What makes great digital content?

This week I’m asking a very open ended question because I’m considering which elements are necessary to make great digital content. You may feel this is a foolish question, because digital content can take several forms. It can be

  • copy for a website or email
  • A tweet
  • A video
  • A picture or meme
  • A poem
  • A song
  • A podcast
  • * Add any other media here *

There is no doubt that each content type above requires different skills and craftsmanship. How do we therefore come to a consensus about what creates great digital content? Well basically, before you create any piece of content in any medium, I urge you to ask one or two fundamental questions about your content.

Before creating your digital content

I always say that creating content, any content, is better than not create anything at all. By practicing consistently you will hone your craft. But you also need to ask yourself basic questions before starting to create a piece of content. Sit back and think:

  1. What is the calling of this piece? For what purpose is it being created, and what need does it answer?
  2. Is this piece interesting or unique? And is it something nobody but myself can offer?

If you consider these questions before rushing to create, the content will be better content. It is more likely to achieve its goals.

Let’s delve deeper into these questions.

1. What is the purpose of this piece of content?

Truly consider what the purpose of this piece of content is. What I mean by that is; for whom is this piece created, and is going to be useful to someone?

You can write the most sweeping piece of copy, or create the most striking video imaginable, but if there is no-one who sees the need for it, then it will not be to reach an audience, never mind please one. It will be more of a washed up starfish than a shooting star. And great digital content is always a shooting star – First you see it, then you don’t. But you cannot forget it. And you will have spent many hours creating content that nobody wants.

Another way to look at this question is; is it answering a need? If you work for a company or organisation, the answer to this question should be on the tip of your tongue. And if your business does not know what questions your customers or your audience are asking, your problems are deeper than those a great piece of content can resolve!

Work with focus. Don’t blindly second guess your audience or merely hope for success. Go ahead and give your content the best chance to succeed.

2. Is your content interesting and unique to you?

There is a sea of online content these days, and there is a lot of cookie-cutter content out there –  created to be the same as thousands of others.

Here’s the truth: every good piece of digital content will have been created in your own voice or the unique voice of your company or your organisation. Every person is unique and each individual has a unique voice. By practising the art of creating content, your voice will be nurtured and refined. So don’t try to sound like anyone else, or risk being spat out of that sea of content.

Also consider, what afe your expertise? Or what makes you interesting? What is the perspective that you, and only you, have which is going to throw a different light on your topic of discussion? These sound like hard questions and difficult ones to get to grasp of initially. But in reality, the answer should be right in front of us because we all are unique.

That is what makes for interesting content and content that no-one can find anywhere else.

You are ready to create great digital content

If you have gone to the trouble of asking these questions above before starting, then you will have done the hard work to go on and create great digital content.

Create unique content, which exists for a purpose. Avoid cookie-cutter content. And avoid those washed-up starfish.

By all means, bring different skills and crafts to all the content types and media that you are creating. But you will now have, I hope, a better idea of what form your content should take, because you know who will benefit from the piece.

Here I’ve discussed the principles that create a great piece of digital content. I hope that this puts you on a path to create the best content possible.

Do you create content? Is this a piece of content by me any good?! If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to add comment below for us to discuss!

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