In a world with a vast amount of competing communication “noise”, quality content has never been more important. But how do you define quality and, more importantly, how do you achieve it in your content?
This article looks at the reasons why quality trumps quantity every time. It also discusses how to invest in your content to help your organisation make its mark in your industry.
What is quality content?
Not an easy question to answer, but a necessary one to ask if you’re going to generate real results from your content. Many marketers tend to evaluate content based on the following criteria:
- Visual appeal
- Accuracy of spelling and grammar
- Effective use of formatting
- Value for the reader
Whilst these are all undeniably vital elements of good content, quality content encapsulates all of these and more…
To catapult your written material from average to outstanding, you need to invest in your content in terms of both time and money, and consider the following:
- Data: As the Drum neatly explains, “It is not sufficient to unleash a well-crafted content marketing campaign and hopes it hits the sweet spot. Instead, high-quality insights and clear campaign objectives need to be combined… And the only way to effectively do this is by expertly using the data”. Pay attention to your top-performing content and try to produce similar material. Likewise, look at content that isn’t hitting the mark. This might include pages with a high bounce rate or low time on page, and update them until you see better results.
- Marketing objectives: Is your content achieving your goals – whether that’s driving traffic to your site, increasing conversions or generating leads?
- Originality: What sets your content apart from the millions of other web pages or articles out there? If you can’t offer anything new, then it’s time to re-think your ideas! One particular brand that’s been praised for originality by the Content Marketing Institute is Coca Cola. It’s Content 2020 content marketing strategy centres around new ways of telling stories and creating conversations in a move to shift away from content that’s “30-Second-TV-Centric”. This example only goes to show that you have to keep reinventing your content to stay interesting – regardless of how well-known you are. Follow Coca Cola’s example by thinking outside of the box and giving your users something they aren’t expecting!
- Usefulness: Does your material offer actionable, practical advice or takeaways that readers will be able to act on immediately? Readers will usually come to your content with a specific goal in mind. They’ll also be looking to come away with a solution (even if their goal is as simple as finding out a bit more about you). According to research by Content Science, “users who found content to be both relevant and useful said the content helped them accomplish their goal 91.5% of the time. That’s more than 15 times as often as users who found the content neither useful nor relevant”. If you can help readers achieve their goals through your content, they’re more likely to trust you and return to you in future.
- Engagement: To really ‘hook’ a reader, your content needs to whet their appetite and make them think. An example of a brand that has used engagement to mighty effect in its content marketing is Ikea. With content ranging from fly-on-the-wall Home Tour videos to colourful, inspiring boards on Pinterest, the Swedish giant offers a masterclass in producing content that users can’t wait to interact with!
Why invest in your content?
You can answer this question in one word – “results”. As with many areas of life, you get out what you put in and content’s no different. Creating fewer, more useful pieces of content will benefit your organisation far more in the long-term than churning out throwaway content that’s skim-read then promptly forgotten.
When you focus on your audience’s reaction to your content and the resulting conversations with them, then you’re moving in the right direction. Your users are also more likely to trust your brand and view you as an authentic, customer-focused organisation.
Another huge bonus is that when your audience comes to know what to expect from your content, you’ll gradually establish a following. This will allow you to talk to your users directly through your content, build your brand profile, help grow your relationships as well as promote your products and services.
However, you still need to be prepared to play the long game. Content marketing can be something of a slow burner and you won’t necessarily see dramatic results or be able to pinpoint an exact ROI straight away.
But by taking a little additional time to conceive content ideas that are genuinely useful and presenting them in the best possible way, you’re sure to see better results in the long-term.