Creating compelling and useful content is one of the primary goals of a brand. Content, whether in the form of an article, a billboard, or an Instagram story, serves as a tangible (or intangible) byproduct of that brand. Content embodies your brand’s values, personality, purpose, etc. We treat brands like people so that we can relate to them and resonate with their message. However, it’s easy to develop a jaded perspective of your brand and content. You become so focused and fixated on a particular objective that you can fail to assess whether the content is appropriate or impactful for your specific audience. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can perform your own audit of your content and evaluate its effectiveness before it goes out for millions to see.
The three pillars of quality content come in the form of questions: Is it on-brand? Is it on-strategy? Is it interesting? Since a brand is like a person, you wouldn’t want its messages to seem out of character or unrealistic. Staying on-brand with the look, feel, and sound will strengthen and confirm it as an established and distinct identity in the marketplace. Content should also stay on-strategy, in that it remains focused on its overarching intent and purpose. When a user engages with your content, they should take something specific out of it (hopefully, the one that you intended). Keeping on-strategy also aids in staying on-brand, as you are integrating all of the pieces of the content seamlessly. And lastly, which might be self-explanatory, the content should be interesting. No one stops in their tracks to take the time to read or watch something boring or mundane. Put effort into making your message compelling, even if the subject matter might be inherently dull.
As we mentioned earlier, someone will only stop to consume your content if it is valuable to their time. Therefore, you need to identify (rather quickly) that your message is worthy of the audience’s attention. A captivating hook or attention-grabber comes into play. Frequently, this comes in recognizing a problem that the user might need a solution. Think about commercials you see daily; they usually begin with, “do YOU have stubborn stains?” “are YOU suffering from back pain?” By starting the message with an immediate acknowledgment of a particular issue, you’ll grab the viewer’s attention if it applies to them. And then, after that, you can address the call-to-action and other vital pieces.
To elaborate on sometimes being stuck in your microcosm, as mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to receive feedback from other perspectives before launch. You can be so skewed in your opinion of what content is well-received and impactful. Recruiting a few others to interact with it will provide some fresh eyes. You can gather how to make it better, more digestible, more captivating, etc.
Viewing something with fresh eyes can also mean that you review your content differently. For example, if you’re examining a written article, it could be very beneficial to read it aloud rather than simply skim it. Your brain already recognizes that it’s your writing, so errors in speech or syntax might not translate if your brain almost anticipates what will be said. When reading texts aloud, you can identify awkward phrasing, repeated words, run-on sentences, and other figments that might delineate from your content. Ask yourself, is this conversational? If you are reviewing a commercial, write down the words from the script to make sure they would make sense executed textually.
Determining the platforms that your content will live on is usually done at the beginning of content creation, as it navigates the process along the way. During production, and while assessing afterward, regularly check in with yourself to ensure this content is going in the right place because the market can change super quickly. You should especially do this if your content creation spans over several months or years, as trends consistently come and go. Other previously applicable things might not be so relevant by the time of launch. Your target audience might also be spending more of their time on a different platform than researched before the content creation. In short, it’s okay to switch gears by the time you are ready to publish your content.
We hope you enjoyed these five quick tips to auditing the quality of your brand’s content.
Grova Creative is a minority and veteran-owned agency headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, and works with clients all across the United States. If you are a business or organization seeking help with advertising, marketing, branding, messaging, marketing, strategy, website development, or other creative assets, email Grova Creative at [email protected] or visit grova.com.