There is one question weighing on almost every marketer’s mind, or at least should be: what is better, quality of content or the quantity produced? The debate is ongoing and seems to be picking up momentum, but is there a clear and definitive answer to this question?
No. The answer is that simple.
I recently attended Content Marketing World, a conference for marketing and public relations professionals who aid in the implementation of content marketing initiatives. While all sessions were abundant with knowledge and expertise, there was one session that particularly stuck with me -- an expert panel that debated quality versus quantity. The panel discussed how to strike the balance between the need to create enough content to increase your share of customer conversations versus the need to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Argument for Quantity
You could argue that you have to produce content if you don’t want to lose customers. If you produce a really great piece of content, and then go back into production and it’s three months until you come out with another piece of content, your audience will not be around to see it -- they will have already been swept away and turned into customers by your competitors. You have to constantly produce content for your audience to hold their interest.
Another argument for quantity is it has a low barrier to entry for marketers. We have to start somewhere, and it probably isn't going to be quality. It may lead to quality down the road, after practice, but to produce high quality content right out of the gate is very hard, and frankly, very intimidating.
I think we have to stop this debate because it’s stopping everyone from getting started in the first place,” said Marcus Sheridan, founder of the Sales Lion Blog and member of the expert panel. “If I feel I have to be awesome at something from the jump, I might not jump at all.”
Argument for Quality
You could argue at the other end of the spectrum for quality -- less is more. If a brand produces a large quantity of poor quality content, how does that make an audience want to stay? It very well may not. If an audience is bouncing from content, they’re not engaged and they’re not moving forward towards a purchase.
Quality content, while it may be harder to create, grabs attention and engages an audience. With all the noise out there to distract consumers, it is imperative to create quality content to set your brand apart in a growing marketplace. It’s not just a one trick pony either -- if you’re going to engage in quality content marketing, it’s an ongoing process. You may not start off with gold, but with some shining and refining, you may just get there.
It’s something you have to learn from month to month, but it starts from defining your content standards and your quality guidelines, finding great writers, creating an editorial processing standard and then publishing,” said Rob Murray president of Skyword and panel participant. “Rinse and repeat -- you learn from what you did.”
The Middle Ground
If you’re like most marketers, you will find some middle ground between the two ends of the content marketing spectrum. Your content must have some degree of quality, but if you wait too long to produce content, you might not even have a chance. There is a delicate balance that each company or brand must find for itself.
If you’re just starting off in content marketing, your initial goal may be to produce consumable content. From there, you can grow and refine your content until it shines gold. If you have been practicing content marketing for some time, you may be in the refining stages where your content is beginning to get sheen. Likewise, risk plays a large factor in determining the balance between quality and quantity.
If I’m a little guy, I can risk all day, said Sheridan. “I am the David in the land of the Goliaths. I can be quick, I can be nimble and I can push the envelope.”
No matter who you are, a balance must be stricken. You must decide your place on the content marketing spectrum and develop content accordingly. No matter if you are a David, or a Goliath, there is a solution that is just right for you -- you just have to find it.
Title image courtesy of iculig (Shutterstock)