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Evaluating the quality of a writer’s work may seem daunting if you don’t have a writing background, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you have an onsite content writing team, hire freelance writers, or both, your written content should meet your company’s standards. You can’t just gather their work, put it on your website, and hope for the best. Your investment should produce a positive return. However, it can be challenging for people who don’t have experience or a background in writing to identify good and bad content. Because each piece of content you publish should shed a positive light on your brand, use these tips to help guarantee quality.
How to Identify Great Content
Look for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. First, the writer should have taken all measures to guarantee an error-free article.
If you provided a style guide for the piece they wrote, make sure they followed it. For example, make sure they spell out certain words or use abbreviations every time.
Accurate statistics and verifiable facts.
If the written content makes an argument backed up by statistics, spot-check them to ensure they’re accurate. If the article references another published article, research the study or thought leader and audit a few references to verify them.
Read the content out loud to yourself. Does it flow or sound awkward? Visually scan it to see if it’s broken up into subsections and lists to make it easier to read.
Tone and voice.
Reading aloud helps you evaluate the content’s voice and tone. If you want a serious piece, but the writer has injected a snarky tone into it, ask them to correct it. Also, make sure that the voice, whether it addresses the customer directly (“you”) or discusses customers in general (“they”), is consistent throughout the piece.
Click links in the content to make sure they work. Also, make sure every time the writer inserts a link, it’s relevant to the sentence or paragraph.
The piece’s objective.
Read through the piece and make sure it meets your marketing objectives. Ask the writer to make the appropriate changes if it doesn’t support your marketing efforts.
Make sure the content isn’t plagiarized, and if content that’s primarily human-written is important to you, use an AI content detector like Originality.AI to check for both plagiarism and AI-written content.
That’s what you need to know about identifying quality content when you don’t have a writing background. You don’t have to be an editing or writing professional to launch a successful content marketing campaign. However, you must know how to recognize good content when you see it, and your content has to produce a healthy return on investment. That said, if you follow a consistent publishing schedule, tracking key metrics is important to understand if your content efforts are successful or unsuccessful. Depending on your content goals, here’s a brief overview of how to evaluate success:
- Increased brand awareness – Track metrics like page views, video views, referral links, downloads, social shares, social mentions, and website traffic.
- Customer engagement – The best indicator of engagement is the number of customers who share or comment on your content. Track metrics like likes, favorites, retweets, +1s, favorites, and pins. Also, track blog comments and inbound links.
- Lead generation – Good lead generation metrics to track include blog subscriptions, new social network followers, email subscriptions, form submissions, and content downloads.
- Customer loyalty – To measure customer loyalty, track how many social media or blog followers are consistent, active users. You can also keep track of how frequently current customers view your content.
- Direct sales – It’s essential, but not always easy, to link increased sales to content marketing efforts. You can track short-term promotions related to a content push or cross-promotions you’re recommending in recently-published content. Overall, if you’re seeing sales increases along with positive metrics related to brand awareness, engagement, leads, and customer loyalty, your content marketing is likely a major force behind stronger revenue.