35+ Definitions of What Quality Means in Content

Editor’s notice: What constitutes high quality content material might be mercurial, however content material entrepreneurs should outline it for his or her applications to know whether or not content material is profitable. To assist you in defining high quality, we introduced again this put up from a pair years in the past.

Quality wins. But what does high quality content material actually imply? How do entrepreneurs assure they’re creating one thing that is top of the range?

We requested the Content Marketing World presenters how they outline and obtain high quality content material.

I admire the simplicity of the response (and the supposed grammatical mistake) from Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity: “Quality content resonates with its audience. If it doesn’t do that, it may be smart or beautiful or funny, but it ain’t quality.”

Quality content material resonates w/ its viewers. If it doesn’t do this, it ain’t high quality. @dougkessler #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Read on for 35 extra explanations and suggestions that will help you create high quality content material in your model from consultants from Google, Microsoft, and REI in addition to from businesses, authorities, and extra.

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Go to Google

Check the one-box solutions on Google. How do you stack up when Google provides just one reply to the query? How do your rivals? Another means is to ask your prospects to rank content material in actual life. Show them three or 4 items of content material (with out branding) and ask them to stack the content material in phrases of means to resolve their downside.
Wil Reynolds, founder/CEO, Seer Interactive

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Answer three questions

Anything that provides worth to the reader is high quality content material. It’s industry-focused, not trite and trivial. It will increase a reader’s understanding of a subject in a means they might not have been conscious of. To “guarantee” prime quality content material, put your self in your reader’s place and ask these questions: Is it related? Is it instructional? Does it add worth?
Chuck Hester, consumer providers director, Converge Consulting

Know your ‘competition’

Your actual competitors is purchaser inertia, apathy, and indifference. Quality content material leverages pressing purchaser issues to interrupt the ice of buyer indifference and encourage deeper engagement – with you.
Jonathan Kranz, principal, Kranz Communications 

Quality #content material leverages pressing purchaser issues to interrupt the ice of buyer indifference. @jonkranz #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Entertain, inform, forgo vainness

Quality content material attracts the marketer’s audience by being entertaining or helpful. You can know in case your content material is as much as snuff by measuring it towards KPIs that reveal precise enterprise worth (gross sales, model carry, advertising and marketing effectivity, elevated leads, shorter time to conversion, and so forth.). But beware vainness metrics! Mere visitors or engagement in the shape of likes and shares is good however not adequate.
Rebecca Lieb, analyst and founding accomplice, Kaleido Insights

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Be clear

Quality content material is trustworthy, clear, and serves no hidden agendas. The viewers is sensible and can see proper by means of content material that pretends to be one factor however is definitely a veiled try at producing transactions.
Scott Berinato, senior editor, Harvard Business Review

Quality #content material is trustworthy, clear, and serves no hidden agendas, says @scottberinato. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Strike a stability

It’s about discovering the appropriate stability of offering high quality content material by means of the varied mediums and contact factors with prospects and prospects in the correct quantity. Since the content material ought to at all times be of prime quality and relevance to the consumer, it’s extra about discovering the appropriate second to develop into profitable.
Yuval Dvir, head of on-line partnerships, Google Cloud

Get out of your personal means

What my viewers actually cares about is what they care about, not what I care about. We need to get out of our personal means and assist our viewers by giving them what they need. “High quality” is the knowledge that’s most related to them from what they need to know and what we need to inform them.
Skyler Moss, vp of digital advertising and marketing, Randstad 

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Segment your content material

If content material isn’t created with a selected audience in thoughts, it’s only a spray-and-pray technique. Improve the standard of the content material by segmenting the viewers. Think about when and the way a bit of content material might be helpful to a selected goal group. But there’s a flip aspect to segmented work – it takes far more time.
Joakim Ditlev, content material advertising and marketing specialist, Content Marketing DK

If #content material isn’t created w/ a audience in thoughts, it’s only a spray-and-pray technique. @jditlev #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Be distinctive and straightforward

