out is the quality and the “outstanding.” There is no longer a benefit to just publishing “something” everyday. You need quality for your audiences and for search engines.

I suggest in 2014 that you focus on quality over quantity. Create something amazing once a week and avoid five crappy things no one cares about. People respect a site more when it publishes less when each item offered is really beneficial to the reader. This concept also applies to videos, hangouts, ads, image marketing, etc.

Focus On Being Outstanding, Unforgettable and Recognizable

Obviously everyone is focused on marketing themselves online with all forms of content, video, images and social marketing. You may not be seen or memorable in 2014 if you don’t focus on creating outstanding marketing strategies and content.

Just think of the advertising you will never forget. Do you fondly remember the Volkswagen Darth Vader commercial? What about the Old Spice guy? Do you have a favorite Doritos moment? Is there a brand that made a meme you won’t forget? Is there an article that cracked you up so you pinned it, tweeted it and shared it on Facebook?

What did you love about the advertising you can’t forget? How did these ads make you feel? Well, recreate this for your audience. Create something so outstanding that they will always remember and/or recognize you.

Focus on Being Better, Unique and Helpful

You need to be better than you were in 2013. You need to be memorable as a uniquely amazing brand. You need to offer fantastic information people need and want. You need the search engines to believe that what you are creating on-site is unique and educational.

Focus on being the best and outshining your competitors in every way possible. Create educational information that is so outstanding that people want to share it with everyone they know. You need social shares, you need rankings and you need search engine trust now more than ever. Focus on quality over quantity.

Have a Plan in Place for Social Sharing

When you are researching audiences you should have a breakdown of what the different audiences share and on which networks they share different categories of information. For example, a lot of people like to share humorous items on Facebook, no matter what the subject is.

Before you create a piece of content think about if it is appropriate or possible to create something that includes humor that would appeal to the Facebook sharing audience. It might be that you just include one funny image or graphic and that entices people to share.

What does your Twitter audience like to see and share? What does your audience share on Pinterest? LinkedIn? Research and plan accordingly.

2014 – The Year of Better Content

My hope is that marketers will try really hard in 2014 to create amazing things that people enjoy and focus less on cranking out tons of mediocre content. I hope to see things that amaze me, entertain me and make me want to share with my colleagues and friends. I hope you want the same thing as well.