What Does Quality Content Mean in Today’s World and Why Is It Important?
Quality content informs people and offers a new perspective on a topic. Within digital marketing, quality content gets results and delivers value. These can be data-driven results or more qualitative results.
That’s because marketing is a ‘conversation’ between brands and customers. Quality content, on its own, influences and enriches this conversation. Ultimately, it drives people to action.
In other words, to succeed as a business, you need high-quality content. But what exactly is high-quality content? In this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the concept.
Characteristics of Quality Content
In the context of digital marketing, high-quality content doesn’t just refer to well-structured content. In this section, let’s take a look at some key characteristics of high-quality content:
It Engages Your Audience
High-quality content provides value to the consumer. It might entertain, educate, or inform. In a way, then, it improves the reader’s life. It would help if you defined how you measure that value. In most instances, that is pretty straightforward.
Most sites will judge the quality of their content using relevant metrics.
For a blog that seeks to entertain users, the key metric might be the number of social media shares the article generates and page views. For a website that cares about SEO, you might judge the quality of a piece of content by where it ranks in the search results.
Performs Well Across Multiple Platforms
Content that only performs well on Facebook isn’t quality content. You can repurpose quality content for each platform, and it performs well across those platforms, too. In other words, it is versatile.
For example, you can quickly transform a great blog post into an infographic. You can also turn it into a video for those who prefer to watch moving images.
Some platforms are image-focused. Others are more text-based. So, you should repurpose that content easily according to what works on that platform.
Different platforms have different technical specifications, too. An image may look great on one website but terrible on another. For content to perform well across multiple platforms, these differences must be accounted for.
The blog post below is an excellent example of high-quality content.
Why? Apart from the fact that it adds value (more on this later), you can easily convert it into a YouTube video! Check out the video below:
The blog content has been adapted to the needs of the YouTube audience. It’s the same content but in video form. How cool is that?
How Can You Create High-Quality Content?
We’ve discussed the characteristics of high-quality content. In this section, let’s look at how you can create that high-quality content. Take note that all these tips apply regardless of where you want to have your content posted.
Define What Quality Means to You
One thing that defines many successful websites is that they have a clear idea of what great content means. Let me give you two contrasting examples of what I mean by that.
The first example is a site called Backlinko, which is an SEO blog founded by Brian Dean. I’m sure you’re familiar with the site.
Many people would point to Backlinko and say that Brian writes quality content. Brian writes long-form articles. All of the articles on the Backlinko site are long-form guides. A short guide on the site will be more than 2,000 words and less than 3,000.
A comprehensive guide can easily by 7,000 or so words.
Take this example—a 4,000+ word blog post on how to promote your blog.
It’s going to take you a while to read the article and digest all of the information.
You might even have to do it in a few sittings.
You can assume that Brian Dean has decided that on his website, long-form content equals quality. It’s a choice, and you’ll find many people who appreciate the long-form guides that he creates.
Not everyone wants to read a 4,000+ word guide, in any case. You can generate a large, engaged audience by creating short, concise guides, for example.
That’s what Harry from Marketing Examples has done.
His article on 17 tips for great copywriting is just 394 words. That averages out to 23.18 words per tip.
It’s not much content.
But that doesn’t matter because each of his tips provides much value to a reader.
If you’re looking for a site that provides many actionable tips on marketing in bite-sized chunks, I’d recommend Marketing Examples. You can read several articles on a train journey and come away with plenty of ideas for running a marketing campaign.
The approach to creating quality content is very different to Backlinko. Yet, I’d argue that both sites create quality content. It’s just that the type of content is very different. The audience is probably quite different, and the way you judge the quality of the content would also be different.
Before you start creating content for your site, spend time thinking about how you define quality. This is important because the type of content you produce will impact the way you market your content and the audience you attract, in addition to powering your lead generation campaign.
Choose The Metrics You’ll Monitor
Choosing the right metrics is essential. It would help if you defined which metrics you will use to monitor the success of your content. Here are some of the standard metrics you might use to judge the quality of an article:
- Number of social shares
- Visitor numbers
- Time on page
- Bounce rate
Once you’ve picked your metrics, you need to set a baseline. For example, you assess whether the content engages your audience (more on this later). Your goals will define the metrics you select.
