Marketers are working hard to create great content that can be used to create sales leads, drive website traffic, promote brand, and educate customers and prospects. Unfortunately, not all content is created equal. To ensure you get the most out of your content marketing efforts, you must follow these six rules:

It is not promotional - promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire, both critical com­ponents of content marketing.

It is relevant - generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader will not result in increased success. When writing content you must make sure it will be useful to the reader, regardless of whether it supports your company message.

It closes a gap - content marketing should answer a business question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a wasted effort by the organization. An added benefit of this useful information is its ability to be used in lead nurturing.

It is well written - poorly written thought leader­ship may not only provide poor results, but may also hurt the company's reputation. Take time to ensure content is presented in a thoughtful mannner and is free of errors.

It is relevant to your company - if the content you create does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.

It gives proof - since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure that content you create gives proof either through quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.

Keep this as a check list when you are creating new content, and review again for it goes live. And this checklist isn't just for white papers, content includes everything from webinars to articles to videos.