In our previous issue of asterisk*, we looked at why quality matters when it comes to marketing content. (Hint: it can have a big impact on brand perception and buying choices.) The next obvious question is, “So how do you make quality content?”
While the exact steps will vary depending on the type of content, there are a few essentials that can be factored into any quality-focused content development process:
Always be clear how any piece of content supports your business goals. What is it reinforcing, to whom, and why is that important? With that ultimate target in mind, it’s easier and usually faster to make on-the-fly decisions about execution along the way. If you’re developing a content program or campaign, work out how one piece builds on what’s come before and prepares the reader for what will follow.
Identify where you can add value for your readers by closing a knowledge gap or addressing an information need. If it’s not clear from your internal understanding where those opportunities lie, a quick Google search can reveal spaces for thought leadership in your market.
Break content development down into manageable steps and stages with “gates” between them. Once a stage is completed and signed off internally, if done thoughtfully and with diligence, there should be no need to go back to it. You can advance toward the next milestone with the confidence that you’re building quality in at each increment.
Disciplined marcom teams generate high volumes of content in short timeframes by keeping things practical. If you have a small number of internal gatekeepers who have to approve all the materials for a campaign, keep the campaign focused or stage out the reviews to avoid time-pressured bottlenecks. Or if subject-matter expert time is hard to come by, don’t plan optimistically and hope they’ll be free. Allow for a longer research window, be clear up front about why you’re asking for their time and give them questions in advance so they can prepare.
Applying these principles boosts the odds of content development success — and provides the checks and balances needed to maintain quality along the way.
If you’d like to talk further about how to generate top-quality results for your business, drop us a line at [email protected].