Quality content material is helpful, primarily based on precise statistics or expertise, and distinctive — not accessible anyplace else. If folks want one thing and also you make it straightforward for them to search out it, they’ll come.
Josh Bernoff, creator, Groundswell and Writing Without Bullshit

Vary codecs

I strive at all times to think about not solely the substance of content material, however the construction of it, too. How does an viewers seemingly need to eat content material? Does an viewers need to learn lengthy narratives to glean what occurred at a convention? We doubted it, so our workforce endeavored to take a extra “sound-bite” strategy, protecting particular person classes with quotations from audio system, analysis highlights, sensible suggestions, and extra, fairly than straight articles. In protecting a tour of a revitalized neighborhood, I used exact instances to maneuver our protection alongside so it could pique curiosity for our readers – what I name time-stamped reporting. Quality content material employs different codecs – bullet level format, time-stamped reporting, record format, and extra – so the viewers can eat content material in attention-grabbing methods.
Michelle Park Lazette, author, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

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Incorporate cultural context

Good content material is related to your audience. Great content material additionally gives a stage of cultural relevance. Why? Culture comprises the concepts, convictions, beliefs, and implicit theories of the world we dwell in. Culture is what finally drives us and our decision-making course of. Thus, letting your content material converse by means of a filter of cultural relevance will make it much more more likely to resonate and construct long-lasting, significant relationships together with your audience.
Frank Thomas, director digital, company communications, adidas

Great #content material additionally gives a stage of cultural relevance, says @framatho. #CMWorld Click To Tweet


Think quick and long run

Quality content material delivers worth as we speak in addition to serves its readers for a few years to come back. In my expertise, the content material should provide utility and be capable of be applied immediately. The greatest approach to assure high quality is to revamp and enhance current content material that’s performing effectively. Take a winner and make it higher and preserve it evergreen.
Adam Franklin, CEO, Bluewire Media

Engage your viewers

Another means of saying “quality content” is “engaging content.” If content material is participating to an viewers, then it has a stage of high quality. For instance, some folks don’t have a look at tip lists as high quality, however in actuality some media like BuzzFeed and Mashable have had lots of success with these lists as a result of they’re extraordinarily amusing, which is high quality for his or her readers. I exploit the acronym IDEA to ensure high quality. If it’s industry-leading, data-driven, instructional, and amusing, it’s usually a win with an viewers.
John Hall, CEO, Influence & Co.

If #content material is industry-leading, data-driven, instructional, & amusing, it’s a win w/ an viewers. @johnhall #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Be the one place to get it

Quality content material is content material your viewers wants and may’t get anyplace else. It’s not “me-too” content material – it’s content material you’ve created in response to having a radical understanding of the challenges your group faces every day. Ask your self what particular areas of experience or knowledge do you’ve got internally to make use of for the profit of your viewers? That’s the kind of content material you must pursue, fairly than clickbait “10 Things Marketers Can Learn From the Latest Social Media Meme” content material.
Erika Heald, guide, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

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Position your uniqueness

Create one thing that isn’t an also-ran of another person’s work. Want to cowl a subject that’s already obtained lots of protection? Ask, “What can I add to this that will be relevant and interesting to my readership?” or “What outstanding questions can I offer my company’s expertise to answer?”
Jenn Renoe, media supervisor, Publicis Health Media

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Dream larger

I favor to make use of the time period “value.” You want to supply one thing of worth to your viewers and the extra worth you present the higher. Research what your rivals are offering and supply content material extra priceless. For instance, think about there have been lots of of articles associated to constructing a persona for content material advertising and marketing. Instead of creating one other article, create a software program program to assist construct personas routinely. This is what HubSpot did.
Ian Cleary, founder, Razor Social

Research what your rivals are offering & present #content material extra priceless, says @IanCleary. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Test it

Your audience can let you know in case your content material high quality is crap. You want to check content material with a small section of your audience and get their response first. Too many entrepreneurs are guessing as an alternative of utilizing secondary and first-hand analysis to see what’s going to succeed. Research reduces threat.
Melissa Eggleston, director of consumer expertise, Teamworks 

