How to Prioritize Content — The OREUS Prioritization Framework

I’m excited to be sharing a new Content Marketing Prioritization Framework that I’ve recently designed. I wanted to prioritize some content ideas for my work and was struggling to find a good framework, so I decided to make one myself by basing it on David Arnoux’s BRASS Framework.

Why you should use a Content prioritization framework

If you do content marketing, chances are you’ve had to struggle at one point or another with prioritizing your content ideas. There are only so many hours a day and any growth hacker worth their salt knows that it’s all about getting the best results in the least amount of time.

So how do you figure out which content will produce the best results with the least amount of time and effort? The answer is a content prioritization framework.

Now I know that some of you are probably thinking that you don’t need a framework to know which piece of content is most worth producing. I used to be the same way. I’m the kind of person who refuses to read the manual when setting up IKEA furniture because it ‘slows me down’ and I’ve already figured it all out in my head. However, after watching a number of companies in action over the past months, I’ve noticed that those who use frameworks to prioritize their ideas also tend to develop more successful experiments and see better results overall.

So here goes…

Introducing the OREUS content prioritization framework

As you may have already guessed, OREUS is an acronym. It stands for Originality, Relevance, Ease, Usefulness and Sharability (yes, I do realise that ‘shareability’ isn’t actually a real word, but at least it makes sense). Before I explain how it works, here’s what it looks like:

It’s quite simple really. First you write down all of your content ideas and give them a name and a description (the more detailed the better). Once you’ve added all your ideas, you can get to grading!

As I mentioned before, I’ve based this on the BRASS framework, which David designed for prioritizing customer acquisition ideas. Similarly to the BRASS framework, you need to rank the criteria of the OREUS framework on a scale from 1–5 (1 being the worst it can be and 5 being the best it can be).

Once you’ve given a grade to each OREUS criteria, you multiply them to get the end score. It is super important that you multiply and don’t add the grades because in a multiplication, a 1 out of 5 would have a crippling effect on the end score (as it should, given that you don’t want to publish content that is plagiarised, irrelevant, impossible, useless or ‘unshareable’).

So how exactly does it work?

How the OREUS framework highlights the best content marketing ideas

Most of the criteria are pretty self-explanatory but some of them are a little more detailed than they might seem. The best way to explain the criteria is to cover them one by one.

Originality: How original would this content piece be? Every great content marketer will tell you that quality matters and a huge part of that is producing original content. Unoriginal content is hard to sell and bad for SEO.

A 1 out of 5 would basically be shamelessly plagiarised content whereas a 5 out of 5 would be something incredibly new and innovative. A 2–3 out of 5 would be an original piece of content that is similar to a number of others out there.

Relevance: How relevant is this content idea? Relevance in this case is two-fold. First, you want to make sure the piece of content (both the format and the topic) is relevant to your product/market/users/niche. Second, you want to make sure that the content idea is relevant to your goals (is it for SEO? Viral Marketing? Social Media fodder? Sales content?).

A 1 out of 5 would mean that the content’s topic and/or the format (e.g. blog article, video, meme) is irrelevant to your product and your goals. A 5 out of 5 would mean that it is incredibly relevant for both (e.g. awesome GoPro videos on YouTube).

Ease: How easy is it to make this content idea a reality? Ease in this case is a combination of how easy, time consuming and affordable the piece of content is.

A 1 out of 5 would be a piece of content that would be difficult to produce or incredibly time consuming or expensive (lack of skills, resources, tech). A 5 out of 5 would be a piece of content that is quick, easy and cheap to produce (e.g. vines and memes).

Usefulness: How much value/use would this piece of content bring the user? It’s actually technically more ‘value’ than ‘usefulness’ because entertaining content is often valuable but not always useful, but I thought that ‘OREUS’ is a lot catchier than ‘OREVS’. In short, it’s all about providing your users with value. The more value it offers them, the more likely they are to engage with it and share it.

A 1 out of 5 would be useless/spammy clickbait-y fluff while a 5 out of 5 would be something that brings tons of value (e.g. Neil Patel and Bronson Taylor’s guide to growth hacking).

Shareability: How easy would it be to process and share this piece of content? We all know that it’s easier to digest a funny image than it is to mentally process a detailed research proposal. The easier the piece of content is to mentally process for the user, the more people will engage with it and share it with others.

A 1 out of 5 would be something like a 5,000 word essay while a 5 out of 5 would be something like a short video or any appealing visual.

The thing with the OREUS content prioritization framework is that all the criteria are connected. Usefulness for example is strongly linked to Originality, but they are not the same. Unoriginal content can still be useful if someone isn’t familiar with the topic. Usefulness and Relevance are also similar but they are not the same because a piece of content could be valuable to your user but irrelevant to your product or end-goal. Conversely, useful and original content isn’t always easy to produce or easy to share.

What we’re looking for is a balance. OREUS can help provide that.

At the end of the day you want to create unique, valuable content that is easy for you to produce, easy for the user to process and share and in line with your overall goals. You need content that is Original, Relevant, Easy, Useful and Shareable.

Well, I hope this content framework is useful to you. If it is, I’d appreciate it if you could share this post! Let me know how this framework works for you.

If you would like a PDF version of the OREUS content prioritization framework, just send me a message!