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Quantity or Quality, the Content Marketing Dilemma

26 Oct 2017

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Many businesses would love nothing more than to be in a position where they can post daily content to their website and distribute a large amount of content quickly and often. However, the result of this can be that the content they then produce is of a poor quality since it’s poorly thought out and quickly created. With Google demanding better quality content online with regular updates aimed at raising the standard, is it worth creating content daily or should you stick to irregular content that’s of a better quality?

Quality should always be your main objective, especially given that not only are Google critical of content that’s not well put together, but so are your audience. And if you’re a relatively new brand then regular content is a must.

It’s a quandary for many, that’s for sure. For the most part, the content you produce will be dictated by two main things: time and money. Perhaps you don’t have the budget to outsource or get in dedicated website or content staff, you also perhaps don’t have the time to sit down and write blogs and other content each day. With that in mind let’s have a look at how you can streamline the content creation process to ensure that quality content is produced often.

Content Strategy

In order to effectively create, distribute and manage content, your first port of call should be the production of a content strategy document. This will help you to define your content marketing goals, improve workflows and repurpose existing content.

According to a report from the Content Marketing Institute, those marketers that produce a content strategy document are more likely to be successful in their content marketing endeavours and are more able to prove ROI by measuring success.

Editorial Calendar

Once you have a clear idea of what you’re doing strategy-wise, the next step is to get an editorial calendar together. These days, there’s no real need for a big calendar to be physically set up in the office, a shared workspace is more efficient. This can take the form of a simple shared doc (eg. on your intranet) which has the following information:

  • Content type
  • Suggested title
  • Additional brief if necessary
  • Deadline for content creation
  • Target site for posting
  • Social media sharing information
  • Who’s responsible
  • Date of posting

In order to come up with titles to add to the calendar well in advance, you should take a look at all of the industry events that are going on that you think are worth covering. You can also plan out content for special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter etc. This will help you to fill the calendar well in advance and it’s worth also including a brainstorming section where content creators can enter ideas that can quickly and easily be added to the calendar.

Monitoring Quality

Once you have all of the planning set up, it should be a simple matter to monitor the quality of your content. To help with this, it’s a good idea to have a house style document too that helps content creators to tailor the work to the brand.

This should include:

  • Brand persona – think about how you want your brand to talk to its audience, is it friendly or formal, young or old. This will be dictated too by your buyer personas as in order to properly address your audience demographic, to some extent you have to know how they speak, what they do, what they’re hobbies are etc.
  • Word counts – short blog entries for news stories are fine, but longer posts tend to perform better so ensure that you mix it up. Whilst it was the case that businesses would create 300 word posts for SEO purposes, this really isn’t very useful to your readers as there’s only so much useful information you can pack into a small post. Consider posting posts of various lengths between 800-2500 words.
  • Style and tone – does your audience like a fun, friendly tone? Do they know and use jargon? Do they like in-depth, intellectual pieces that prompt discussion? Knowing all of this will help your content creators to come up with posts that get shared.
  • Referencing – good written content and infographics should always contain references to the sources that you’ve used. For blog posts, this is simply a few embedded links pointing to sources that backup the information that you’re giving. White papers and case studies tend to have footnotes, as do infographics. Referencing is a simple way to ensure that readers know your content is unique and that time and effort has gone into it. Try to ensure that the sources you link to are authoritative.
  • Layout – this is important as people read differently online than they do print. Text should appear in short paragraphs with clear which space surrounding them and bullets and sub headers should be used to further break up the text and make it more appealing and easy to read.

It goes without saying that all written content should contain excellent spelling and grammar too. You should aim to create content for your blog regularly (aim for weekly if possible, and daily if resources allow) if you’re looking to strengthen your brand’s domain - as your site will be crawled more frequently and your domain authority will rise quicker. When it comes to other content, one mistake that many companies make is in producing too many press releases. These don’t have the same power that they used to, especially because they’ve been abused by spammers looking for links.

White papers and case studies can be produced quarterly or perhaps even monthly depending on time commitments. 

You can create quality content often, it’s just a case of good planning and organisation. With a clear strategy and simple workflows, you can have the best of both worlds.

Next Step: Website Redesign Best Practices

Your content is one component of creating a world-class website experience for your audience. When a visitor clicks on your website the first few seconds are critical. Is your website compelling, from both an information and design perspective, to keep visitors interested and move them along your buyer's journey?

If not, they will not hesitate to leave and turn to your competitors to meet their needs.

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