The Ultimate Smart Content Checklist Every Business Should Use

7

APRIL 2017

Smart content creation is an established strategy your company can use for lead generation, sales growth, and consumer engagement building. According to a recent study, companies that create valuable content generate 67% more leads  monthly compared to those that do not. Additionally, an overwhelming 80% of business decision-makers favor getting brand and company information from content, and not from advertising. What do these statistics tell us? Basically, if content is not currently a part of your overall marketing strategy, you need to reconsider. 

Many people have trouble turning this goal into a practical reality when it comes to content creation. It has become such a big obstacle that 44% of businesses still struggle to yield content that is engaging to prospects and customers. However, using a smart content checklist can help you avoid mistakes and develop solid content that engages your audience,

Whatever your goals are, from developing a social media presence to building a loyal audience, use this checklist to successfully plan, shape, and gage the effectiveness of your content.

The Smart Content Checklist

  1. Search Engine Optimization
    1. Did you include META Information?
      • Title Tag
      • Description Tag
      • Keywords
      • H1 Tag
      • H2 Tag
    2. Did you use your primary keyword phrase at the start of the description tag?
    3. Does your description tag exceed 160 total characters?
    4. Did you tag your images?
      • Name your image file using primary or secondary keywords.
      • You can also use Alt Text with an exact keyword phrase to improve your content SEO.
    5. Did you optimize your images?
    6. Do you have quality links in your content?
      • This can help you create a strong internal link network as well as adding high authority websites to your own content.

 

  1. Accessibility
    1. What level of audience are you targeting and would they easily understand your content?
    2. Do you have enough white space?
      • Use white space to allow readers to easily digest information. Too much text can turn off your audience.
    3. Do you have clearly defined section headings?
      • Sectioning your content helps to get the main points across in distinct ways.
    4. If my content contains a list, do I have clearly defined bullets?
    5. Are you using jargon or language your audience will not understand?
      • Use language that your audience will be comfortable with and make them feel that you understand them.

  1. Formatting
    1. Do you have properly formatted multimedia?
      • Use the video (or other media) format that works for your audience and include multiple content formats to relate to them in diverse ways.
    2. What is your writing style? Is it the correct one to use for your audience?
      • Is your content in a bullet list, paragraph format, a slideshow, or all three? Try to use a variety to boost interest.
    3. Does my content have a voice or point of view?
      • Do not be afraid to show personality or have a point of view in your content writing.
    4. Is the format visually appealing?
      • Pay attention to how your formatting looks to the naked eye. If it’s too bland or lacks appeal to you, it definitely will to your reader.

 

  1. Engagement
    1. Did you leave your reader with clear next steps?
    2. Was there a clear call to action?
      • Make it so clear it is impossible to miss without being overwhelming.
    3. Is there clear value in my content?
    4. Are there any errors in the content?
      • Make sure you take the time to double check your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and citations.
      • Try to read your content out loud so you can make sure it flows well

 

  1. Strategy
    1. Do you have a clear plan for promoting your content?
      • Is it ready and formatted for social media?
      • Do you have the ability to share it with a list via email?
      • Are there other channels you can utilize for this content?
    2. Do you have a calendar of when content should be sent?
      • Is there a set schedule?
      • Is there any action on your part to make sure your content is sent?
      • Does it overlap with any other events? This includes things like holidays or big days for your audience.
    3. Does your content fit in with your overall goals and other strategy efforts?

 

Follow this simple checklist and ask yourself these important questions while creating content.

If you already have created content, this smart content checklist will help you figure out if your content lives up to where you want it to be.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 19 years’ experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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