Businesses great and small are racing to produce content as quickly as possible in order to beef up their marketing strategies and acquire as many customers as possible. Company blogs have far and away become the norm and writers from all backgrounds are remaining busy as they pump out content as fast as possible.
While content marketing is all well and good, though, the kind of content that you produce is a pivotal factor in whether or not you’ll ultimately find success.
Why Content Matters
Content marketing can take many shapes and sizes and still be supremely effective. It can consist of text, audio, or visuals; can be contained on a blog, in an email, or on social media; and can be presented by your company, promoted by an influencer, or even shared by your customers.
Content has a powerful effect on your online marketing for a variety of different reasons. For instance, populating your website or social channels with top-notch content can:
- Build your traffic: Content can help you build links, which can be a valuable part of a larger search engine marketing strategy designed to drive more traffic to your website.
- Increase brand awareness: As content is read, shared, and begins to show up in search engine results, your brand awareness naturally increases.
- Provide long-term value for customers: Evergreen content, in particular, remains an effective piece of marketing collateral far into the future.
- Boost your social presence: Sharing good content on your social profiles is a great way to uniquely connect with your audiences.
- Bond with customers: Content delivered across your marketing channels helps you build bonds with your customers as you relate to their pain points and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
In addition to being very effective, content is also affordable. One way or another, content is able to adapt to literally any marketing budget. Cash-strapped startups can use free social channels to provide customer service just as easily as massive corporations can pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into content creation, promotion, and curation. Regardless of the size or scope of the marketing strategy, content provides results.
Why Quality Content Matters
In spite of the clear benefits that come with content marketing, this obsession over the endlessly growing need for more content has exposed one pivotal question that is crucial for the whole content marketing concept: should you focus on quality or quantity?
The unequivocal answer is that quality is by far preferable to quantity. Here’s why:
Quality Puts the Reader First
Honest business professionals have always strived to provide genuine and relevant content for their customers. Nevertheless, there has always been the occasional “bad apple” willing to use content in unsavory ways to beat out the competition.
Things like keyword stuffing and irrelevant links were often used in the past to maximize the search engine optimization (SEO) of each piece of content, regardless of its quality. This led to manipulated search results and dissatisfied readers.
Quality content overcomes this problem by prioritizing the reader first and the search engines second. The number one goal of a quality piece of content should be to satisfy searcher intent first. Only then should things like SEO come into play.
Quality Boosts Dwell Time
One benefit that comes with putting the reader first is that it still manages to boost your SEO, albeit in a natural rather than a manufactured manner. How? Through dwell time.
Dwell time is the amount of time that a searcher spends on a piece of content. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they will likely head back to the search engine in a matter of seconds — something referred to as a “bounce.”
However, if they find what they’re looking for, they may spend several minutes consuming the content. In that case, it leads to a higher dwell time. Many SEO professionals consider this to be an important signal that helps you rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Quality Implies Shareability
The higher the quality of a piece of content, the more likely it is to be shared. This is good news, since “sharing” a piece of content can once again be great for your SEO, and by extension, your site’s traffic.
Whether it’s directly through getting backlinks or indirectly through social shares, if a piece of content is shared by those who are impressed by its value, it will be much more effective than producing several pieces of low-quality content.
Quality Establishes Authority and Reinforces Authenticity
When you create high-quality content that is aimed at the reader, it helps to establish your brand as an authority in your niche or industry. When done well, each piece of content demonstrates that you have bonafide knowledge, resources, and solutions.
This can also serve to naturally reinforce your company’s authenticity by backing up your marketing message with quality content that provides answers and demonstrates experience.
Quality Relates to the Customer
A quality piece of content is going to do its level best to relate to the customer. You can relate to the customer through sharing industry-specific knowledge, connecting to customer pain points, offering genuine solutions, and generally answering customer questions.
This helps to develop customer loyalty, increase brand awareness, and generate leads, all of which are common goals of content marketing.
Quality Starts the Sales Funnel
When a piece of content is created with quality in mind, it draws in the reader, relates to them, and ultimately encourages potential customers to engage with your brand by leading them through the first stages of your sales funnel.
On the one hand, most traditional marketing tends to focus on the later stages of the sales funnel, such as comparing products, value, and prices or making a purchasing decision. On the other, quality content helps to reinforce the early stages of the process, such as making customers aware of their needs and helping them research solutions.
How to Create Quality Content
No matter what way you slice it, there’s no doubt that creating a steady stream of high-quality content is by far more advantageous than simply producing a large quantity of content.
If you’re looking for ways to revamp your current content creation strategy to provide a greater focus on quality, here are a few suggestions to help with the process:
Do Your Research
Never create content willy-nilly. Always do your research to discover:
- What questions your customers are trying to answer.
- What solutions you can offer from your company’s collective experience.
- Answers and resources from quality third-party sources that you can point the reader to for further information.
- What format (social media, email, company blog) you should use to present your content in order to better reach your target audience.
Conducting research will help you engage in a content creation strategy with precision and effectiveness.
Hire Quality Talent
If you want your content to succeed, it’s important that you invest in your content creation team. Look for quality candidates who can both create the content and provide the knowledge required to cobble together highly effective pieces of content.
Establish Clear Quality Guidelines
If your content varies in its voice, tone, and presentation, it can be disconcerting and can subtly undermine your authority. Make sure to establish clear guidelines for your team to follow as they create content.
This will help provide consistency in your marketing message, regardless of the author, artist, or medium involved.
Don’t Hide the Answers
If you’re going to prioritize the reader, you must cooperate with their expectations. For instance, if you’re a plumber creating an article for your company blog about how to unclog a drain, don’t start the article with a 500-word breakdown about the history of plumbing. Give them a direct answer and then elaborate.
Schedule Your Content
If you want your content to perform well, you shouldn’t just focus on the quality of the content itself, but also when you post it. If it’s an evergreen post, timing likely won’t matter too much.
However, things like press releases, time-sensitive stories, or content related to a certain time of the year should be scheduled and posted at the best time to help readers relate to and resonate with its subject matter.
Finally, always remember to set up measurable goals to evaluate how your content performs. These goals could focus on traffic, lead generation, or even revenue. Regardless of the specific metric, make sure that you have a way to track how each piece of marketing collateral does so that you can improve your content creation process in the future.
Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity in Content Marketing
There’s nothing wrong with creating a lot of content. In fact, the more content you can publish, the more likely your chances of marketing success — as long as that content is all high-quality.
Maintaining quality is a crucial element of content marketing that can make or break your online marketing strategy. Quality content establishes your reputation, builds your brand, connects with your customers, generates leads — the list goes on.
So, take some time to evaluate your current content creation strategy and look for ways to focus on quality wherever possible. If you can do that, the results will speak for themselves.
About the Author!
Dan Matthews is a journalist and tech enthusiast with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has written extensively online at the intersection of business tech and digital marketing.