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Don’t cease speaking

I believe it begins together with your viewers. Talk to them – not as soon as, however usually. How are their wants altering month to month and yr to yr? We all assume we all know our audiences, however no persona is nearly as good as really listening to their wants. Data can present you developments, however folks’s wants are sometimes irrational and unpredictable.
Ryan Knott, public engagement specialist, TechSmith Corporation

Blend artwork and science

On the science aspect, the content material meets the intent of a shopper, and that’s indicated and measured by engagement with the content material. On the artwork aspect, the content material has an aesthetic and elegance that meets the style of a shopper. This is tougher to measure however as necessary.
Paolo Mottola, director of content material and media, REI Co-op

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Do the work in your viewers

It isn’t sufficient to say, “this happened” or “this is going on.” High high quality content material synthesizes concepts and attracts a conclusion, curates and brings collectively sources, or surprises and delights the viewers.
Zontee Hou, senior strategist, Convince & Convert

Create purchaser personas primarily based on actual folks

Metrics resembling downloads or web page views inform us that patrons are looking for solutions, however we nonetheless don’t know if the content material we delivered was thorough and compelling. Begin with readability in regards to the questions patrons and prospects are asking all through their journey. Personas have to be primarily based on in-depth interviews with actual folks who’ve navigated an precise shopping for choice, revealing deep perception into the patrons’ battle to know their choices and make an knowledgeable alternative. Making stuff up is at all times going to be a hit-or-miss proposition.
Adele Revella, CEO, Buyer Persona Institute

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Get in your reader’s thoughts

Anyone crafting content material should put himself or herself in the reader’s sneakers always. If you don’t know sufficient to get contained in the reader’s head, do as a lot analysis as mandatory till you’re assured you perceive their skilled challenges, shopping for habits, needs, wants, and ache factors. Ensure that writers and different content material producers are succesful of (and are) placing the viewers first.
Lisa Murton Beets, analysis director, Content Marketing Institute 

Anyone crafting #content material should put him or herself in the reader’s sneakers always, says @lisabeets. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Make it 10 instances higher

Ideation is the important thing to high quality content material. The course of includes looking for content material that exists in your matter, and evaluating what’s been mentioned, the place it’s been mentioned, the way it’s been introduced, and who mentioned it. It additionally includes guaranteeing that your matter is what your viewers is looking for.

We’ve been implementing long-form, high-quality content material, which Moz’s Rand Fishkin calls “10x content.” It makes use of ideation to establish the highest put up on a given matter after which creating content material that’s 10 instances higher – going deeper on a subject and enhancing it with movies, pictures, and graphics. We’ve been doing this on our personal weblog for over a yr now, and have seen natural visitors to our weblog enhance nearly 50%.
Arnie Kuenn, CEO, Vertical Measures

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Look on the knowledge

Quality is actually decided by our viewers – prospects, prospects, and brokers. If they discover it helpful – which we will inform from the knowledge and suggestions – it could seemingly be high quality. We purpose to construct on an perception and create content material that’s extremely usable and/or inspiring to our audiences. That’s high quality.
John Bell, vp enterprise digital advertising and marketing, Travelers

Make it tight

Quality content material is unique, perhaps even counterintuitive. Quality content material is detailed and covers the subject from many angles. But it’s tight. Not a phrase is wasted. And it’s usually extremely visible and straightforward to eat. There isn’t any assure, however in the event you transcend what your viewers expects, you’re heading in the right direction. Look for clues in your knowledge.
Andy Crestodina, founder, Orbit Media

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Prove it

Attribution from dependable sources, quantifiable proof, distinctive views, and unique/distinctive factors of view are the traits of high quality content material.
Dan Curran, president, PowerPost

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Get readers to behave

Quality content material converts. It will get extra folks to subscribe to your weblog, generates extra downloads, and creates extra leads for your enterprise. Track the outcomes of your content material – stack items subsequent to one another towards your metrics. You’ll see patterns emerge of the belongings that result in essentially the most conversions, after which you can also make extra content material prefer it.
Heather Hurst, senior director of communications, Workfront

