I’ve become something of an evangelist for great content.
In the publishing world – I was Vice President of Content for a small publisher – I was always the editors’ biggest cheerleader. They frequently knew the market and the customer better than anyone; to not capitalize on that would have been a missed opportunity.
Beyond the publishing realm, I’ll often see that an investment in great content is set aside for just good content, or even mediocre content, in the interest of just getting it out there into the universe. A blog is published with no thought as to why it’s being published. A Twitter account is created with no real plan for what will be shared.
But no matter the platform, great content matters. And businesses need to invest in it.
Great content should speak to the target audience. Do you understand who you want your content to connect with? That target is often called the “buyer persona.” What are customers’ top concerns? What are their pain points? Why would they be landing on your website? Build a content schedule that incorporates ideas that speak to the audience you want to reach. And make sure that content ultimately supports your value proposition and showcases your expertise.
Great content should be well-written. Great ideas aside, if the content is not well-written, you’ll lose the readers early on. Keep the focus on one underlying theme, and drive that theme home. I’ll often find that amazing ideas are consistently drowned out by too many words. A professional editor can take a good article and make it great, simply by tightening a piece where it needs to be tightened and reorganizing where it needs to be reorganized.
Being well-written also involves making sure that what you’re writing – what you’re sharing – is well-researched. Also, make sure that what you write is accurate and that you’re giving credit where credit is due when citing others’ work. Cross all your t’s and dot those i’s.
And great content should be clean. Don’t underestimate the impact a typo could have on your readers. No one’s perfect, but if your content is constantly riddled with typos and misspellings, your image will be just that much less professional in customers’ eyes. If you don’t have a proofreader in-house, it’s worth hiring one to give content a final read-through before you share it with the world.