With the huge push for social media content over the past few years, many firms have begun to wonder if they no longer need substantive, quality content. After all, if you're consistently getting tweets and likes for your one-sentence social media posts, why invest the time and resources into producing quality content?
The truth is that high quality content is more important than ever, and here's why:
- Quality content stands out from the crowd, especially when the crowd is hovered around one-sentence social media posts.
- Google continues to reward quality content over fly-by-night content, thus increasing your site's visibility.
- Great content lives significantly longer than low-quality social media content, building your brand's online perpetuity.
- High quality content gives your brand a reputation for solidity and staying power.
With reasons like this, you can't afford to neglect the production and publication of high quality content for your business, but how do you know if the content is of high enough quality? The following five key indicators can help you to set a standard for the content you create.
Original content doesn't just mean that it passes a Copyscape scan or that it's not plagiarized. Original content says something that only your business can say because of their unique insights, experiences, and point of view. This doesn't mean that your original, quality content has to be written by someone who currently works at the business, but it does mean that whoever writes your content should be given enough information to produce content that reflects your unique situation. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What can we offer that no one else can?
- Who specifically are we trying to reach?
- How can we improve their lives?
The answers to these questions can help you to produce original, quality content.
It's Timely and Relevant
Yes, quality content will live online for many years to come, but when it first appears, it should be timely enough to grab readers' attention. For example, if you're going to publish a piece about spring home maintenance, you probably don't want to post it in September.
You'll also want to keep your content current by using industry news to come up with topics. When you come out with quality content on a subject that is big news at the moment, you'll increase the traffic to your site and establish them as a thought leader in their industry.
Often, readability is what makes the difference between mediocre content and great content. You can take two pieces on the same topic, and one will just speak to the reader while the other is tedious to get through. The difference is in the skill of the writer--it's in a writer's knack to sound like a friend or next door neighbor who just happens to be talking in detail about the topic you're searching for online. It's in the way a writer makes a complicated topic sound simple and understandable to a newbie.
Gone are the days when a simple text post could draw in the big crowds. Today's quality content includes images, diagrams, interactive tools, video, infographics, and links to experts in your field. By producing a variety of content, your increase the value of your website, blog, and social media profiles.
When you get readers to your site, you want them to be completely focused on the message you worked so hard to produce, and you do not want them to be distracted by poor grammar and spelling. Typos, mistakes, and sloppy writing erode your credibility and keep readers from taking you seriously.
If you produce content in-house, hire an editor to go over the work before you post it online. Even professional writers use editors to help them see the mistakes that are so difficult to see in your own writing.
The quality of your content can have a huge impact on the success of their business. When content is original, timely, readable, multi-faceted, and polished, it will be shared again and again, extending your marketing reach far beyond the reaches of existing contacts and network. Better yet, it will continue to serve you year after year, drawing customers to you and reinforcing your reputation for quality, expert knowledge, and service. A little investment in original content today can pay off enormously in the months and years to come. All you have to do is produce and publish it.