7 Tips for Telling Content Unicorns from Content Donkeys
By Larry Kim
Most of your content is DOA: Dead on Arrival (or maybe Donkey on Arrival).
Individuals, businesses, and brands are producing a ridiculously enormous amount of content every minute. That means your content is getting lost in the noise.
But wait. Every marketing expert ever agrees that the secret to content marketing success is creating quality content. And you’re creating quality content, right?
So … why is most of your content still failing?
Simple: Your definition of “quality content” is completely wrong.
Most marketers have bought into some fantasy that it’s about attributes rather than statistics. They evaluate content “quality” based on traits like:
- Visual appeal
- Spelling and grammar
- Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness
- Overall “value”
No, no, no!
Although these content qualities are important in their own way, they don’t actually define quality content!
Identifying High Quality Content
So what really defines quality content? These seven things.
1. Quality Content Is Defined by Data
Always base your definition of quality content on data. Any other definition will be based on your biased views of your own work.
Data is the only objective way to tell whether your content is a unicorn or a donkey:
- Unicorn content: This is your best, most magical content, performing among the top 3 percent of all your content. Unicorns rank well in Google (Position 1-3) and drive the most traffic, engagement, and leads.
- Donkey content: This is your average and below average content. It makes up the remaining 97 percent of your content. But a donkey is still just a donkey — no magic here! Donkeys will never achieve unicorn status.
What’s the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys?
Well, in SEO, it looks like this:
The unicorns (the top 10 percent) have 6 times higher click-through rates (CTR) than donkeys (the bottom 10 percent).
On Facebook, it looks like this:
The unicorns are 10 times more engaging than the donkeys.
If you look at the most popular pages on your blog or website, you’ll see something like this:
For the WordStream blog, 10 percent of our stories generated more than 60 percent of our traffic in 2016.
You’ll also see the difference between high engagement unicorns and low engagement donkeys with search conversion rates:
The top 10 percent of offers convert at least 5 times better than donkeys — 11.45 percent or higher vs. 2.35 percent or lower (based on WordStream customer data).