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The sheer amount of online content is staggering—and there’s more of it every second. Companies in all industries now regularly post blogs, prepare e-books, and build out their own website content—and the effect is something of a content overload. It’s more difficult than ever for your content to stand out. Difficult, but not impossible.

See, there’s a wide gap between good and mediocre content—and if you know the hallmarks of the good stuff, you can work to make your content truly distinguished and effective.

But what does good content look like? We’d argue that there are seven traits all effective content shares. We’ll list them for you here.

What Makes Content Great?

Good content is written for a specific audience. Effective writing is never general. It’s written with a specific group of people in mind—the audience laid out in your buyer personas. Before you ever write a word of content, you should think carefully about who you’re addressing, what their needs are, and how your content can offer some kind of solution.

It’s optimized for search and social, too. What do we mean when we say that content is optimized? Well, for our purposes today, we mostly just mean that it has the right keyword phrases inserted—as naturally and as judiciously as possible. This allows your content to be discovered by search engine users, including people who search for content on Facebook or Twitter.

Good content provides value. What’s in it for your reader? What benefit will they receive from reading your content? Those are the questions that should guide your content creation. Always have an actionable takeaway you can provide to your readers. If you don’t provide value, the content won’t do well—it won’t get shared, and nobody will come back for more.

To be most effective, content must also be structured well. We say this all the time, but it’s important: Nobody wants to read a long, unbroken block of text. You’ve got to provide bullet points and section subheadings for your content to be more readable.

Your content should inform. Facts, figures, statistics, how-tos—your content needs some meat to it. It shouldn’t just be a tease. It shouldn’t require the reader to call you or buy your product in order to obtain value. Your content should be enriching and informative in and of itself.

Good content converts. A strong, simple, and clear call to action should be included at the end of your content, directing readers on the next steps they should take.

Finally, good content should be properly distributed and promoted. If you’re not sharing your company blog posts across different social media channels, as well as in your email newsletter, you’re missing out on some key opportunities to connect.