Many companies today are embracing content marketing as a core component of their overall marketing strategy, utilizing marketing automation solutions like Marketo, Hubspot, and Eloqua to schedule and implement highly targeted campaigns. While these systems have made it easier to maintain frequency of contact with prospects, it's important to remember that frequency is only part of the equation. These programs are only as good as the quality of thought that goes into them. To make sure your content is working as hard as it can for you, make sure your content is TRUE—Timely, Relevant, Useful, and Engaging.

TIMELY
Even the best information has a shelf life. Yesterday's news is much less likely to capture the reader's attention and in fact may no longer be applicable in today's fast-paced world of constant change. Make sure you are providing content that helps your customers and prospects be better right now. And on a related note, keep it short. Time has become the currency of our culture.

RELEVANT
When it comes to content marketing, one size doesn't fit all. Sure, it may be easier to generate one great article and distribute it to every one of your audiences, but can your topic truly transcend them all? Yes, "the future of cloud-based whatever" is a super-awesome topic for some folks, but is it for everyone? Like The Kinks front man Ray Davies once said, "Give the people what they want."

USEFUL
If you're going to be in the thought leader game, don't be afraid to lead with utility. Your secret sauce probably isn't as secret as you think. Every company has products and services with many fine features and lovely benefits. So much so it can sometimes be very hard for your customers and prospects to discern anything meaningfully distinct between you and your competitors. A reputation for giving away some helpful, practical advice can make all the difference.

ENGAGING

Tone. Style. Humor. Visuals. These things matter. We all have plenty of TPS reports and mind-numbingly dry data in our lives. When you actually make the effort to entertain and amuse while you educate and inform, people appreciate it. They enjoy it. And people tend to share the things they enjoy.