Any piece of content – from a video to a text ad to a radio spot – has the potential to be great. Content should have entertainment or utility value – or both. It should stand out and deliver the unexpected. And for maximum impact, it’s imperative that the brand is visible throughout. To take your content from good to great, our checklist and assessment tools are here to help.

We see lots of content being brought to market. What makes great content varies. That said, we are starting to see some trends and wanted to share a content checklist and content assessment template so anyone can assess if a piece of content is great or not. With “content” we mean any communication asset such as a video, TV-copy, text, radio spot etc. With “great” we mean that the content will drive sales in the short or long run by driving mental availability of the brand it represent.

So, attached is a checklist that you can use to assess if a piece of content such as a video or TV ad is great or not. Why not try it out on some of your ads? Three principles from the checklist:

1) Does it provide entertainment and/or utility value?

Content should be valuable. The two most common values that content provide are entertainment and utility value. Regarding entertainment value many advertisers fool themselves by benchmarking vs their previous ads instead of vs the content out there. So when evaluating the entertainment value of your video, watch it in combination with e.g. the most shared videos on YouTube, or why not Game of Thrones? It helps you keep it real and avoid “the emperor’s new clothes” situations.

2) Does it stand out/is it unexpected?

The vast majority of content doesn’t stand out. This is a big problem, since 90% reach times zero stand-out is still zero effect. Most industries suffers from industry-generic content. That goes for banking, travel and electro retail. Always use this tool before watching new content from your brand: Imagine what the content will look like before you see it and if you’re right that’s bad. For example, high arousal videos (feeling of exhilaration or surprise) are shared twice as much as low arousal (feeling of contentment).

3) Is the brand always visible?

You probably want to drive sales for your brand, but not for your competitors. Right? If to get people to attribute the content to your brand you need to show the brand. This is no surprise but something a lot of brand content fail on. For example, in a video the brand should be visible from start to end. Still, in the vast majority of for example YouTube ads the brand is only visible towards the end. Why is that? Some people would argue that fronting a brand can disengage people, and perhaps companies are afraid of that? That said, if people get disengaged after seeing your brand in the content it’s because the content is weak, not because they don’t like your brand.

Finally, great content is content that people see. So content without a distribution strategy is pretty useless. Or perhaps you planned on making it go viral? If so, we wish you the best of luck ;-)