8 hallmarks of quality content — and why they matter

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Content Strategy | No Comments
8 hallmarks of quality content — and why they matter

If we’ve heard the phrase “content is king” once in the past year, we’ve heard it a thousand times. In marketing circles, the word content is on everybody’s lips. The idea of using content marketing to prime prospects and get them ready to buy is an attractive one for marketers who struggle with getting leads in the door and supporting a complex sales cycle.

We at Suite Seven have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s remarkable to see content put on a pedestal. Marketers are recognizing that success is so much more about what the website looks like or the technology they use to send the email. It’s about the substance.

On the other hand, there’s a frantic nature to this push toward content that makes those of us charged with cleaning up big content messes a little bit nervous. Because more content is not the answer to marketers’ problems.

All hail King Quality

Quality is the true king. And only by investing in quality will companies begin to see real results from their content.

Of course, quality requires things that many marketers don’t have a ton of: time, money, content experience and skills, internal cooperation and alignment, the willingness to change processes. That means sometimes you have to make a tradeoff between quality and just getting ‘er done. Some people argue, and maybe rightly so, that you can spend months laboring to make a piece of content perfect and that the more you delay it, the less value it has.

We’re here to make the case for investing in content quality. And we want to help readers define exactly what that means. By focusing on the eight hallmarks of content quality, we believe companies can create high-quality, meaningful, valuable content that hits the mark — without wasting time and losing opportunity. These hallmarks include:

  1. Relevance
  2. Structure
  3. Credibility
  4. Accuracy and Timeliness
  5. Clarity, Readability and Focus
  6. Findability and Organization
  7. Tone and Style
  8. Overall Experience and Effectiveness 

Why invest in quality?

We’re content snobs, it’s true, so quality seems like a no-brainer to us. It signals professionalism; it shows that the organization behind the content puts as much care and attention into how it communicates as it does into its products and services; and it makes your marketing more effective. Content quality can also produce better business results. It can be a huge factor in:

  • Search engine results and traffic to your website
  • Website performance: lower bounce rates, deeper engagement, more time spent on the site, more conversions
  • Social media engagement
  • Email marketing success
  • Shorter sales cycles and higher close rates
  • Long-term customer retention and loyalty, including better customer satisfaction, more efficiency in customer service and account management, more incremental sales, etc.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring these different aspects of content quality, how to achieve them and why they matter. Regardless of how content is playing a role in your business this year, we hope these articles will help your team understand the difference between content that works and content that’s ineffective (or even damaging) for your brand.

Download our presentation on content quality

Developing a content quality initiative in your organization? See our presentation on SlideShare to share with colleagues.

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