Today, marketing really is all about online content. It doesn’t matter what type of business you have, marketing online is going to be more lucrative than marketing offline.

Most people don’t run to the phone book anymore when looking for a business. Instead, they look for a business online. And then in addition to that, they ask their friends online, and do a lot of research online before making their purchasing choices. Whether you have an online business or an offline business, this advice will increase your sales exponentially.

Build Your Credibility

The first step toward developing a content marketing mindset involves using the online world to build up your credibility. Use your blog, release white papers, and participate in social media and more to ensure that your reputation is well represented online. Perfect every social media profile and don’t start an account unless you are willing to keep it up to date at least weekly.

Seek Out Thought Leadership

Getting to know thought leaders in your industry can actually rub off on you and make you into a though leader – eventually. Find and follow thought leaders in your industry, comment on their blogs, offer donated original content, review their products, and ask them to review theirs. Interview them on a podcast. Do what you need to do in order to become part of their circle.

Understand Your Business

As you are building credibility and hobnobbing with thought leaders, study your niche and your business. You need to know everything there is to know, inside and out. That way when someone asks you a question you’re ready with a good answer and sound bite that can be used, makes sense and is true representation of what you do and what you stand for. Plus, you’ll have more to say (blog) if you know more.

Become a Strategic Publisher

Learning to think like a publisher is essential today in the online marketing world. Developing a publication calendar will go far in helping you know what information you’re going to share with your audience over time. If you take the time to develop a calendar, you can match product launches with the content. Doing without a publication calendar is a huge mistake. Planning in advance from day one will ensure that everything you do has a purpose.

Develop Your Own Online Space

In the old days of marketing, content marketing consisted of sending out duplicate articles to article directories. But, today content marketing consists of filling out your own online real estate with content before you even think about donating to any other sites. The more relevant, useful and enlightening content that you can put on your own online real estate, the better for SEO, and the better for your audience.

Remember You Are in Control

Sometimes, as a business owner it can be hard to remember who is in control. But, if you can accept that you’re in control of your own business and your own destiny, you’ll have a better chance of successfully developing and following through on your ideas, as well as meeting your goals.

Build Your Lists

One way to remain in control is to always be building your lists. Your email lists are the difference between success and failure when it comes to online marketing. Set up sign-ups for your newsletter or lists on your content and on your websites in ways that your audience cannot refuse. Plus, provide value by using the lists appropriately to build relationships and provide information.

Build Communities

One way to build relationships is to build online communities through your content marketing. Using your content, lists, and social media networks to build a community is an essential component of content marketing today. Because just producing the content isn’t enough; you have to push it out to your audience, too.

Finally, accepting that content marketing is an essential element of marketing today for all types of businesses will help you to get on board with the right marketing plan that will move your business forward.