Stop Optimizing Bad Content, Create Quality Content
Most marketing teams have become content factories. Churning out blog posts, one pagers, white papers, videos, infographics, and social media posts. Generally, content is created around SEO keywords, use cases, or adhere to an arbitrary content calendar (blog 3x week/video 1x week/webinar 2x month/infographic 1x quarter/etc.).
There is nothing wrong with high content quantity as long as you have high content quality. Quality, unfortunately, is subjective. So how do you know if your content is of high quality?
Do a Google search and you’ll find lots of guidance on how to optimize your content for search engines and other advice like “embed different types of content into your content to make that content better content” (real advice, my wording). This advice is missing the point. These are tactics telling you how to optimize your content (regardless of quality). This advice does not tell you how to create better content. So let’s reverse engineer high quality content from a strategic perspective.
High quality content ALWAYS has two specific characteristics. If you can check the boxes on these, you have high quality content:
- Is Your Content Memorable? I’m not asking if your audience is capable of remembering your message. I’m telling you that your message—your story—needs to strike a chord so it stays with the audience. Your content is memorable when it gives new insights into a pain, establishes empathy, or evokes reaction from your audience (laughter, frustration). Your content needs a strong thesis or mantra. It should be short and concise. Some of the best content uses rhyme, alliteration, or a play on words to make it stick. Others use strong visual language. Remember that song you just can’t stop humming? That. Do that. Grab your audience's attention and tattoo your message to their brain.
- Is Your Content Repeatable? When asked about your content, can your audience neatly and concisely share your thesis/mantra? This is the game of telephone. If your message gets lost in translation when an audience talks about it with colleagues, then you are lacking quality. Too much of content has become clickbait. We care too much about getting traffic to our content that we lose sight of the important actions we want our audience to take after engaging with our content—namely, sharing it.
Our role as content marketers isn’t to inflate statistics around our content. It’s to drive growth for our business. And we will do an infinitely better job if we consistently challenge ourselves to make our content as memorable and repeatable as possible. If our message isn’t retained or shared by our audience, why did we create content in the first place?