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Everyone talks about creating ‘great content’. It’s said that great content will bring in customers, build community, and grow your business. However, it’s very hard to determine what folks mean when they throw around general terms like ‘great content’. Fortunately, there are ways to know if content will be highly effective. Here’s how to know if what you’ve created is truly great or destined for forgetfulness.

1.     Does it fit into your brand story? Great content doesn’t stand alone. Instead, it weaves itself into your existing brand story, strengthening it and adding detail. A good content strategy involves knowing who your brand is and sharing that story with your prospects throughout your content channels. Great content aids in creating and sharing that story with your target market.

2.     Does it speak to your ideal client? Each business and brand has an ideal client. Great content won’t talk about you and your ideas; instead it will connect directly to the life of your ideal client. You want content to draw someone in to your company story, and relate your story to their life. Truly great content addresses the needs, concerns, and fears of your target market and offers a solution.

3.     Does the content match the channel? Just like a great football player can look like a dud on the wrong team, great content won’t be effective if it’s not properly formatted for the channel. If your content is heavy on graphics, consider Pinterest or a blog, but not Twitter (unless you link to another platform, of course). A great video can shine on Facebook or YouTube, but likely would fall flat on LinkedIn. When sharing your content, make sure you choose the platform that best showcases the message.

4.     Is the content memorable? Knowing what makes content memorable can be the difference between a piece that is a hit and a piece that is a flop. Think about what makes you remember something. Three ideas that come to mind for me are touching stories, great graphics, and easy takeaways that I can do immediately. Controversy can also be memorable, but be very careful before you incorporate controversy into your brand story. It can backfire badly.

5.     Is it shareable? Viral content is among the most effective for any brand. While it’s almost impossible to know what content will go viral, it’s very clear that the content must be easy to share in order to even stand a chance. Most social media sites have built-in sharing mechanisms. Make sure your blog and any other platforms also give your visitors a variety of ways to share content.

Creating great content isn’t easy. Not every piece of content you put out will be a homerun, but if you follow these five principles before you hit ‘publish’, you’ll be building a great content platform for your brand that will connect with customers and bring in sales.

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