Content marketing can be a very effective tactic for converting prospects into customers, while also building authority, brand loyalty, and trust. If you want to become your company’s most valuable content marketer, you’ve got to bring your A-game. To do so, keep this advice in mind:

Score points with a content strategy

To be a winning content marketer, you’ve got to start with a content strategy. After all, how can you reach your goals, if you don’t have a plan for getting there? Your strategy needs to document what you’re trying to achieve, the audience you’re targeting, and the tools and tactics you’ll use. It should also align with your overall business goals.

And make sure that you write your strategy down. While everyone says (and maybe even thinks) they have a content strategy, research shows that if your strategy is documented, you’ll be more successful. Developing a clear, well-documented strategy will get you right into the game.

Build your game plan with a content calendar

Now that you have your strategy, it’s time to create a smart, organized content calendar to keep you organized. No matter how often you create content, you should have a comprehensive calendar outlining what’s going to be published in the months ahead. Doing so will give you the structure you need to bring your content marketing efforts to life. It will also make it easier to see how your content aligns with specific marketing campaigns, events, target audiences, topic areas, and more.

A good calendar will also help prevent repetition, let team members know who’s doing what, and ensure you follow a well-planned publishing schedule. While it may seem like content marketing 101, don’t underestimate the value of a good content calendar. It will give you the oversight you need to run an effective content marketing program.

Push it over the goal line with quality content

The golden rule of content marketing is to produce content that’s interesting, well-written, and provides value to your audience. For example, a lot of businesses get caught up in trying to write content that will rank well with search engines. And while SEO is certainly important and needs to be taken into account, you don’t want to compromise your content quality by trying to stuff in keywords. Similarly, avoid the temptation to include sales pitches or other self-promotion in your content. These things will just distract you from your core objective and ultimately turn off your readers.

Create a winning mix of content and channels

There’s more to content marketing than just blogs, whitepapers, and newsletters. Mix things up by experimenting with other content formats such as video, podcasts, infographics, and SlideShares. Not only will you keep your existing audience engaged, you’ll also reach new audiences you might otherwise have missed. If the prospect of creating all of that extra content seems daunting, don’t worry. You can often repurpose one piece of content across multiple formats, creating economies of scale. For example, one eBook can easily be turned into a series of blog posts, an infographic, a podcast, and a video.

It’s also a good idea to try different channels for promoting your content. Depending on the demographic you’re targeting, you might want to set up a YouTube channel or publish through SlideShare. Maybe there’s a way to start using messaging apps to reach your audience via push notifications. The point is that you want your audience to be able to find you anywhere and everywhere, not just on your own website.

Score points with data and analytics

While getting people to read and engage with your content is a real win, it’s not enough. Your organization also wants to see an actual return on its investment. Thankfully, with advanced content analytics, you can obtain a detailed picture of how either individual pieces of content or groups of content are performing. Once you know what’s working and what’s not, you can then refine your strategy as needed. Plus, when you’re armed with data, you can not only optimize your performance, but also demonstrate your impact on the organization.

Great content marketing is about using high-quality content to drive business results. When you do it right and start generating ROI, you won’t just win the game, you’ll become your organization’s star player.