Quality Or Quantity Of Content, that is the question
One of the most important decisions when drafting a content marketing plan, is choosing whether to go for quality or quantity. In other words, do you want to spend your resources producing the highest quality content you can, or on pumping out as much acceptable content as you can. To help you decide, let’s look at both sides of the debate.
The case for quality
The argument for quality goes like this: The amount of content on the internet has long since surpassed the capacity of humans to read it. There are only so many eyeballs out there to read the ever-growing flood of content. There are only so many hands out there to click on an increasingly large number of links.
The solution is to rise above it all and create content that’s unique, authoritative and just what your target audience is looking for. Instead of spending all your time pumping out content, you should spend more time planning and strategizing. Time spent understanding the content landscape and figuring out what content will have the highest impact is more valuable than time spent creating a ton of pieces that don’t reach anyone.
The case for quantity
The quantity folks look at it this way: If you want to drive traffic, create leads and convert visitors into customers, you need to create a consistent content stream. Your content doesn’t have to be in-depth. It doesn’t need to win journalism prizes. It just needs to meet the needs of your audience and answer its niche questions.
The Washington Post takes this approach. In 2016, the publisher posted 500 times a day, more than twice as much as the New York Times and Buzzfeed. Instead of counting on a relatively small number of massive hits, the Post publishes lots of articles that do moderately well across a wide range of niches.
This is called the long-tail approach and it’s the backbone of the quantity technique. It consists of creating content for every long-tail keyword you can think of that matches your audience’s needs and interests. This tactic helped the Post grow 28 percent in 2016 and overtake the New York Times as the internet’s top news site.
A closer look
So let’s take a closer look at these two approaches and see how they compare in terms of ROI, achievability and context.
As you might have guessed, ROI is entirely dependent on your business. For media sites that make their money on clicks and advertising dollars, more content means more clicks, making quality less important.
But as a content marketer, you probably aren’t just looking for visitors. What you’re really after are leads and customers. You don’t necessarily need to attract massive crowds to your site. You just need to attract the right visitors, ones who are interested in what you have to offer. You don’t need vast quantities of content, but you do need quality content that targets your particular niche.
Neither of these approaches is cheap or easy.
Finding the right people to create top-shelf content for your brand can be expensive and challenging. But content is your online face and you can’t afford to hire cheap labor to create uncompelling content that reflects badly on you. You want content that lives up to your brand.
Taking the quantity approach, on the other hand, requires an army of content creators. Whether working in-house or at an agency, these people don’t come cheap, either. And don’t forget that when you give your audience the impression that you’re going to consistently put up new content, you need to deliver, whether you’re committing to one post a day or 100. If you start out a campaign with a flood of content and then run out of money and it becomes a trickle, your audience will wonder if your brand is dying.
Content should match the need that it answers. For small, specific queries, short articles that do a good job of answering the question do best. These need not take a lot of time or effort to create. On the other hand, complex questions with complicated answers require higher quality content that is well planned and well laid out, to give people useful information while building authority.
So which approach should you take?
Content marketing is all about finding the right content for your audience. All of it should be good. Sometimes, you want it to be the best and other times, good, accurate short-form articles that answer long-tail content queries are good enough. The choice is yours.
If you need help with your content plan and can’t decide whether to go for for quality over quantity, reach out to a member of our experienced team, here at Mediaplanet.