We hear it from every conceivable source these days: To be successful in the online world, you gotta have content, and loads of it. But can you have too much of a good thing? Is it possible to overdose on content and dilute your efforts?
In a word, yes. Marketers have heard so much about the necessity of creating stellar content that many have gone overboard. If your perspective is that content is required for success, and you’re cranking out blogs, articles, videos, and images like a factory, it’s time to rethink your strategy. It’s not about how much content you have, but how effective your entire content marketing strategy is. With that in mind, let’s examine the cardinal rules of content creation.
How to Measure Quality
It’s said a lot, but it bears repeating: When creating content, quality is imperative, quantity is secondary. Published content should create a buzz. It stirs conversations, incites content shares, and generally gets people talking. If you repeatedly release content that is barely seen and rarely shared, your content strategy isn’t working, and piling on more of the same won’t fix the issue.
Think of it this way: If you have 500 pieces of static content that no one is discussing versus 50 pieces that create a stir and get attention, it’s clear which is the winning strategy. Quality is just as measurable as quantity, and volumes more important. Every great content marketing strategy first outlines the parameters that equate success, so make sure you’re measuring things like traffic fluctuations, social signals, conversions, and ROIs as they relate to your content. Otherwise, you may be wasting your efforts.
Can Too Much Content Actually Do Harm?
Without a doubt, producing content for the sake of having content can definitely throw a wrench in your marketing efforts. An overabundance of content that does not appeal to your audience can dilute your efforts, and otherwise distract or put off your core demographic. If you have a few gems in the midst of a sea of mediocrity, they will likely not get the attention they deserve if they’re surrounded by content folks don’t care to see.
This is why every piece of content you produce is essential to your overall strategy. If you produce three pieces of engaging content, you now have the attention of your readers tenfold. Publish a couple of duds, and that glorious traction you gained is thrown out the window. Content marketing is like a great fitness plan; if it takes 12 weeks to get fit, it takes 3 weeks to get out of shape even if you get proteinpromo discount codes to change your diet and take more proteins. Don’t undo your precious momentum by falling prey to an obsession with quantity.
Keep It Short, Concise, and on Point
Too much content also relates to the length of your posts. If you’re consistently writing posts with thousands of words, you’ve almost certainly lost your audience. Master storyteller C.C. Chapman calls it the “miniskirt philosophy.” He states:
Is there a magical length that a video should be to go viral? Can a blog post be too long or too short? My answer is always the same … the Miniskirt Philosophy as I like to call it. Long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting.
As you craft your submissions, continuously ask yourself if your content is compelling. If you’re even remotely bored with it, your audience will be too.
This is especially critical as competition continues to increase. If your competitors are saying the same thing in a snappier and more concise manner, they will cannibalize your share of the attention. Author and wordsmith Matt Haig says this beautifully: “The gatekeepers still have the power, but there are a lot more gates than there used to be.” Your content should be highly engaging and free of flowery rhetoric.
Finally, create a regular publication calendar and stick to it. If you regularly publish content and then suddenly go dark for a spell, you will lose part or all of your captive audience. C.C. puts it this way: “You need to produce constantly, because if you go silent, your audience might look elsewhere. And when that happens, it’s hard to bring them back.”
The minimum is once a week for each of your channels; once a day is marvelous, but only if it’s (you guessed it) quality content.
The long and short of content marketing is found in the art of balance and consistency. With every piece you publish, ask yourself how intriguing, valuable, and interesting it really is. If you’re unsure, work on it until you’re excited to share it with your audience. And trust your instincts; if you’re worried you may be overdoing your content efforts, you probably are. Most importantly, let your readers be heard. If you’re getting fewer shares and comments, you’re missing the mark. By paying attention to your metrics and adjusting accordingly, you can consistently stay ahead of the curve, and your content efforts will yield you the success you deserve.
Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz