Introducing the Content Quality Quotient

DaveSlovin
Dave Slovin President, PracticeProfs Inc.

Posted on February 6th 2012

Introducing the Content Quality Quotient

Is your content the cream of the crop, or crap?

I’ve seen a lot of online discussion recently about the quality of the content that we’re including in our websites, blogs, and other communications. Is it educational? Does it speak to the right audience? Does it speak English?

When a friend asked me last week to comment on his new website copy, I pulled out a list of criteria that I’ve been using for a few years and got to work. After ripping apart his website (sorry), I realized that this list was a good tool for anyone to use when evaluating pretty much any content.

Since I’m in marketing, it needed a cute name. So here it is – the Content Quality Quotient, or CQQ for short. Here’s how it works. Review an example of your content (blog, white paper, article, presentation, etc.). Then read the following ten statements, responding to each with True or False.

  1. The content addresses a broader topic or issue than my specific services cover.
  2. A reader (or participant) will understand the point of the content within the first 5 seconds, and derive some value within 30 seconds.
  3. A typical client will understand this, meaning it’s not too technical.
  4. If someone read this and didn’t become my client, that person would still derive some business or personal value.
  5. A reader would be perceived as helpful when forwarding this to a friend or peer.
  6. None of these sales words appear – sign up, act now, offer ends, price, features and benefits, credit cards accepted.
  7. Other than maybe a small logo or boiler plate (bio at the end), my firm’s name does not appear in the main content.
  8. There is at least one client quote for each firm associate quote.
  9. My competitors’ services would also apply equally well to this topic.
  10. A reader will likely have comments or questions worth sharing with others, other than, “Where do I buy?”

CQQ Scoring Guide

If you answered False to any one of these statements, time to start looking for a new job. Just kidding... Every business situation is different, so use these guidelines as a starting point. Add or change and store the combined list as your firm’s own CQQ. Before you publish content in the future, make it someone’s responsibility to check it against the CQQ as a standard part of the content creation process.

Act Now - Huge Features and Benefits

When you develop and use your own CQQ, the quality of your content will improve. You will find that prospective clients are more interested in your blogs and newsletters. Editors will return your phone calls about publishing articles. You’ll be invited to speak at conferences and host panel discussions. Oh, and people will want to use your firm you because you add value. Imagine that – sell more by selling less.

If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.

DaveSlovin

Dave Slovin

President, PracticeProfs Inc.

Dave Slovin, Principal at PracticeProfs, has more than 20 years of experience developing and executing sales, marketing, business development, and customer service strategies at start-ups through Fortune 100 corporations. In 2009, Dave founded The Marketing Engine to help organizations build (or rebuild) the infrastructure so critical to creating awareness, generating demand, and delivering profitable revenue from long-term clients. The PracticeProfs concept grew out of several successful professional services firm engagements, where Dave was able to improve results from initial prospect interest through retained revenue. Visit us at http://www.practiceprofs.com.
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Comments

billsebald
Posted on February 6th 2012 at 5:35PM

This is an outstanding checklist.  I'm one of those "broken record" bloggers who routinely complain about the lack of real audience value in web marketing content.  

I also think it's helpful to come up with unique checklists for the different kinds of content you're producing, ie. evergreen, soft news, product descriptions, etc.  A lot of times the different checklists borrow heavily from each other, which is expected.  In the end, it's an important first step for content marketers.