Content, SEO and social media news: weekly round up – 15/03/2013

Content marketing is 2013’s central focus for 35% of marketers

New data from CopyPress has shown that around a third of marketers (35%) are making content marketing their main marketing focus for 2013 – compared with just 18.9% of marketers in 2012. The figure came from the company’s 2013 State of Content Marketing Study, a report which also revealed the types of content marketing that users are prioritising for maximum ROI – namely featured articles (52%), video (52%) and white papers (46%). These promising findings demonstrate that marketers are seeing positive outcomes from their existing content marketing strategy, and are willing to invest more time and effort into the discipline to see even better results.

Matt Cutts reveals stance on Authorship and SEO at SMX 2013
During a panel session called “What’s Needed for SEO Success in 2013 & Beyond?” Google’s Matt Cutts shared his opinion about the importance of the search engine’s Authorship function when it comes to SEO. When asked “will Authorship be the new PageRank?” Cutts commented, “Over time, Google will care more about identity and social reputation. Plus, authorship give you a picture next to your content and we know people click more when they see images.” However, businesses cannot rely on Authorship alone – Cutts also reinforced the usefulness of link building, adding “Links still have many, many good years ahead of them…succeeding in SEO will be the same as it’s always been if you’re doing it right – give the users a great experience.”

US Federal Trade Commission tightens social media marketing laws

The Federal Trade Commission in America has released new rules for advertisements on social media sites, to ensure that users are explicitly aware that the tweets and updates that they’re seeing are promotional. Under the new rules, businesses will no longer be allowed to make posts with the #spon hash tag, and will instead have to include a clearer phrase such as “ad” or “sponsored”, whilst paid spokespeople will have to declare outright that they are working on behalf of a particular company. Failure to comply with the new procedures could cause businesses to be charged with a civil penalty, as well as refunding the price of any products that were deemed to be marketed deceptively. “Cyberspace is not without boundaries, and deception is unlawful no matter what the medium,” a report from the Commission explained.