If “Content Is King,” then can you have too much of it?
Let’s be real … creating content that engages users while monitoring the success of your efforts, and effectively running paid advertising & social channels, takes a lot of time and creative effort.
And, while many internet marketing tasks can be automated or simplified by the use of third-party tools, one task that can’t easily be streamlined is creating high quality content.
Most internet marketers agree that it isn’t how much content you’re producing, but how effective that content actually is.
If the content you’re posting doesn’t drive traffic to your website and keep that traffic engaged then it probably isn’t as effective as it should be.
From this perspective, the quality of your content clearly matters more than the quantity. However, before we get into why quality is more important than quantity let’s step back a minute.
What’s difficult about content creation?
Many businesses struggle to know where to even begin with content marketing:
- What type of content should you be posting (video, blogs, infographics, etc.)?
- What specific topics should you cover?
- How should the content be distributed to your audience?
- Ok, we’ve got content … but what’s working and what isn’t?
These are all crucial questions which most businesses struggle to answer. The bottom line is: each piece of content you create has to stand out in a sea of thousands (if not millions) of similar pieces of content … AND THAT’S NOT EASY!
Alright, so let’s get back to the topic of this post …
How much content should you be creating and posting?
We covered how often you should post to your blog in a previous post, and since the frequency of posts can have a major effect on your position in search results, it’s important to get it right. Yet, very many business don’t.
Most seem to either publish too little content (one blog post every 6 months) or way too much content (several blog posts, images and videos per day.)
The disadvantage of posting too little content is clear: there’s no reason for Google or visitors to return to your website or social channels, because you simply aren’t an active user who’s sharing useful information.
However, the disadvantages of posting too much content might not be as clear, so let’s take a closer look at what these disadvantages might be.
Immense Amounts Of Content Can Overwhelm Your Audience
With an immense amount of content on your website, visitors tend to feel as if they are in a word maze.
Where should they go first?
What really matters?
Overwhelming your website’s visitors and fans on social media with content is likely to confuse and frustrate your audience, as well as all the search engines. Unfortunately, many companies post too much content because they think increasing content distribution frequency will increase online visibility, and may increase their status as an authority in their field.
Some believe that if they put everything online, users will find whatever they want and that search engines are more likely to index their website’s pages. This strategy doesn’t work. In fact, the opposite occurs – visitors have much more difficulty trying to find what they’re looking for, which leads to traffic bouncing off your pages (if you can even get traffic to those pages in the first place), and your organic position in search results will suffer.
Have you ever followed a business’s Facebook page only to un-follow it within a day or two, just because the business is constantly posting boring or obnoxious content?
If your goal is to increase targeted traffic to your website (and, why wouldn’t it be?) then you need to post content which actually appeals to your target audience, and doesn’t send them scurrying to another website.
Producing reams of information for the sole purpose of building out your library of content will not do much to advance your marketing initiatives. In fact, it may very well do a good deal of harm, because it will distract your audience’s attention away from your core points and core values, thus diluting any strong message you might have originally posted.
You’re much better off posting less frequently and making your content more thoughtful, so that your brand message can have a greater impact, while you also retain your position as a thought leader in your industry. Those people who feel that more content is better, are only partially right in their thinking, since many different channels and forms require content, but not at the sacrifice of high quality.
Know Your Target Audience and Cater Content to Them
Knowing your audience may be one of the most important aspects of a successful content marketing strategy. For instance, if your company sells fitness apparel, then will cake and cookie recipes be good content for your website? Probably not, since your target audience most likely consists of people who are into exercise and eating healthy foods. By posting content which has no relevance to them, you can pretty much be guaranteed that they will not only ignore that content, but will probably not be making a return visit to your website anytime soon.
Your internet marketing efforts are bound to fail when you try to appeal to everyone, because you’re likely to end up not connecting with anyone.
Keep your content focused on a clearly defined audience and cater to their interests, concerns, and needs, so as to avoid any confusion and to provide your true followers with content that has relevance to them. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with content that doesn’t speak to them, because they simply won’t read it, and you will have wasted your efforts.
The “Mini-Skirt” Approach
Many experts support the so-called ‘miniskirt approach’, which says that your content should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it very interesting.
Given the fact that most readers tend to be very busy and have short attention spans, this would seem to be the correct approach, because it provides relevant and timely information which is also concise and digestible.
In fact, you should help your readers browse quickly through your posting by providing subtitles and callouts where you want attention to be focused. It’s also not necessary to include all the information about a particular topic in a single posting. You can break up important content into multiple postings, or you can provide links in an original post to supporting content on your platform which you feel is important and relevant. This is also a good way to maintain engagement with your audience, and to increase your credibility while doing so.
