Humans have been training themselves to think linear and mathematically for thousands of years. One plus one equals two. Two is twice is good as one.
But content marketing follows a different path.
Creating 2 blog posts isn’t necessarily twice as beneficial as creating 1. Creating twice the length of content isn’t necessarily twice as beneficial.
It’s a mindset shift that’s hard to change sometimes, but in the age of “content shock”, you can’t just produce, you have to produce epicly outstanding content quality. It’s what drives engagement, it’s what drives social sharing and ultimately SEO, and most importantly it creates outcomes for your audience.
What Does Quality Content Mean?
Just because your budget is limited, maybe you work for a nonprofit or are a social entrepreneur, it doesn’t mean you can’t create quality content. The quality I’m referring to is not about production value as most people associate with quality. You don’t need a film crew and a top notch graphic designer to get the message to your audience.
I’ve struggled with this distinction for years I think partially because I’m quite a visual person and am quite artistic. But you must think about the difference between perception of quality and quality of message.
Many people associate quality content with the flashy, slick graphics, smooth transitions, booming audio and trendy infographics. And it’s hard not to think so. They put a lot of money and time into it. But it doesn’t automatically mean the content message is meaningful, valuable, useful, or even relevant. They just use a quality “content wrap” to try to razzle dazzle their audience into thinking they’re providing more value than the next guy.
The Problem with Only Worrying About the Content Wrap
People are growing tired of content, and they’re growing tired of wasting their time with content that doesn’t actually provide value. They get sucked into because it looks nice or sounds nice, but the VALUE isn’t there, or the message isn’t there, or the outcome isn’t there.
What happened is you’ve turned a potential lifelong follower into someone who could care less, or potentially even be disappointed to some degree. So when you put out crappy content with a flashy content wrap, you’re deceiving your audience because they’re never going to receive the value that was initially expected.
Only focusing on the content wrap goes against everything Methodic Content stands for. If we want to create impact with our content we need to think about the message and information I the content, and the transformation or outcome we can create in the consumer.
And I’ll admit, you’ve read information about quality over quantity – that’s not a new topic. But what are the questions to ask yourself to focus on the right type of quality, not just the content wrap.
- Is this same content (data, message, or instructions) available somewhere else? (If no, ask yourself why)
- If yes, which media formats are available, and which is the best for the message.
- Is there something to differentiate this content?
- Different medium that previously available
- Different detail level (simplified or complex) that others are offering
- Different tone or world point of view to other content
- Different target audience to other content
- How would the consumer find this content valuable?
- What is the outcome I want my reader to get?
- What is the emotion I want my reader to get?
- What is the action I want my reader to take? (not just buying or donating)
- Does it INSPIRE them to take action, not just ask them to?
We need to stop contributing to the same pee-filled public pool of content on the internet, and provide something that’s different, new, and valuable at the core, not just first glance.
So use these questions as a measuring stick when you’re creating content to dig to the core of what you’re creating.