Happy 2014! It’s a brand new year and the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. Many of us will vow to eat better, hit the treadmill more often, but why not add better content marketing to your list of resolutions? It isn’t enough for your brand or company to take part in content marketing – you must do it right in order to see outstanding results. To keep you motivated all year, here’s an easy to follow list of things you can do for amazing content marketing:

Write better headlines

Stop settling on mediocre headlines. Find inspiration from other online publications (blogs, newspapers, magazines) and do some research on the types of articles that perform well on your own blog. Make it a habit to write out multiple headline options before choosing one. This exercise will help you hone in on your headline skills. Check out these pro tips from Buffer that take a scientific approach to headline writing.

Create More Unique Content

Creating truly unique content is much more than putting information into your own words. With so much material available on the web, originality just won’t cut it. The key is uniqueness! Unique content will help set yourself apart and earn bonus points with search engines too. Competition is fierce out there. Don’t risk being punished for something that can easily be avoided. Follow our expert tips on how to create unique content here.

Dig deeper

Stop writing short and uninspiring posts. Nothing is more frustrating than reading a blog post that only scratches the surface of a topic. It’s unlikely that you can get into the meat of a topic in less than 300 words. This year, spend more time digging deeper and expand beyond the high level information that will likely be repeated by every other writer on the same topic. Show off your expertise all the time and soon you will become an authority in your niche.

Be more emotional

You’re writing for human beings, right? So why would you create content devoid of emotions? Emotions help you connect and strengthen relationships with readers. Storytelling is a great method to stir up the feelings of your audience. Stories help people relate to faceless brands and companies by associating them with these emotional experiences. Check out these awesome tips for creating more effective content here.

Be more social

Social media isn’t just a place for you to promote your latest blog post or newest feature release. It’s a place to build your community and online presence by interacting with others. Facebook Fans are 85% more likely than non-fans to recommend your brand, and 72% of your Twitter followers are more likely to purchase from you, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Put in the effort and in return you will build an engaged and loyal online community. Read our blog post Tweeting Bad (yes it’s a clever spin on the hit TV show Breaking Bad!) to help you grow your Twitter following.

Consistency is key

Every blog and social media platform has its own unique ecosystem. The key to success online comes from being consistent. Get organized with a content calendar and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Blogging is very time consuming and burnout is a possibility if you’re too ambitious. Be realistic and create a schedule that you can easily manage longterm. Run some experiments and figure out the perfect frequency for your audience on each platform.

Post at optimal times

Don’t just post social media updates blindly or publish an article whenever you feel like it. I know you’re excited to announce your latest feature or blog post, but you want to give your content the best chance for success when you release it to the online world. That means knowing the optimal times to post on social media. Facebook engagement is generally highest from mid to end of the week and Twitter is highest on the weekend. These are great starting points, but take a look at your own data to find out when your audience is engaging with you.

There you have it! Follow these 7 tips and you will be on your way to better content marketing in 2014. Resolutions are hard to keep, but nothing that’s worth doing is ever easy. Luckily we have you covered! The Atomic Reach plugin for WordPress is the perfect companion to help achieve your content marketing goals this year. It analyzes your content during the creation process to provide vital engagement insights and the opportunity to optimize content before publishing. Learn more about our game-changing tool here. Tell us, what other content marketing resolutions do you have for 2014? How do you plan to stay motivated?