Marketers seeking to foster engagement and content usage have a variety of tools and tricks to make sure the data hits in the right way. In this article we explore one of each to ensure that your content strategy delivers valuable material.
Science: Establish your content benchmarks
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s Ahava Leibtag, the key to creating valuable content is to establish specific benchmarks, by which you can measure the efficacy of the content you have created. While some of Ms. Leibtag’s benchmarks have psychographic elements, most of the challenges of creating high-value content can be traced to technical aspects related to CCMS integration, as well as dispersed teams struggling to follow a comprehensive, coherent plan.
Taking a page from “Checklist Manifesto” of Dr. Atul Gawande, Leibtag urges content strategists to break things down into an easy-to-follow workflow available for the entire team, checking off various metrics along the way. The internal checklist serves as a guide for all departments when assembling content for publication. As part of her step-by-step content creation checklist, Leibtag has content teams ask the following questions:
- Is the content easily able to be be found? To ensure findability, Leibtag urges the inclusion of heading structures that produce heading tags (such as the <h1> tag) in HTML, significant SEO-optimized metadata, links within body copy and text descriptions that find there way into @alt attributes in HTML for images.
- Is the content readable? Design and formatting play a vital role in content readability, which ultimately may determine its relevance.
- Is the content comprehensible? Distinct from simple readability, comprehension considers the audience’s reading and understanding level as well as writing for that specific audience.
- Is the content actionable? What kinds of calls to action or invitations to share are associated with the content? Are users compelled to comment? Is feedback solicited?
- Will users share the content? This ties to the organic integration of a call to action and the ease by which content can be shared via social media.
Artistry: Emphasize content relevance
Creating relevant content requires a different sort of content tailoring. The first task is to zero in on data that is relevant to your audience and then structure that content to present this information clearly.
“Establishing credibility with your audience is crucial.”
Second, establish credibility with your audience. Choose data and topics that are squarely associated with your area of expertise, leaning heavily on hyperlinked connections to unimpeachable sources and timely thought leadership. By showcasing connections to other content sources within your chosen market, you show that your content is part of the larger ecosystem.
Finally, innovate. Repurposed content has limited value and may invite litigation. Instead, use previously published data to synthesize new, innovative content that challenges previous assumptions and findings, creating content of inherent value and specificity that links directly back to your organization.