This guest post was contributed by Nate M. Vickery. Nate is a business consultant and a blogger. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is the editor-in-chief at Bizzmarkblog.com

Custom content is the future of marketing; it costs 31% to 41% less than paid search and, in most cases, generates more leads. However, with the high fail rate of startups, one has to note that content marketing is easier said than done. In fact, 56% of businesses do not even have a content marketing strategy at all. And from those that do have and nurture a content marketing strategy, only 32% bothered to put that strategy on paper. The truth is, the world of digital marketing is still an unpredictable field, and the majority of business owners are actually concerned that their ROI will hardly be worth the effort.

However, investing time and effort into your content will show results. Especially if you are careful and you monitor and target your audience. But there is a lot more to it, so if you want to establish a bulletproof content marketing strategy in 2016, here are the latest trends and resources that you need to follow up on.

Investing Time and Effort in Content

Time is a big investment for startups, so sometimes it is difficult to devote your time to content creation, when you have tens, if not hundreds of important issues that demand attention. According to this WP Curve survey, 71% of startups do not have enough time to create quality content. However, you must find the time, because the second a company starts pumping out poor quality material, the followers are gone, and it is a waste of everybody’s time and effort.

If you choose to hire a writer, you cannot just go to Upwork or Freelancer and pick a random person. While you may find writers who will work for less money, you are running the risk of hiring a poor writer and according to research from Acrolinx, bad writing and grammatical errors on a website are a red flag for more than half of buyers. Producing good material does not just keep your customers engaged; it also contributes to organic link building. With the constant Google algorithm updates and with the ever-growing standards within the industry, you should always look for SEO services from well-established and transparent firms. Always insist on white Hat techniques, and organic friendly strategies. While time consuming, that approach will always deliver results.

Knowing Your Customers

People have a specific taste in what they like to read; some have shorter attention spans and prefer quick, 5-minute articles, while others like in-depth editorials with quotes from industry experts. Unless you know your consumers are experts, be sure to explain the industry jargon and every acronym. However, if you chose to listen to our first advice and if you take enough time and double up on your content, you have to make sure it is optimized for readability.

Studies have shown that most scan instead of read, on average, users have the time to read from 20% to 28% of the text during an average visit on a website. So make sure that your content is accessible, comfortable and structured with scanning in mind. As it turns out, an exact mathematical formula defines great content. It is called the “Flesch-Kincaid” formula, and it was used by the military in the 1970s to determine the quality of training manuals. There is a great article by Neil Patel on the subject if you are intrigued by the formula.

Importance of Visuals

Did you know that YouTube has become the second most popular search engine in the world? While most of the marketers out there are still deeply focused on Google, YouTube is sitting there in plain sight, waiting to be used to generate leads. With the rising popularity of online videos, and less and less human interaction for millennials, video tutorials are becoming increasingly important to CM.

Videos, reportedly increase customer understanding of a product or a service for almost 75%. Therefore, if you have a complicated product or you just want to raise awareness about your brand, you should utilize video effectively. Nevertheless, visual marketing does not stop with video; there is a good reason why you should also focus on infographics. When people hear information, they tend to remember only 10% of that information only three days later. But when they have a relevant picture paired with the same information, they retain 65% of it.

In a recent Content Marketing Institute research paper, 76% of the questioned marketers reported using CM, yet under 37% of them said that their strategy is effective. If you want to be in those 37%, you cannot afford to go wrong with your marketing efforts. Running a startup in today’s economy is hard enough, but if you can keep the costs down while capitalizing on content marketing, you will be able to improve your company’s visibility without sacrificing a large budget.

This guest post was contributed by Nate M. Vickery. Nate is a business consultant and a blogger. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is the editor-in-chief at Bizzmarkblog.com

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