Measure What Works
Almost as important as producing great content is measuring its effect on your followers, and for this, analytics comes into play in a major way. Analytics can be crucial in helping you establish a proper balance of volume and quality with all the content that you post on your site. This balance needs to be achieved by testing against what your overall objectives are, and measuring feedback relevant to the purpose.
It’s good to keep in mind that your audience will be determining the quality of your content, even if you might think that you are the authority on quality, and the volume necessary to achieve it. Using marketing automation tools, it’s very easy to fine-tune your content output, so it’s in tune with what engages your audience. After each post that you put online, you should be measuring the degree to which your audience is engaged, and even which specific segments of your post are of most interest to readers.
The “You Can Never Have Too Much Content” Approach
There are a lot of digital marketing gurus who are adamant in insisting that you can never have too much content. They believe that your company should be publishing content constantly to promote your products and services, to establish better relations with the public, and to increase visibility for your company online.
However, these same gurus insist that all that content should not be loaded up in a single location, but should be produced and published across a number of different platforms.
By focusing all your attention on a single platform or on two platforms, some organizations do end up overwhelming their readers with a tidal wave of information that has no hope of ever being consumed. But by spreading out all this content over numerous platforms and channels, it will have a much better chance of reaching a wider audience, and of being received appreciatively.
In addition, when you have a number of channels to publish information to, it can allow you to selectively post content to audiences known to inhabit those particular platforms.
For instance, if you are writing about your company’s milestone 20th anniversary in business, a posting like that would probably be lost in Snapchat or Instagram, because they tend to be inhabited by younger audiences. If you posted the same article on LinkedIn, the chances would be much better that it would be read and appreciated by a certain segment of your intended audience.
By creating more content for more different channels, you will reach a vastly larger audience, and have much greater impact than if you were to narrow your sights on just a few platforms. A big part of public relations is establishing trust and confidence with your target audience, and the best way to do that is to post content where your target target audience spends their time.
This strategy is even more important if you have an international audience, because within each geographical market, there are a number of different platforms where you should be publishing all kinds of content, all of which is related to your company and its mission. The last word on this perspective of how much content is enough, is that although it’s important to produce content for a wide number of different platforms and channels, it still must all be high-quality content, or your company’s credibility will suffer, and that could have a ripple effect across all the channels you post on.
So, how much content is the right amount of content?
Research your competition and your industry, and then be realistic about the volume of content which your staff can produce. Only post content that is useful and unique – and you should also develop a content calendar, so that a nice, steady flow of quality content is being presented to your audience. This calendar will serve as a reminder of how frequently you intend to post content, and it will establish a pattern that your readers will appreciate, and will hopefully come back to your site for regularly. Consistency and quality are crucial.
Most SEO agencies suggest no less than one blog post per week, but if you can produce five blog posts per week that are all at least 1000+ words of quality content, then you’re likely to see your site perform better in organic searches than if you only post once per week. Keep your content simple, clean, and easy to digest. Studies have shown that postings of around 1,000 words are the ones most commonly consulted by readers, and which can provide the appropriate level of detail without getting bogged down in minutiae.
As an example of posting relevant content, if you own a medical practice and you just acquired a new piece of diagnostic equipment, it would be a great idea to post information about it, but only information which would appeal to patients and potential patients. How will it make their visits shorter, or how will it allow you to better diagnose their medical issues? Leave out all the technical jargon that won’t make sense to them, regardless of how fascinating the information is to you, and just inform them how that new diagnostic equipment is going to make their lives better.
Quality Over Quantity
The consensus of opinion among most content experts is that it’s more important to focus on quality than quantity, and that it’s also very important to maintain that kind of quality through consistent posts. It might only take one low-quality post to lose a number of followers, or to have unhappy visitors abandon your site. In this regard, you’re really only as good as your last post, so it’s good to keep in mind that every single post should be subject to the same standards of high-quality.
Most experts also recommend the use of metric tools and analytics to gauge how well your message is being received by your intended audience. It might take several iterations of posting and analyzing before you hit upon the perfect balance for your posted content, but once you do hit the sweet spot, it will definitely be worthwhile. When you find exactly the right rhythm for posting through emails, blogs, and social media, you just might find that posting less is bringing you much greater success.
If your company would like help with managing your internet marketing, and deciding exactly what kind of content should be posted to connect with your visitors, ClickFirst Marketing is available to help you get to know your target audience. We have the experience and the knowledge to understand what resonates with readers and what kind of information they’re looking for, and we can help you create the kind of content which will be well-received by those people you’re trying to reach.