The Essential 10-Step Checklist For Quality Content Marketing (Printable)
We all know that creating high-quality content is essential in today's content-driven marketing. According to the Edelman 2021 Trust Barometer, businesses in 18 out of 27 surveyed countries rank higher than governments, NGOs, and the media. With trust being lost due to misinformation, fake news, clickbait articles, and so much general uncertainty and anxiety, it is a huge moment to shine but also a big responsibility for us content marketers!
But what defines quality content? How can we be sure, our content will perform well and serve our audience for years to come? I created a short checklist that you can print or bookmark to always remind yourself to produce the best quality content you can:
- Is it helpful? I cannot stress this point enough! If the answer is no, stop right here. Instead of just superficially describing a solution to a problem, your content must be able to provide helpful practical how-to walkthroughs as well as strategic expert advice. You can use visuals, step-by-step guidance, infographics, videos, or other appropriate ways to make the content the most helpful it can be. This takes a lot of work but if done right it will make a huge difference.
- Is it relevant to your buyer persona? Creating helpful content is great, but always be sure it ties back to your buyer personas and their needs. Let's say, you are a B2B technology company and your decision-making is the CTO or CIO, creating content for IT professionals on how to change the account type to an administrator in their Windows Settings isn't going to help. You need to be sure, your content addresses the problems and needs your primary buyer persona has otherwise you produce lots of useless traffic and leads.
- Is the voice you are using encouraging and supportive? The tone and voice are crucial when it comes to B2B Tech blog posts. Instead of talking down to your audience, be supportive and encouraging in your tone.
- Is it accurate and up-to-date? If you are in the Microsoft world, you know that nothing changes faster than Microsoft's naming conventions. It seems, whenever you got used to a name, they change it. All jokes aside, technology is a fast-paced industry and most likely your audience will call you out if your content is outdated or contains wrong information.
- Is it precisely written? Your content will need to get straight to the point, include a lot of detailed information yet just enough context and background information to make sense to someone less familiar with the topic.
- Is it authentic? 80% of people say that authenticity of the content is the most influential factor when following a brand. This means your content must have a consistent voice, sounds trustworthy, and comes across as if the company representative actually wrote it — even though it was written by someone else.
- Does it include external data, such as industry surveys, statistics, and/or analyst reports? B2B tech buyers like articles that include authoritative data, such as industry reports or surveys, statistics, and even analyst reports to give themselves or their executives hang something to hang their hat on.
- Does it contain correct sourcing? Always give credit where credit is due. Great writers will source anything they use and know how to source correctly.
- Does it include supporting visuals? B2B Tech blog posts can be very long, so including supporting visuals such as images, infographics, and charts will not only help break up the text and keep the attention of your reader but also help drive attention to points you want to specially highlight or make sure you get across. Visuals can also help your audience to understand a complex process or a confusing topic.
- Does it include a call-to-action? Always end your blog post with a call-to-action that is closely related to the content of the blog post. For example, if you are talking about Azure Virtual Desktops and your company enables enterprises to adopt this type of technology, add a consultation offer or even an invitation to sign up for an upcoming webinar about AWD.
One additional item that strictly speaking doesn't below on this list but needs to be mentioned is on-page search engine optimization. Be sure to link to additional resources, other blog posts you have written, and your website pages where appropriate and relevant. Include alt image tags on your images and a meta description before you publish your article. We wrote another checklist on that topic too, so if you need a reminder or don't know what I am talking about, head over to check it out.