1. Content Belongs to Someone
Each piece of content created is with a person in mind. Content scientists strive to know where content falls on the consumer’s decision path and how to serve them in that moment. Questions: What is the persona for this content? What they like? What drives them? What problems do they have and why will this content engage them?
2. Content that Builds Value Requires a Clear Vision
Content scientists must understand where content belongs in the buying process and how it will be measured in order for it to be an equity-building asset to the organization. Questions: What part of the consumer buying cycle does this content address (discovery, trigger, search, close, stay, or advocate)? What metric(s) do you aim to affect most?
3. Content Should Command Clicks
You value active, definitive and mysterious headlines that picque interest and stand out in the search results. The content to which the headlines lead is unique, complete, and truly one of the best resource on the Internet for that topic. Questions: If you have an SEO keyword phrase, did you search for it? What article titles and content must you create to dominate all other listings in the search results? What will it take to provide the most engaging content?
4. Great Content has Sensory Appeal
Web content is not just words. It is how information is presented on the Internet. You strive for visually pleasing content, and understand when content should be broken up with subtitles, headings or bullet points. You know how much text is too much, and when imagery audio, or video are better to use than text alone. Questions: Did you use subtitles, headings or bulleted/numbered lists? Avoid lengthy paragraphs? Did you use the perfect imagery or rich media?
5. Great Content Tells a Story
You know that great content is like telling a captivating story to your audience. Great storytellers are conversational, human, and always provide a compelling narration that is on brand. Questions: Does your content follow the inverted pyramid model? Are you using a first-person, active voice? Is your article conversational and human? Do you provide a complete picture? Does it follow your brand?
6. Striving for the High Bar of Epic
Content scientists don’t stop at good, or great. They strive for epic. You have a report, metric or KPI you intend to affect with each piece of content, and strive for the superlative. Question: Will this content make it to the top of your reports? Does it pass the Epic Content Checklist? Does it really? Really?!
7. The Fickle Nature of Content
You know that what works for one may not for others. You develop, test, and iterate your ideas for content. Questions? What have you done in the past that might apply?
8. Content Greatness Exists Inside and Out
Content scientists take the time to make their content great on every level. This means keeping on brand, staying within legal guidelines, and optimizing each aspect of a content piece. Questions: Do your links to other resources open in new windows? Does all of your content (text and rich media) comply with your brand standards and style guidelines? Do you use alt tags for images and transcripts for videos? Are you legally compliant?
9. Organization is Not Optional
Content science success depends on publishing and promoting with discipline, accuracy, and cadence. You know where your content is and act accordingly. Questions: Is your editorial calendar up-to-date? Trello cards? Is your content published and promoted to everyone that it should be?
10. Evangelizing Content Science
You find opportunities to share these values with others. Question: Have you encouraged these content principles with those around you in your day-to-day actions? Share these values so we can encourage more science in our content planning and creation activities.