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Quality vs. Quantity: The Content Marketing Dilemma

According to a recent study, by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs 64%  of marketers believe that producing enough content was their number-one challenge.

So does this mean it’s a volume game?

As marketers, we realize it’s ‘publish or perish’ when it comes to plotting out a successful digital marketing strategy.  

And as companies ramp up their content marketing efforts, it’s tempting to buy in to the belief that ‘more’ is better. My competition is posting on their blog 3 days a week? Fine, I’ll do 5. They share 10 tweets a day? I’ll do 20.  And while I’m excited to see that marketers are getting onboard with the concept, I fear they may actually be doing more harm than good.

The goal of successful internet marketing is to create engaging content that is relevant and valuable to your target market.

Don’t get me wrong. This is a huge step forward from where we were 12-18 months ago. Marketing departments are taking their first steps to understand and master this media channel. And, yes, Google does seem to take into account recency & frequency when determining which page to return for a given search query.

But the Google Search Algorithm uses over 200 ‘signals’  — all designed to assess QUALITY and RELEVANCE. Inundating the blogosphere with sub-par content will not help you move the needle.

Quality beats Quantity every time.

Another excellent article by Christina Zila at Search Engine Watch: 5 Trends Shaping SEO & Content Marketing in 2013. The trends she called out:

  1. Quality Content Rules
  2. Content Needs a Voice, Personality or Branding
  3. Longer, More In-Depth Articles
  4. Social Media Grows in a Link Building Role
  5. More Multimedia

And I couldn’t agree more. These represent more than temporary shifts in behavior. They’re the foundation for a successful internet marketing strategy.

In my mind, you could really group all of these as ‘quality’ criteria.

  • Quality content adds insight and provides information.
  • Quality content is well written. It has a voice and a personality which people want to engage with.
  • Quality content certainly can be less than or equal to 300 words of great information – but longer dissertations allow for a deeper exploration of the topic at hand
  • Quality content is ‘shareable’ — in that readers are dying to be the first one to share the post as it associates them with being as cool as the source material.
  • Quality content begs transposition to other media like infographics, Slideshare presentations, Camtasia-style screen presentation and video. After all, a picture is worth thousand words.

The Takeaways?

Blogging for blogging’s sake is a mistake. We need to focus on creating content that is rich in substance and valuable to our target market.

Trying to ‘game’ the system by generating a high volume of keyword rich, generic content will do one of three (bad) things:

  1. Bury your site within a sea of white noise because you’ve done nothing to differentiate yourself.
  2. Turn potential customers away because your content is an embarrassment
  3. Cause you to abandon this important media channel because you’ve concluded: ‘content marketing is a waste of time’ – because you aren’t getting the results you expected.

For tips on how to create an editorial calendar that will allow you to produce quality content as painlessly as possible review:  Marketing Planning How To Create an Editorial Calendar

Author’s Note: You can review the full report here:  ‘B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America‘.  (Also, I thought Patricia Redsicker’s summary of this report, 8 Content Marketing Trends for B2B was excellent as well).
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kelly Brown
About Kelly Brown:

Kelly Brown has 25+ years of experience leading entrepreneurial organizations. As Managing Partner and CEO of Sanctuary, Kelly has had the opportunity to serve a leadership role in every functional division of the organization.

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