Defining “Quality Content” for today’s internet
What do people mean when they say, “You need quality content” for your business? Is there a difference between regular content, quality content and high quality content? How does quality content compare to writing focused on using keyword and links?
If so you aren’t alone. Various “experts” have touted a variety of methods over the past few years for what you need to have in regards to content on your website and social media platforms to extend your reach and positively expand your brand.
So what exactly should you be aiming to do in this current environment?
Why you need “Quality”
If you have good or great content that is informative, useful and not available elsewhere people will flock to your sites. This has been proven time and time again as unknown websites get a reputation for providing great information and quickly shoot to popularity along with gaining a reputation as a place to visit or various social media accounts attain “must follow” status.
It used to be that you could pump almost any type of information out on the web or through social media channels and it would get some level of response. In the infancy of both the internet and social media the landscape was smaller with fewer voices. That is not the case anymore.
You now have a seemingly endless supply of voices and channels spewing information, some original and some regurgitated, out to the public.
Because of this endless supply of information, consumers get wise very quickly to companies that broadcast social updates and meaningless content just to be putting out something. You might as well just print a message that says, “We clearly have made no effort to provide something useful but hope you will read this anyway.”
Social media doesn’t work if you don’t provide information people want to share with other people; things that are entertaining, interesting or useful. Blogs and whitepapers will never be well read if there is low user interaction or uninteresting information. Even press releases are less-likely to be re-posted by sites that deal in that sort of web-currency if they have low value.
Content marketing, which includes using SEO, blogging, posts, surveys, white papers and the like including on social media, is the current buzzword for quality content implemented in today’s cross-platform environment. When done correctly it can keep an existing audience happy and engaged along with having the potential to bring in a new audience.
But, the first word in that buzz worthy term is still ‘content’ and it still needs to be quality if you want to find success with it.
It is always hard to create quality, but it is oh so worth it. There are a lot of ideas and concepts which we will share here that can get you started:
- Understand your audience – This is a key point for any type of content. Who are you creating it for? Once you figure that out you can better craft content in regards to understanding what they are looking for, the best voice to use to reach them and what type of value we are looking to provide.
- Providing value – Why should anyone care about your content? What are you giving them? Advice, insight, helpful true stories and anecdotes, new product information, humor, observations and news are all the types of things people are looking for. Constantly review ideas and ask yourself, will my target audience find this entertaining, interesting or useful?
- Move away from stuffed content – Content that is created purely as an SEO-filler or for keyword stuffing is on the downswing. It most certainly has its use in a well-planned SEO campaign to help with search rankings but it is obviously not the content you want to hang your hat on.
- Various formats – Variety is the spice of life. Using a range of formats not only breaks up monotony but also can appeal to a wider group of people. Videos, photographs, funny images, podcasts and other formats can add to your style of content as much as providing different types of written content.
- Regular schedule – Content should be published relatively consistently because you want to develop a regular relationship with people. Popularity is a fickle thing just as social shares can be and the quickest way to flat-line both is to post sporadically.
- Stop selling – Not everything needs to be an ad or sell a product. Constant plugs or product messages cause eyes to glaze over and drool to form in the corner of the mouth before a guest clicks away.
- Understand Google – Google’s Webmaster Guidelines are very helpful if you actually read and understand them. They provide plenty of useful information to help you formulate your SEO practices which is truly your content foundation.
- Good writing – By this I mean having headlines that make you stop, digestible content and a lack of grammar or structure errors. If you can’t do it, hire someone who can.
- Review results – Use analytics to track posts and such to see how different topics trend. Read comments and review feedback to help understand what creates engagement either positive or negative. Then use this knowledge to help with future content.
Creating quality content is not always easy, but it is well worth the effort if you want to find success with your content marketing program to extend your reach and showcase your brand.