Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute, argues that "more content is better" is a fallacy. He explains: "Everywhere I go, I find marketers who are challenged with creating more content. More blog posts, more eBooks, more videos, more podcasts … more, more, more. ... I’m done with more."
My first reaction was, "What?" According to HubSpot's 2012 Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000+ Businesses research report:
- Companies that update their blog frequently generate 5 times the web traffic of companies that don’t blog. Small businesses tend to see the biggest gains when they increase the frequency of posts.
- Even a modest increase in blogging increases inbound leads. By increasing blog frequency from 3-5 posts/month to 6-8 posts/month, companies experience a 55% increase in lead generation. B2B companies that post only once or twice a month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all.
- As companies increase their total blog posts from 11-20 to 21-50, web traffic typically grows by 45%. And companies with more than 200 articles generate five times the leads of companies with ten or fewer total blog posts.
But what about quality? Yes, the right question. Joe surprised me at first. I thought, "Why does he suddenly equate frequency with quality?" "More content is better" doesn't necessarily mean "more content of whatever quality is better". Moreover, more doesn't necessarily equal bad quality.
Joe continues with a discussion of "epic" content. However, he doesn't really explain what epic content means, save that is better than what others do. That's not necessarily a good benchmark either, is it?
That's why I really liked a post by Sharon Tanton (it was the most popular Zemanta post in January) What Is Valuable Content:
The most important part of her post is: "The key to producing valuable content is a deep understanding of your client and customer base."
Once I asked Michael Hoefflich, Forum Corporate Publishing, what custom magazine is a good magazine. He simply said, "The one that readers love to read." That's it.
So, when you are developing your content marketing strategy, instead of obsessing about frequency and the size, look for answers to the following questions first:
1. Who is going to produce content?
- How much can you leverage talents, skills and knowledge of your employees?
- Do you have any employees or is it just you?
- Is/are they working on other things?
- How much time can they allocate to producing "epic" content?
- What is each of them best at (writing, brainstorming, videotaping, talking, etc.)?
- Can you regularly produce valuable content alone or do you need external help?
2. How much money can you invest and what can you get for it?
3. How much content does your average prospect/buyer expect/need?
- How much great content can they absorb in a week/month?
- Is your average follower a web junkie?
4. And of course what kind of content do they want/need/expect?
The answers to the above questions are paramount, not how many times, how many channels or what is the best size for the post! Not that these don't matter, they just depend on the answers to the questions above.