Let’s be frank—there is a saturation of content marketing. Almost every brand is producing content, and competition to rank is fierce. However, it’s not all bad news because a lot of content out there is surface level—it’s generic and has no new angle or point of view. To stand out, brands are focusing on 10x content, which is content that’s 10 times better than the content ranking highest for a keyword.
This post will explore what 10x content is, how to master it, and more.
- 10x content is high-quality, compelling, relevant, useful, and interesting.
- 10x content must be substantially better than all the content using the same keyword.
- Content marketers find it challenging to produce 10x content, but it’s not impossible. Research the competition, know your audience, find your angle, support your angle, and present in a manner that will attract your audience.
What Is 10x Content?
The term 10x content describes the content that’s 10 times better than what’s currently ranking well organically. But, what exactly does ‘better’ look like? It certainly correlates with the value of the content. Value can mean many different things, but generally, the content must deliver knowledge, solutions, or other takeaways for the audience.
All your competitors are in the content marketing game, and most understand that the success of content relies on its value. In fact, content marketers listed it as the most important factor for success.
Better also means the content is up to date, research-backed, longer, and it includes more visuals, clearer explanations, examples, and more.
10x Content Origins
The term originates from Rand Fishkin of Moz. Watch the video below to see his explanation.
We can call him the “father” of 10x content. He defined criteria and the goals for 10x, but a lot has changed since the term came to be, and we’ll explore all these areas.
10x Content Attributes
In further defining what makes content 10x, it’s critical to look at the attributes it should have.
- Delivers a good experience for the reader, including excellent UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), across all devices. In other words, it should be mobile and desktop friendly. Further, it should load quickly (within seconds), use white space, and have an easy-to-read font.
- Includes clean formatting: Content that’s easy to scan, uses headers, bullets, and short paragraphs.
- Follows SEO best practices: Keyword in the title, first paragraph, meta title and description, alt tags, and throughout at no more than 3% of the content.
- Be error-free: Content should be grammatically correct and have no misspellings or broken links.
- Scores well on readability: The content should score well on the Flesch test so that it’s on an 8th-grade reading level. It should use active versus passive sentences. It’s not always possible to use simple terms, as some topics require complex ones. However, improving readability is vital in the editing process and helps with SEO.
- Combines most or all of the traits that distinguish it from the rest: high-quality (written well), credible (substantiates positions with facts and data), useful (is relevant to the audience), and interesting (it’s not a bore to read!).
- Differentiates itself from the pack: It’s true you’re using the same keywords and topics as competitors, but 10x content needs a fresh perspective and more details. It must not plagiarize any other source without citation.
- Creates an emotional response: An emotional connection with an audience through content is one of the pillars of content marketing. People make purchasing decisions based on logic and emotion. If you can tap into that sentiment, your content will have a much greater impact on your buyers.
- Solves a challenge: Customers are seeking answers when they go to Google and search. They are aware of a problem, and 10x content answers questions and delivers accurate and comprehensive information to eliminate the issue.
- Provides a unique experience: 10x content cannot follow the same path as everything else on the subject. It has to be one of a kind, and that’s probably the hardest part of it.
These criteria ultimately mean that the content you produce must contain information and messaging that no other page on the internet does.
Quality vs. Effort
So, that’s a massive effort to develop good content. Ceralytics has a useful graph on the quality vs. effort involved in 10x content creation.
As you can see, you must go way beyond minimum quality for SEO results. The sustained effort is also critical to understand. Those producing this type of content typically need to be subject matter experts (SMEs) on the topic and professional writers with extensive experience in content marketing.
Creating 10X Content: What’s the Magic Recipe?
In looking over the attributes of 10x content, it reads like a list of ingredients. However, these traits are the parameters. You still need to know how to get there.
Research the Competition
Before you start your 10x journey, you should thoroughly research what’s ranking well now. It’s impossible to create content that’s 10 times better than the current rank winners without dissecting it. Define how it meets the criteria for 10x and look for gaps (outdated stats, broken links, lower readability, etc.) that could lead to the opportunity for your content
Understand Your Audience
Before you can develop content that will resonate with audiences and score well on search engines, you must know your audience. Understanding your audience is core to content marketing. That’s why we build personas.
What you need to know for 10x content goes even deeper. Ask questions like:
- Why is this topic important to your audience?
- What are the biggest challenges they face with this topic?
- What’s new about this topic to the audience?
- How do they currently solve this challenge, and why isn’t it working?
From these questions, you can move to the next step of finding your angle.
Find Your Angle
All the content currently published on a topic likely has the same themes and points. Some are just better written or more in-depth. Now, you have to brainstorm based on the audience’s needs for a fresh perspective on the subject.
The angle doesn’t necessarily have to be controversial or a 180 from the existing content. It needs to be unique!
Here’s an example. Take our blog. We write about content marketing, so do thousands of other websites. Our writers follow all the best practices, but how do we find new angles?
We look at trends, factors impacting the industry, and data, to start. Then we put on our creative hats. In a post on B2B SMB digital transformation, we understood this wasn’t a new topic. It did, however, change immensely due to the pandemic, which accelerated B2B eCommerce.
The piece uses credible data to back up its points and goes further than just saying there have been changes. We look at why and how it impacts a business. It goes way beyond content marketing, talking about technology for teams and empowering them.
Support Your Angle
As mentioned in the example above, we used credible data from several sources to support the angle. You’ll need to do this, but don’t just list a bunch of data points. Look at them holistically to see what they are telling you about a problem.
Sometimes data could be contradictory. If so, try to find out why. The “why” is so important when you share research and studies. Your angle is interpreting them based on your topic and your audience.
Present the Content in a Powerful Way
This step is putting all the pieces together—the audience, angle, and data. You now need to follow the best practices on formatting, imagery, etc., and create an experience for the reader. This doesn’t mean you need some interactive piece (as that may impact page load and mobile UX), but you need your content to stand out in a way that hooks the reader and keeps them invested.
One tip we use is to start with quick takeaways, setting the reader up for what they’ll learn.
You’ll Fail at 10x Content
Even after you do all these things and pour time and energy into your piece, you will fail. Be prepared for this. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong or that your content doesn’t hit the mark. The reality is, it isn’t easy to execute.
What you want to do is LEARN. You learn by understanding the performance of your content with analytics. Dig into this to see where you can improve. Then start again with a new topic. Eventually, you’ll find your stride and achieve 10x content. Keep in mind, your first objective is to write for your audience, not Google. The right balance will deliver results.
Talk to Our Experts About 10x Content
One essential part of content marketing is consistency and regular production. It’s hard to do this with 10x content, or with any content. We can help.
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.