Have you ever considered how to consistently produce high-quality content? In other words, what makes good content so good?

At first glance, it may seem like this is a tough question to answer. Purists would go so far as to say it’s impossible to define “good” content, since it is so subjective. One person may love an article while someone else may not like it at all. So in cases like this, how can you truly determine what is effective content and what isn’t?

Measure, measure, measure

“Measure twice, cut once.” This old proverb – later made famous by the hosts of the remodeling TV show, This Old House – reminded carpenters to take care before potentially wasting valuable materials.

Great advice, yet in today’s content world, the concept of measuring twice simply isn’t enough. Instead, you need to continually monitor which asset pieces perform better than others. Not only does this help you deliver the right materials in the sales cycle, but it also yields insight into trends and other factors you can use to improve the quality in the future.

In the past, content was viewed as the output of creative minds, and thus, exempt from the same measurement tools and processes other departments might use, such as finance calculating the ROI of a possible purchase. Square peg, round hole. Yet today, everything can and must be measured. Specifically, you must analyze your content to better understand how it is being used and what you can do to improve the overall quality.

What should you measure? You can start by looking at more obvious statistics, such as which assets have been downloaded the most, how many times each piece has been used (or conversely, if it’s never been used), or the number of times it’s been associated with a sales win. Check.

But don’t stop there. You should also attempt to come up with more creative ways to measure content quality. For example, do you attempt to collect feedback from salespeople, customers, prospects, or lost-deals? This information could be gathered from polls and lost-deal analyses, informal conversations, or even anecdotal evidence (“best collateral ever!”).

It is only when you gain this real insight into how your sales teams are actually using your content that you will discover which materials produce the best results – and how you can improve in the future.

Interested in learning more? Check out our whitepaper, Seven Habits for Highly Effective Sales Content, for more information on presenting content in context. You will also gain insight into six other strategies for increasing the quality of your sales content.