A Simple Litmus Test for Creating Great Content


Any good inbound marketer will tell you that buyer personas are the foundation of a successful, long-term content marketing strategy.  Considering the needs of our segment and what stage they are at in the buyers journey helps to ensure we are serving up the right content, to the right audience at the right time.

But just what is the right content?

Sure, there are best practices, expert opinions and user data to steer us towards the answer. And while those inputs all have merit, there is one, simple, reflective question that can immediately clarify just how “right” that content is.

Is this something I would engage with?

The act of considering our brand’s content in the context of our own personal, consumption habits, acts as a kind of instant quality assurance check against the uninspired.

Start by recalling your own daily interactions with content and media.  On any given day, we are inundated with hundreds of messages from a myriad of mediums and sources. From TV to tablets, it’s estimated that the average American spends nearly half of her 24 hours consuming some kind of media.  Now consider this, out of that 10.5 hours, how much time did you spend interacting with content produced by a business or brand?  According to Havas' global Meaningful Brands study that questioned over 330,000 people in 33 countries, 60% of content created by brands is “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver”.

By evaluating content from a more personalized lens, it forces us to recognize the absurdity of expecting our audiences to actively engage with content, that we, ourselves wouldn’t seek out or share.

If we can be cognizant of the everyday realities that most modern humans face, from the sheer volume of available content, combined with the often randomized nature of what we engage with, not to mention the myriad of other demands and distractions that permeate our day, then perhaps we have a better shot at creating stories that are worth making time for.