Organizations are generating more content than ever before — and the timelines for development keep shrinking. It can be enough of a challenge just getting to the “go live” point, never mind ensuring work is high quality.
Yet quality continues to count. While executives spend four to five hours a week reading thought leadership materials, only 17% rate what they receive as “very good” or “excellent”. Thirty-eight percent of decisionmakers say they may lose respect for a company that produces sub-standard work, and 27% say they’ve decided against awarding new business based on poor content alone.
Because there are real stakes to producing subpar content, ensuring quality even in times of high demand is key. But what is quality, exactly? How can you know if a piece is objectively good?
There may not be hard and fast rules, but look for the following characteristics in quality content:
- Clear purpose. Have a clear strategic or tactical reason for each piece beyond simply “filling the pipeline”. Consider the questions you’re trying to answer for your audience.
- Freshness. Make sure you’re bringing something new to the conversation, whether that’s new information or an alternative perspective. Uniqueness has value and helps differentiate.
- Timeliness. Produce content that connects with what’s on the minds of your audience today. Whether you’re reviewing events in an annual report or envisioning the impact of a transformative technology, make it relevant.
- Substance. Even when putting forward opinions or offering advice,back them up with facts and stats that reinforce the credibility of what you have to say.
- Interest. Style often hooks readers and holds their attention, but that doesn’t mean always being clever or provocative. A clearly written piece with energy, flow and good information can have high value for an interested reader.