Content marketing. Everyone loves it, but not many people are sure if they understand it, let alone if it’s actually effective.

To know if you’re doing something right, you have to look to the experts. Earlier today, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) held a roundtable webinar, 5 Tips for Maximizing the ROI of Your Content Marketing Strategy with content marketing gurus Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley, and Steve Rotter.

To determine their advice, the gang looked to CMI’s 2014 B2B content marketing report, as well as some inspiring case studies to show that yes, content marketing really can work—and it can be pretty cool too.

So what’s the key to increasing the ROI of your content strategy? To sum it up, it’s all about taking your content to the next level.

Here’s what the pros are doing:

Thinking long-term, not short-term.

The first step in improving the effectiveness of your strategy is to convince yourself, your marketing team, and the C-suite that content marketing is not a “one and done campaign.” According to Rotter, content is the first interaction between a company and a potential consumer, and it’s going to remain that way for a long time. Content needs to be useful and enjoyable so the consumer comes back for more. However, it requires time, dedication, consistency, and the right team of people to get the job done on a regular basis. If the content stops, so too will your consumer interactions.

Creating a strategy.

The number one indicator of an effective content plan? A documented content strategy. The trio said that most marketers aren’t afraid to admit that they struggle with creating and sharing their content. But it seems that a major part of the issue is that they lack a cohesive game plan. Not sure where to start? First you’ll need to understand your company’s values and your audience. When you have an idea of what your company provides and what your audience wants from you, you’ll want to also make an editorial calendar. This should include details such as article topics, distribution channels, and other variations of a single piece of content you may need to create.

Embracing the variety of platforms and media channels.

Get out there and be everywhere. Too often, marketers think there’s only one option with content, such as the written word (i.e. a blog post). But content also comes in the form of images, video, and even social media. The gang reminds us that one content idea can be tailored for all different media. A blog post, for example, could eventually be made into a presentation for SlideShare, or into a podcast or YouTube video. It’s about meeting your consumers wherever they may be.

Integrating your content across all mediums.

Thanks to the ability to imbed pop-up links in a YouTube video, there’s no reason why your video content should stop there. If you mention buyer personas for example, you may want to have a pop-up link that takes the viewer to a page on that topic. Content integration is about anticipating what your consumer wants and providing it at the very moment it’s needed. Hugo Boss, for example, created a 3D video experience of a live event on their website. But they took it to the next level by integrating the video to their social media channels and stores—even giving away 3D glasses so customers can watch!

Providing a variety of content.

Heavy-duty, thought-provoking content is great for the top of the funnel, but if it’s too big, it’s not going to be easily consumed and therefore not shareable. Handley emphases the need to publish plenty of quick takeaways, or “content gifts” that people will want to read, talk about, and share with others.

If you thought there was an easy formula for improving your content strategy ROI, this probably isn’t the answer you were looking for. But if you take the time to focus and put in the consistent effort for your content, you’ll find success.