Content and graphics have always worked side by side. Think back to the picture books you used to read as a kid. Without the pictures, the story wouldn't have been as great, right?
The same goes for your brand's content. While the text is an important piece of the puzzle, without the right design you won't get the results you seek.
These days, everyone thinks they can create content. Google is flooded with pages and pages of content, leaving yours struggling to make it onto page one.
There is just too much competition in the world of content.
As entrepreneur Mark Cuban says, "When you've got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?"
It's not enough to just do what everyone else does - even if you're doing it well. You have to go above and beyond to gain your audience's attention. You might say you must be 10 times better than everyone else.
What is 10x Content?
Coined by Moz founder Rand Fishkin, the term "10x content" refers to content that is 10 times better than anything else out there. Basically it means content that stands out and outranks other content on the same topic in search.
Fishkin says good, unique content just doesn't cut it anymore, despite the fact that this is what most marketers aim to achieve. He believes we should be thinking bigger and better.
He says, "The minimum bar today for modern SEO is a step higher...If you can't consistently say, 'We're the best result that a searcher could find in the search results,' well then, guess what? You're not going to have an opportunity to rank."
There are several ways to identify 10x content. Here are five attributes:
Creating 10x Content
Most of the content you're already creating probably covers at least a few of those attributes. But 10x content covers them all. So what's the process for doing just that?
Go Deep on Your Topic
Think about what you want your content to be about. Once you have an idea, you need to do as much research as you can. Start by learning everything that's out there on your topic.
Take a look at the content that's already been created. How good is the writing? How is the user experience? If there is room for improvement, you may be able to create a piece of content that tops it.
Find Your Unique Angle
Don't be afraid to delve even deeper. Ask yourself, what's missing? Once you can identify a gap, that's where your 10x content will fit in.
"In a sea of mediocre content, a brave tone can be a big differentiator," says Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs.
Think outside the box and don't be afraid to try something new. This could mean doing your own original research or creating a powerful infographic. It's the content that offers a unique view and singular experience that will be most successful.
Deliver Content in an Attractive Way
Consuming 10x content shouldn't simply be about reading it. It should be a complete and seamless experience that's enjoyable for your audience.
If your content is a heavy block of text, no one is going to read it - no matter how well it's written. It must be visually appealing and easily accessible. This is just as important as the content itself.
Developing Visual Content
To attract your audience's attention and keep it, visuals are key. Yet only 37% of marketers say visual marketing is the most important form of content for their business.
Good visuals could mean the difference between creating good content and creating 10x content. To create a visually attractive piece of content, you need to focus on using high-quality photos, creating a well-thought-out design and delivering a good user experience.
Your content could take many forms, such as an infographic, an interactive piece or a graphic guide. Take a look at this graphic guide I created with the help of a designer. I created a great piece of content, but I didn't stop there. Instead, I went above and beyond to create a visually interesting and appealing piece of content.
Working With a Designer
To create 10x content, you can't just whip up something in Paint. If you don't have graphic design skills, then you need to hire someone who does. That's exactly what I did. There are tons of graphic designers out there who can create a brilliant concept for you - all you have to do is look.
Start by asking around to see if any of your colleagues or friends know any talented graphic designers looking for work. Going off a recommendation you trust is a great way to feel at ease when choosing a designer. If you can't get a recommendation, then look online at some of the many freelance marketplaces out there.
When working with the designer, give them clear direction and thoroughly explain your vision. Give them a good idea of what you want to create, but don't be too controlling - let them have the freedom to create a beautiful piece of work.
Don't set your expectations too high, either - the first draft is never going to be perfect. And make sure you provide a realistic timeframe. Give them enough time to do the job well.
When providing feedback, be specific. No designer wants to get the direction to "make it pretty" or "make it pop." Be direct about what you do or don't like, so they can fine-tune the design efficiently and make it the best that it can be.
Have you created 10x content using graphic guides? What were your results? Let me know in the comments below: