I’m confident that for most social media managers, the path to gaining engagement isn’t always simple.

While research is pretty clear that visual content reigns supreme, this rule isn’t always absolute:

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Every marketing professional knows what it’s like to pen a brilliant post, create a custom image, source the perfect quote, and…hear crickets. Your fans just don’t see the brilliance behind your post the way you do. While there’s no substitute for mapping out your brand’s unique buyer persona profiles, learning from the best in the business could be just the inspiration you need.

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Are you pretty clueless when it comes to Google+?

Unfortunately, it’s probably time for a crash course. Recent studies reveal that the social network has pretty much come out of nowhere to register 1.15 billion people as members. While its engagement rates are arguably much lower than Facebook or Pinterest, you can’t ignore the large percentage of its members who use the platform on a regular basis. We’ve compiled everything you need to get started crafting engaging, effective, and otherwise epic Google+ posts:

Click here to connect with Writtent on Google+!

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Fantastic copywriting is the real key to success.

I challenge you to identify one great or even mid-sized brand with mediocre content. As far as I know, you won’t succeed. As long as brands have advertised, their visibility has been due in part to the quality of their content.

The need for highly-skilled writers has only grown in the age of the internet. Whether you’re looking to improve your own skill set or make the jump into one of the world’s most exciting and rewarding careers, we’ve curated a list of resources we know and trust. From beginners to experts, there’s something to benefit everyone on this list:

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What can you do in 30 minutes?

You can lose yourself in an episode of your favorite half-hour show on Netflix. You can get distracted by Facebook and fall into a black hole of unproductiveness. What if you could get an entire blog totally ready for publication in this amount of time? It would be pretty world-changing, wouldn’t it?

I’m not suggesting that you start publishing anything that’s less than awesome in the name of efficiency. Nor do I think that every blog you write should take 30 minutes or less; it’s much better to provide a variety of article lengths and depths to your readers.

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Is there anything better than a real-life content marketing success story?

I didn’t think so! While content marketing statistics and research reports uniformly indicate that custom content is one of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to increase web traffic, lead generation, and revenue, the practice isn’t always simple.

What if you’re trying to make a startup seem like a bigger, more well-established brand? Or what if you’re trying to create simple, accessible content around a really complex and technical product?

These questions, and many more, were answered in the following case studies from leading marketing agencies. We’ve picked some of our favorites, with an eye toward including brands that succeeded for their clients in the face of a massive challenge:

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What if a marketer was only as good as their content marketing tools?

I believe there’s actually much more truth to that statement than many of us realize. The brands that succeed at content marketing are those that take an agile stance. Not only should you constantly evaluate and re-evaluate your approach, you should take a long, hard look at how you’re getting there.

While some of the content marketing tools trending in 2014 are familiar, many of the rest are brand-new and probably worth adding to your program.

Much like our recent blog on tools and apps for rapid visual content creation, I personally believe that everything on this list has immense value to offer brands of any size. Here are the very best:

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A stock photo is worth a thousand words, but a custom image is worth a thousand page views.

I’m pretty sure that almost every blogger knows on some level they should kick their addiction to stock photos and curated visual content. It’s enough to help you scrape by, but does it help you visually communicate your brand’s goals or voice? Do any of your audience members stop and say “wow, that’s a really cool picture!” Probably not, and this is why you should be investing in custom images.

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Blog posts without a call to action are like Facebook posts without images. Or Tweets without links. They work, but they’re a lot less effective than they could be.

It’s no secret that creating high-quality blog posts can be incredibly time-consuming. Once you’ve written, edited, formatted, and quality-checked it, do you want your efforts to generate results for your brand? Of course you do. Once your readers finish consuming your content, their thought should never be “well, what do I do now?” We live in a culture of information-saturation. Consumers today are highly-distracted, which is why you need to end your posts with a bang, by including enticing, well-written calls to action.

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