Content marketing is on the rise.
Seventy percent of businesses surveyed in a recent Econsultancy/Responsys Marketing Budgets 2013 Report  said they intended to spend more this year on content marketing efforts.
That puts content marketing ahead of both search engine optimization and email marketing in terms of spending planned by the majority of companies in 2013, the report says.
The results are validation for online small business owners and entrepreneurs who for years have been using content marketing as a cost effective way of building their brands and getting their messages out.
But it also means stiffer competition from here on in as businesses begin to focus on content marketing as a core strategy for reaching customers. Below are 10 tips for staying ahead of the competition by content marketing like a rock star in 2013.
10 Tips for Content Marketing
Seek Nirvana 
Great content, like any other great achievement, is often a work in progress. Here Andrew Delamarter gives us a brief overview of what a great content marketing strategy should look like and provides us with a checklist to see how far our own efforts are from perfection. Search Engine Watch
Content marketing should not exist in a vacuum, writes Ben Barone-Nugent, senior digital writer & content strategist at the TBWA agency. Instead, it should be one part of an overall experience created for your customer, including great user experience, attentive channel monitoring, and a solid overall digital strategy. The Guardian
Content marketing does not yield immediate results, says blogger Beth Hayden. Think of the posts in a blog as a “sideways sales letter,” she says. Instead of a 4,000 word sales letter to a customer in an effort to make an immediate sale, your blog should be about writing many 1,000 word posts over years and having customers or readers enter in at various places in the sales process. Copyblogger
Spread the Word 
An estimated 91 percent of B2B marketers and 86 percent of B2C marketers already use content marketing to generate leads and with good reason. Those who create keyword rich content from blog posts to articles to YouTube videos consistently top search results. But to do content marketing well, you must first understand how an effective campaign works. Entrepreneur
Protect Your Assets
You may not think of the content you create as a business asset, but that is exactly how you should be viewing the content you create regularly for your audience and customers. Like any other asset, your content marketing can be damaged to the point where it cannot benefit your business as it should. Here Jeff Gordon explains some mistakes to avoid. BuyerZone
Follow the Rules 
Rock stars may like to break the rules occasionally, but they, too, live by a code. They understand the importance of their audience and will go to great lengths to meet their expectations. Today, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are changing the way content marketers connect with their audiences, says content marketing expert Matt Kumin. Marketing Daily
Keep it Valuable 
Content comes in all forms. One of those that we think of less often is the online presentations posted on the popular site SlideShare. SlideShare attracts 60 million visitors and 130 page views monthly, making it one of the 200 most visited sites in the world. Here’s what we can learn about quality content from SlideShare. Forbes
In this post, content creator Amie Marse talks about the importance of knowing your audience, in this case, women. It’s important for content marketers to know and understand their audience and prospective customers in order to create appropriate content. The type of audience might also determine the kind of content you create. Small Business Trends
Understand the Creation Process
One of the hardest parts for some small business owners is understanding what content really is and how to create it, says Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing in this podcast interview. But content marketing is both simpler and more complicated than most small business owners and marketers realize. Jontus Media
Content marketing continues to grow in importance, so sooner or later expect some backlash, says Frank Strong. For those business owners and entrepreneurs who worry this is simply a fad, don’t. Content marketing may be in the spotlight at the moment, but it is also here to stay. Sword and the Script
Rock Star  Photo via Shutterstock