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What Does Quality Content Look Like in 2018?

Quality content is getting harder to come by these days. All I see on my Twitter feed and email inbox are lookalike articles that rehash the same tired stuff over and over. Surely there must be something new for marketers to write about… right?

In my honest opinion, there’s just too much copycat content in the digital world, and it’s doing a disservice to honest readers looking for real solutions. It’s also not doing marketers any favors because of the increased competition for visibility and the ongoing struggle to differentiate their value-driven content from lookalike competitors.

These days, creating quality content is more important than ever, and it’s only getting more difficult to create. The term ‘quality’ has been largely abused and tossed about in digital marketing, and it’s time to redefine what quality content actually means in 2018.

#1 – Quality Content Marketing Answers Questions

If you want people to read your content, it first has to be useful and provide some form of value to your audience. Whether you’re growing an audience or already have loyal followers, the biggest target to aim for is quality that answers questions.

If people are asking questions on a particular subject, then you know it’s a subject people actually care about.

When you can provide content your audience truly needs – rather than services you’re trying to sell or answers you think they need – they’ll be more likely to trust you as a reputable source. If people are asking questions about the products or services you sell, design content to answer those questions. This gives you a deeper ‘in’ that will not only earn their attention but also their loyalty.

#2 – Content Should Provide Solutions

Don’t confuse answering questions with providing solutions – they’re not interchangeable. For example, someone wanting to know how to get rid of acne doesn’t just want to read about creams or how to wash their face. Actual product recommendations, ingredients to look for, or homemade remedies could strengthen the content and give you a greater authoritative vibe.

Part of the problem I often see is that most “solutions” delivered in content marketing only skim the surface. They talk about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’, but not always the deeper level ‘how.’  In many cases, this is because content creators want to give readers a taste to entice them to reach out for more information (or buy into their services). In other cases, there can be myriad variables that make it harder to create a set-in-stone process for a topic.

It’s important to give your audience actionable advice in the content you create. Simply presenting a problem and digging at their emotions without also providing a solution comes off as salesy and self-serving.

#3 – It Supports Your Brand

One of the biggest obstacles to creating quality content is getting it to look different than other content on the same subjects. For example, I’m one of the thousands of writers that blog about content marketing.  Yet I manage to find unique angles and present my own take on the subject because everything I write is supported by my brand.

This is arguably the best way to make your content stand out from the rest. No other brand is quite like yours, and relying on your brand to boost your content can help you create a unique edge in the market, even if you have tons of competitors writing on the same topics.

#4 – It Helps You Achieve Your Marketing Objectives

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if your content gets a hundred readers or ten thousand readers. Content is useless it does what you designed it to do.

Granted, content can have different goals. You might create pieces simply to raise brand awareness or drive website traffic. Some pieces might be designed to sell. Whatever your goals, quality content will help you achieve them.

If your content isn’t meeting your expectations, you might want to see if Steps 1-3 in this guide are part of your strategy.

Quality Content is Still Achievable

Resorting to clickbait or pieces that offer entertainment value only might help you get views and shares, but it does nothing to cement buyer loyalty and establish a positive reputation. Creating content is easy, but making quality content is only achievable by those who understand what quality means by today’s standards.

If you get it right, quality content can be a powerful force in your marketing. And the good news is it’s never too late to start.

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