What is good content?
A perfectly reasonable question, one that we are frequently asked, and one that everyone involved in content planning, creation, and measurement processes needs to understand.
Ultimately, content we consider to be ‘good’ is content that is designed to impact or influence targeted audience segments such that it drives meaningful results for your business.
As intuitive and straightforward as this sounds, in our experience, even this base level consideration is often not applied to much of the content we see organizations publishing across social media and digital channels.
While there is no magic formula for creating ‘good’ (or dare we aim for ‘great’?!?) content, there are 3 attributes that we believe every piece of content needs to exhibit to qualify as being ‘good’, ‘great’, or even better:
- Executional Excellence
Content must be contextually relevant to both your targeted audience segment(s), as well as your business or brand.
Contextual relevance to your audience requires the content you create to have some meaning to them and their lives. For example, contextual relevance can be personal, circumstantial, need- or interest-based, geographical, philosophical, time-based, and on – none of these examples are mutually exclusive, and there are often cases when applying several contexts, will result in a greater level of relevance for your audience.
Contextual relevance for your business or brand requires that the content you create has some meaning or alignment with your organization’s goals, objectives, mission, offerings, core value proposition, aspirations, brand personality, and on.
Content must provide value to your targeted audience segment(s) in at least one of the following ways: entertainment, education, emotional resonance, or utility.
Entertainment – provide enjoyment, make your content something people choose to seek out.
Education – teach people something new or interesting, or provide timely information.
Emotional resonance – make people feel something, and they’re more likely to pay attention or take action.
Utility – give people a tool or resource that will make an impact on their decision-making, on their level of understanding, or on their lives.
Even content with the highest degree of contextual relevance and value will be ignored if it is executed poorly.
We’re not going to define for you what exactly this means because it will differ greatly depending on a variety of factors that can include, but are not limited to: your business, consumers, category, competition, geography, scale, budgets, resources, and more.
This said, we urge you to research the content that your targeted audience segments choose to consume, follow, subscribe to, and share, and use these samples as a starting point to understand what they might expect from your organization.
There are times when borrowing, remixing, or building upon executional ideas can yield great results, but avoid blatant copying as this will harm your authenticity and credibility with your audience.
Better yet, but much more challenging, create something new and unexpected that might fit or build upon your audiences’ consumption habits, behaviour, and taste. Perhaps consider apportioning a test budget for planning and creating this type of content, and be sure that measurement is not an afterthought, or you’ll be left scrambling to prove performance.
Other considerations such as publication, promotion, distribution, and managing social interactions will impact the success of the content you create tremendously, but don’t suit the intent of this article, they also deserve their own focus.
We do, however, hope that this will assist you to think differently, or more strategically about your own content planning, creation, and measurement practices.
How do you define, ‘good content’?
Do you have examples of content created by yourself, or others that you identify as being ‘great’?
It would be fantastic to hear from you in the comments.
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