Why Producing High-Quality Content Matters for Your Business
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Content marketing has become one of the most powerful tools used by digital markets worldwide. But to truly impact your audience, it is not enough to populate social media channels or send emails regularly. Your business‘s content must hit the audience’s pain points and deliver value.
What is high-quality content?
The Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing sums up quality content. The organization believes content needs to be “valuable, relevant, and consistent.” Think of these three attributes as the pillars of quality content.
- Providing value: after reading or viewing your content, the user knows something they did not know before. Alternatively, your content may have helped them solve a problem.
- Being relevant: your content needs to relate to your audience’s life situation. Perhaps it helps them in their career, solves a relationship issue or serves to entertain them during a break. All three scenarios are perfect examples of content relevant to the person consuming it.
- Being consistent: publishing an award-winning blog post once and then never again does not constitute high-quality content marketing. Consistency requires regular content of similarly high quality.
While those three pillars can help businesses develop their content strategy, users or potential customers will be the final judge of content quality. This is one of the most important aspects of content marketing to keep at the heart of your strategy. Content marketing is not about writing or shooting videos for you but for your audience.
Producing high-quality content
Several household brands have excelled at producing high-quality content and strategically using it to build stronger bonds with their audiences.
Example 1: LinkedIn
Out of all social media platforms, LinkedIn retains perhaps the narrowest focus on providing content that helps users advance in their professional careers. The platform may be a social network, but contrary to some of its competitors, its focus is on networking rather than socializing.
This focus is reflected in the content of LinkedIn’s blog, where writers produce highly targeted pieces that impact readers. The focus is not on building the writer’s or the platform’s profile but solely on solving user problems. Plus, the platform has mastered the art of repurposing content. Whitepapers become blog posts, and eBooks find a wider audience when extracts are shared.
As a result, users understand that LinkedIn provides high-value content relevant to their career development and stays up to date.
Example 2: Shopify
Shopify has become synonymous with successful eCommerce, and content marketing has been one of the company’s key growth strategies.
Like LinkedIn, Shopify refrained from pushing its brand. Instead, the team helped users and other businesses interested in eCommerce understand the field better by launching an eCommerce encyclopedia. This online shopping encyclopedia proved a valuable tool to others and established the Shopify team as an expert.
By creating content that helped users and customers, Shopify built its brand reputation and developed trust. Plus, the encyclopedia drove traffic to the Shopify platform. Individual entries are kept short to suit the audience. Shopify knew users were not looking for in-depth explanations but preferred a quick read at this stage.
Example 3: TED Talks
Even if you are not an avid follower of TED talks, it is impossible not to have heard of the brand. TED talks are outstanding free video talks shared on YouTube or the brand’s podcasts. This is an excellent example of video (and audio) content marketing.
TED talks cover any subject, and all have one thing in common: they want to share thought-provoking ideas. Global experts present many, some of whom have celebrity status, whereas others cover a specific niche.
How has TED built an audience of over 20 million YouTube subscribers? The answer is simple: whether it is the global, invitation-only conference or a spin-off channel of the TED universe, quality always comes first. Speakers are engaging and have equally exciting thoughts to share. This focus on quality has helped attract some of the biggest names on the global speaking circuit and continues to grow the TED brand.
How can your business produce quality content?
Before choosing a delivery format, start by considering your audience. Successful content provides value. Any brand considering content marketing needs to ask how the business can provide value to existing clients and gain the attention of others. You can better fulfill your customers’ needs by understanding what your customers want from your business.
Updating existing content should be part of your content marketing strategy if your business has already started content marketing. This is especially important if you are operating in a field like technology, where things are changing quickly. Plus, updating existing content will benefit other aspects of your digital marketing strategy, including search engine optimization (SEO).
Speaking of SEO, do you know what your potential customers look for when searching for companies like yours? SEO specialists call this search intent. Understanding how your audience looks for your products or services helps you tailor your content.
Keep your content engaging and easy to understand. If your content strategy includes longer blog posts, whitepapers or eBooks, they must be well presented and easy to read. Content that is hard to digest because it is challenging to understand rarely goes viral. Short sentences almost always beat long-winded explanations. If you offer video content, think about your presentation style and the technology used to record your content.
Content marketing is a great way to connect with existing audiences and reach new ones. As with every form of digital marketing, a strategic approach is the most likely to succeed. Content marketing means being consistent, relevant to your audience, and – above all – providing value.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.