How do you recognise quality content?

The very first piece of advice for good content marketing is this: make sure that your content is high quality. Good content should be able to resolve your target audience’s problems or issues, and take their purchasing process one step further.

But how do you know if your content — your text, video or infographic — has a chance of success? You don’t have to wait until the initial consumption figures come in to know whether your content is powerful. Quality content can be recognised at the outset. It’s wise to measure your content against the following checklist if you want to optimise your reach.

1. Originality

This applies to anyone who distributes information: from a company that shares its insights into a market segment to a newspaper that publishes current affairs articles. Duplicated or rehashed content scores poorly for originality and quality. Look for subjects or angles that set your content apart.

Content curation can also be useful. Put a fresh spin on a subject that received attention at an earlier date by adding a specific experience or other new information.

2. Quality content understands its audience

Being original isn’t always enough. Content also has to meet the needs of its consumer. Look for originality within the topics relevant to the target group — but make sure your product is relevant to them.

Relevance usually lies in explaining the problem that your products or services can solve. This may seem obvious but it’s a crucial step: if you make the wrong decision, then you attract the wrong target group to your owned media.

3. Strong content tells a story

Readers and viewers love a story. Content can be good without a narrative, but both large and small story elements greatly elevate its chances of success. Small elements are usually short examples or anecdotes that clarify a point; large elements usually find their way into case studies or interviews.

4. Correct form

Quality is not exclusively about the type of content; it also has to be fundamentally correct in form. Spelling and grammar are the most obvious examples of this, but there’s also the question of the device that the content will be viewed on. Write differently for the Internet than for print, but also ensure that your digital content is just as easy to consume on a mobile device as it is on a desktop.

5. Listen to your instincts

With the above criteria in mind, you can feel more confident in your content. But keep in mind that an audience is always unpredictable — even content that closely follows the above guidelines can fail.

This is why most specialists advise you to heed your inner voice. There are times when you instinctively feel that an article or a video is going to be successful without being able to explain why. You need to have the courage of your convictions and publish at such times too.