What is high quality content?

By Peter Ishii

What is high quality content?

In the world of inbound marketing, everything is about providing quality content to your audience. And, the main criterion for quality is that the content is relevant to the recipient. But will relevance be enough for creating quality content? No! There are other aspects of quality that makes your content appealing and effective. Here are some things you should consider. At the end of this article, you can download a content creation guide.

All inbound content is created for a specific purpose. For example, it could generate traffic to your website, convert visitors to leads, or delight your existing customers. If your content achieves what it is intended for, then obviously, it is relevant to your audience and could be considered quality content accordingly. However, if your content isn't effective, the reason may be that it is irrelevant to your audience – or there may be quality issues that make your audience not respond as expected.

Content is multifaceted

Mostly, the content consists of different elements. A whitepaper is a written text, but it will typically also have illustrations. A podcast or a video with a host and guests talking will also have a title song and jingles. And, a blog article most often has a heading image. Obviously, your content is a mix of different content elements, and a content unit, e.g. a content offer, or a webinar, is the sum of its elements.

A content unit is the sum of its elements

Typically, content is a mixture of elements, where each element may improve or impair the overall impression – and, ultimately, content goal achievement.

Define what is good enough

Content creators and producers have different skills and levels of ambition. Accordingly, without an established definition of the desired quality, the output could differ from simple scribble to prize-winning content. So, which level of quality is appropriate? Simply, it is the quality required to achieve what the content is intended for – this is the definition of good enough quality. Spending resources to improve quality would not add to the effectiveness, while a too low quality would make it ineffective.   

If the content achieves what it is intended for, then it is good enough

To establish the desired good enough content quality for your company's different content, you should have content and tonality guidelines. Here you find the quality definitions and production guidelines for different content types and content elements, e.g. knowledge content, imagery, and tone of voice.

No one is an expert in everything

When creating content, it is natural to start from the message you want to convey, and mostly, this is in written text. Then you add some elements, e.g. images or illustrations, for making the content more appealing to the eye. Finally, you pack it into a content unit like a pdf or a blog article of a specific design.

A text, a picture, a sound, or a design will have different quality parameters when standing alone. It's natural to pay most attention to the content type(s) you're familiar with. A writer typically focuses on the text and consider images and design as complementary, while an art director focuses on aesthetics rather than words per se.

However, the content elements respectively, may be perceived differently by your audience. Accordingly, it's a good idea to make sure the total impression – and possibly impact – is not spoiled by you being careless with the details.

Each content element has its quality criteria - listen to the specialist

If in doubt whether a content element is good enough, you could consult a colleague with experience in the content type in question.

Download content creation guide

In this guide, you will get advice to facilitate content creation for your audience in specific contexts. That is providing the right content of the right quality, to the right end-user in your business context.

Content creation guide

Want to know more? Through our content creation guide: what, why, when and how to use it, you'll find much more to read!

You can also read this article in Swedish on Onlineguiden.

Peter Ishii
Specialist in generalism. Content generalist with decades of experience in all kinds of content, notably online content.
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