The power of content marketing has been effectively harnessed in the digital world for many years now.

In its early stages, content marketing was sales-heavy. But it then evolved into more relatable and informative blogs and articles – pieces that offered real value and actionable insight.

But, as the content marketing experts at Fusion360 attest, content marketing is more than simply writing text. “There are different types of content and the underlining purpose is to engage readers and encourage them to act,” the Utah-based agency explains on its blog.

What many successful businesses have learned in recent years is that the more engaging their content was, the more frequently they could lure readers back to their websites and other online platforms.

Amidst their ongoing evolution, content marketing strategies have now breached the borders of editorial publications such as magazines and newspapers with the latest form of content marketing known as native advertising.

Similarly, native advertising content is high quality material often written by professional writers and journalists, as opposed to business owners or employees. The content tells a story or shares relevant information that relates to the brand or business, but does not necessarily mention the brand or business.

Native ad content is placed in online magazines and newspapers alongside actual editorial content. The only difference with native advertising is that there is some sort of identifying tag such as “sponsored by” placed somewhere near the content. Other than this basic identifier, this method of content marketing has the look, feel, and writing style of the publication presenting the material. And due to its premium placement, publishers can charge a premium price.

Regardless of whether you favor the traditional form of content marketing (articles, blogs, infographics, whitepapers, etc.) or the surging native advertising format (paid articles designed to look like organic editorial content), your end goal must remain the same – to engage readers with practical, helpful information that isn’t steeped in gratuitous sales objectives.

So how do you produce quality content with the voice of an authority and no trace of sales-speak? The answer is simple. You don’t. This is where calling a professional comes into play.

“Content marketing and native advertising are not things to play around with,” warns Randy Dahlke of NativeMobile, an industry leading daily news publication closely monitoring the happenings of the native advertising world.

“Content has to be viewed as seriously as any other aspect of your business,” he continues. “If you’re a restaurant, you wouldn’t hire someone who has never cooked before to prepare all of your dishes. If you need good content marketing, you shouldn’t assign that task to the first employee willing to give it a shot. You need to hire someone -ideally, an expert.”

According to Brittany Lemmon at Fusion 360, search engines are now “cracking down on poor content.” As a result, doing your own content marketing could actually impede the growth of your company’s online presence.

“Successful marketing hinges almost entirely on the quality of your copy,” Lemmon observes. “To achieve a high rating through content, you’ll need an SEO professional.”

“When looking for a marketing company to assist you in content marketing,” adds Lemmon’s colleague Kylie Moore, “there are a few things you should make sure of before coming to an agreement. Do they have in-house content writers and designers that will be able to create relevant content for your target audience? Successful content marketing businesses will have a community culture of content across different fields of the organization. Do they have video producers and graphic designers, as well as authors that work together and collaborate to produce meaningful content? This is the foundation of any content marketing strategy.”

Today, more businesses than ever are turning to content marketing as an effective way to boost brand recognition online. It is, without question, an affordable and attractive alternative for business owners who are, in most cases, simply wasting their hard-earned money on easily overlooked and largely ineffective banner ads and other forms of digital advertising that consumers are learning to ignore without even trying to do so.