To gain the trust and engagement of consumers, it’s crucial that your content offers value and reliability.
When was the most recent occasion you clicked on an advertisement?
When did you last interact with a business, whether it was through a phone call, an email, or scheduling a product demo to inquire further about their offerings?
If your experiences resemble mine, it’s been quite some time, perhaps even months.
So, what’s the alternative?
It’s straightforward. I turn to online searches and consume content that provides answers to my queries.
Chances are, I’m not alone in this behavior, considering that a recent survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that 81% of adults access the internet daily, with 28% claiming they are online constantly.
At least some of the time, they are likely engaging with brand-provided content – content that addresses their questions, alleviates their pain points, keeps them informed about industry updates, and captivates them with captivating narratives and relatable anecdotes.
For these consumers to perceive this content as both trustworthy and engaging, it must possess the qualities of being valuable and dependable. But how can we achieve this? Let’s explore.
Checklist for Crafting High-Value Content
1. Establishing Authoritativeness
No, instilling authority in your content doesn’t mean adopting the role of a middle school principal delivering a lecture to a group of unruly adolescents.
Being authoritative in your content signifies having a profound understanding of the subject matter and demonstrating it. This pertains to Google’s EAT standards, which encompass expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
For those unaware, Google employs human evaluators to assess the quality and accuracy of search results. These evaluators follow guidelines provided by Google, which contain numerous insights into how Google assesses search rankings. One crucial factor that distinguishes a high-quality search result from a low-quality one is the presence of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the content.
To substantiate your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, here are some recommended steps:
Leverage your knowledge – Utilize your extensive experience in your industry to create examples that illustrate the points and concepts you aim to elucidate.
Highlight your body of work – Refer to relevant content pieces you’ve previously published on topics that extend beyond the subject you’re addressing in this article.
Incorporate research – Include statistics and data derived from your reading and research endeavors (because if you genuinely are an industry authority, you stay updated with such developments). Ensure that the information is up-to-date and linked to the original source.
Maintain up-to-date author bios on your website – These bios should outline the authors’ experience, how they acquired it, and their qualifications. List all (or many) content pieces they’ve contributed to.
2. Providing In-depth and Comprehensive Information
It’s highly likely that your readers seek out your content because they have questions (especially if they discovered you through Google). Therefore, it’s imperative to furnish them with the answers they seek.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Here are some valuable tips to assist you:
Research the questions your readers are posing – Conduct thorough topic, audience, and keyword research. These efforts will provide you with valuable insights into what your readers are searching for and what their primary queries entail. Armed with this knowledge, you can then concentrate on crafting content pieces that directly address these questions.
Stay within a specific topic domain – Narrow your content’s focus. Delve deeply into key aspects of an overarching topic or theme. This approach enables you to provide substantial information rather than skimming the surface and repeating what your readers already know.
Determine a purpose for each piece of content you create – Before commencing the drafting process, establish the role that a particular content piece will play for your audience. How will it benefit them? Once you’ve identified the purpose, ensure that the content fulfills this role effectively. The objective is to have the reader walk away feeling that they have acquired new knowledge or solved a problem.
It’s worth noting that shorter content pieces naturally may not be as informative as longer-form content (typically, content exceeding 1,500 words is categorized as long-form). This explains why many marketers and SEO professionals advocate for longer blog posts and articles. Research supports this notion, including a study by Backlinko that demonstrates that long-form content generates more backlinks.
3. Prioritizing Readability
The third method for creating valuable content is seemingly straightforward, yet many individuals fail to execute it effectively. It all boils down to readability. However, readability encompasses more than just the proper use of spelling and grammar. It also encompasses:
- Tailoring your writing to match your audience’s comprehension level.
- Adapting your writing to suit the medium in which it will be displayed, including electronic screens of various sizes.
- Striving for clarity and conveying meaningful messages.
- Organizing the text in a clear and logical manner, adhering to readability principles such as hierarchy, white space, contrast, and consistency.
4. Embracing a Unique Perspective
Does valuable content appear, read, and feel like every other piece on the same subject? Absolutely not.
If your content merely regurgitates existing information, offers the same answers as everyone else, and sounds indistinguishable from your industry peers, it contributes to the noise rather than standing out.
Instead, strive to differentiate your content. I refer to this as your “CDF” or “content differentiation factor.” Consider the following approaches:
Provide readers with a fresh perspective on a well-trodden topic. Examine existing content and make an effort to be different or better.
Offer a unique spin, angle, or viewpoint that only you can provide.
Infuse your content with personality. Some individuals find it easy to convey their personality through writing, while others may prefer video, audio, or an interview-style approach. Think outside the conventional boundaries or find a creative way to break through them.
5. Delivering Satisfaction
Ultimately, valuable content is content that leaves readers satisfied. It replaces confusion with new knowledge, leaving readers with a sense of fulfillment.
Achieving satisfaction entails integrating all the aforementioned advice into well-crafted content. For instance, if your goal is to provide novice readers with an introduction to a complex topic, use accessible vocabulary, explain unfamiliar terms, and avoid diving into advanced concepts. Conversely, if your objective is to differentiate your content, analyze top-ranking content to evaluate the responses and identify areas where you can enhance it.
However, satisfaction also hinges on a couple of additional considerations:
Cover the topic comprehensively from start to finish. Avoid omitting crucial aspects. For instance, if your content discusses baking apple pie, ensure that you cover both crust preparation and filling. If your topic is SEO, delve into on-page and off-page factors that influence rankings.
Provide closure. Avoid leaving readers hanging. Conclude your content with a concise summary that reiterates the primary points. If possible, offer a concluding thought that effectively encapsulates what the reader has learned.
Valuable Content: More Important Than Ever
In today’s digital landscape, the significance of valuable content cannot be overstated. If you aim to capture the attention of readers and establish trust in your brand, you must prioritize adding value at every turn.
While ads can be intrusive, and sales pitches may come across as insincere, content possesses the potential to be a breath of fresh air for the countless individuals online seeking reliable information. Opt for value over noise and truth over misinformation.