Examine What’s Available & Start Writing
So now you’ve defined the type of content you plan to create and choose the metrics you’ll use to measure success. The next step in creating quality content involves reviewing what other people have produced.
Researching the content that’s already out there on your chosen topic is an essential part of content production. It would be best if you saw what people could access.
Once you’ve finished your research, you should create an outline for your content and start writing. Regardless of if you plan to write short-form content, long-form content, or something in between, make sure you produce something your audience will find valuable.
Here are some simple tips you can follow to achieve that goal:
- Cite trusted sources.
- Don’t write fluff!
- Use plain language, not technical jargon.
- Grammar and spelling are essential.
That’s not a long list of factors. Most high-quality content, though, will tick all the boxes.
Promote Your Content
It doesn’t matter how well-written a piece of content is. If it isn’t promoted correctly, it can’t succeed. You can’t just wait for people to chance upon your website and read your content. Well, you can, but you might end up waiting for ages.
The good news is, there are many ways you can promote your content. One way is through email newsletters or social media.
Email newsletters, in particular, are effective as the content is being promoted to people who already like the brand. Why else did they subscribe to your mailing list in the first place?
Those are not the only ways you can promote your content, however. Guest posting is also a great way to promote your piece. It’s great for generating backlinks to your content which, in turn, help improve your SEO. It’s also a great way to build your brand as an authority in a specific field.
Make sure, though, that the websites you choose to guest post on also cater to your target audience. If you’re looking to get email marketers to read your blog post, for instance, it won’t make sense to have that published on a site that caters to HR managers.
Besides, I doubt the site catering to HR managers would even accept your guest post in the first place.
Monitor Content Performance
Remember when we talked about how you need to choose your metrics first to determine the type of content to create in the first place? Well, now let’s talk about how important those metrics are, but this time, to monitor how your content performs.
But why do you need to do this? If you know your content performance, you’ll know whether or not you should make adjustments to it to achieve those metrics. Let me illustrate with an example.
Let’s say your chosen metric was sharing, and your target was to get 300 shares after one month. If your article only got ten shares after one week, you can make changes so you can increase the number of shares the following week. You can make strategic changes to your content based on performance.
For example, you can split test your headline or adapt the introduction to make it more appealing.
So, how do you monitor content performance? For our example above, all you’d need to do is access your social media account and look at your social media shares. But what if you want to know if your content is driving traffic to your website? In this case, tools like Google Analytics can help you.
Backlinks are also one way to determine whether the content you’ve written makes the cut. Content with many backlinks is considered high-quality. Why else would other websites risk their reputation and link to that content in the first place? The more backlinks you get, the higher your authority score. Your content will therefore rank higher and get more traffic.
You can use tools such as Linkody to determine the number of backlinks to your content.
Proper tracking also allows you to make adjustments to your content promotion strategy. For example, if a social media campaign isn’t performing, you can switch to more email marketing. If you monitor the performance of your content, it will also be easier for you to duplicate the success of your campaign another time. That’s because you already know what works and what doesn’t.
Quality content is crucial for any business that wishes to succeed. It gets results and delivers value. It drives people to action. But you need to know what quality content is before you produce it.
In this article, we looked at exactly that. Quality content is data-driven, adds value, and performs well across multiple platforms. It’s original, actionable, and in-depth. It has no grammatical or spelling mistakes.
We also discussed how you could create that quality content. Just choose the metrics to monitor, check how customers use the Internet, and then create the content based on what you find.
Don’t forget to promote your content. You can use email marketing, social media marketing, and even guest posting. Then monitor your content performance based on the metrics you defined to make the necessary adjustments.
Quality content is quality content because it just is. But that doesn’t mean you’ll just sit and hope that that quality doesn’t fade away. It would help if you implemented strategies to keep the quality of the content that way.
Update it regularly, for instance. Incorporate new data when something new crops up.
Follow all these tips, and all your content will get people’s attention and sustain it. The result? Well, you’ll get them to take your desired action. Your business will be on its way to success.
Author Bio: Sam is part of the marketing team at Mailshake. Sam’s goal is to inspire people to not just “hang in there” but to thrive. When Sam’s not publishing or promoting new content, you can find him playing sports and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.