Quality #content material converts, says @heatherhurst. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Be extra vital

Marketers have to get stingier about what qualifies as an perception versus what’s simply plain outdated data. An perception will register as surprising. It will destabilize a prospect’s understanding of their world, making them rethink how they’re doing issues as we speak. Information, alternatively, merely confirms already established or already inferable truths – what I name “true but useless” data.
Tim Riesterer, chief technique and analysis officer, Corporate Visions

Fulfill no less than three parameters

I take into account 5 parameters and purpose to get no less than three of them to suit. Is the content material (1) unique, (2) related to the platform and the viewers, (three) well timed in phrases of present points, subjects, or occasions, (four) optimized not only for the platform and viewers itself however a name to motion, and (5) snackable?
Donna Moritz, visible content material strategist and founder, Socially Sorted 

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Let readers make conclusion

Quality content material is when others acknowledge you’ve got one thing to say that relates again to one thing you consider in. Once that is unlocked, a complete new panorama takes form. This is the flexibility to construct an viewers and create higher prospects. In the phrases of creator Neil Gaiman, “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.”
Mark Masters, managing director, The ID Group

Meet on the intersection

Valuable content material – content material that drives income on the finish of the day – is just discovered on the intersection of three issues: relevance to your viewers, persistently delivered on the identical channel, and a better high quality than anybody else is creating in as we speak.
Andrew Davis, creator and CEO, Monumental Shift

Go for the guts

Quality means hitting that candy spot in the shopper’s coronary heart. You know the one – the place somebody has a flutter of “the feels” after watching or studying a bit of content material and it resonates in some method.
Ben H. Rome, advertising and marketing supervisor, American Industrial Hygiene Association

Quality #content material means hitting that candy spot in the patron’s coronary heart. @bhrome #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Give them what they need

After consuming your content material, readers or viewers stroll away with recommendation, steps, or perception they will apply to a job they should get accomplished. Additionally, they will get by means of the content material in an affordable quantity of time and are engaged sufficient to maintain studying or viewing right through.
Sherri Powers, director of advertising and marketing, TechSmith

Gut verify with 2 questions

Quality might be boiled right down to the reply to 2 questions: (1) Is your content material addressing your prospects’ wants? and (2) Are your prospects strolling away glad with the way you’re addressing their wants?
Margaret Magnarelli, govt director, development advertising and marketing, Morgan Stanley

Address four issues

Quality content material connects with:

  • Your viewers – It informs, entertains, and adjustments a means of pondering. It connects with the mind, connects with the guts, and connects with their wishes.
  • Your enterprise targets – It drives your viewers by means of the client journey by serving to create consciousness and curiosity and creating high quality leads that convert to gross sales and nurtures prospects after the sale.
  • Your group – It helps the gross sales workforce nurture leads. PR can inform nice tales to boost the model. HR can use it to recruit high quality workers. Customer service can use it to attenuate name instances and develop glad prospects. Bring all of it collectively by making your content material technique a cornerstone to your buyer expertise technique.
  • Your group – It highlights the companions inside your provide chain. Pull in influencers and thought leaders who resonate together with your viewers. Collaborate with complimentary suppliers inside your to raise the larger story. Leverage inner experience with worker advocacy. Encourage user-generated content material to drive buyer advocacy.

Scott Lum, social media advertising and marketing supervisor, Microsoft


Jay Acunzo, creator and host of Unthinkable podcast, gives some nice recommendation that may work with any of the tips about methods to create high quality content material: “Try. Try really freaking hard. Try until you feel like you can’t try any harder, then go see your family or watch the game or take a walk. Then come back to your work tomorrow and try really freaking hard again.”

He continues, “Zoom in from the abstract ideal here and realize: If each thing you work on was slightly better than the last, others are more likely to love your content. If we just made the point constant improvement, rather than a nonexistent, final state of quality, the rest takes care of itself. There’s no clear line, no simple secret, and no guarantees. There is only hard work done with the right intent. In other words? Try.”

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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