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Quantity versus Quality, Must I Choose Sides in My Content Marketing Strategy?

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Quantity versus Quality, Must I Choose Sides in My Content Marketing Strategy?

One of the biggest objections I encounter to the content marketing strategy of updating a site multiple times daily is the thinking (sometimes out loud!) that content must suffer if you are posting often. 

“Nobody has that much to say that can be considered quality content.”

Baloney. Malarkey. Hooey. 

Or, “I prefer to do quality instead of quantity.”

What I hear is that the content marketer doesn’t want to work hard, isn’t creative enough, or is getting paid more for a lengthy article than they can for smaller articles.

My strategy, rather, is to create an army of high quality articles.

Quantity versus Quality

Those folk with the mentality that quality suffers when you post a lot need to sit down with a professional content marketer who can show them how to expand their thinking to develop a long list of quality ideas to write about.

Not Enough Good Ideas

You might want to check out Bernadette’s article here on SEJ – The Complete List of Engaging Content Ideas.

I could tell you my strategy, including how I could expand on her list, but then I’d have to shoot you. But really, here is an example: If I do an interview and it runs long, I will break it up into a series of posts, linking them altogether. One interview of 10 Q&As can become 10 quality posts each addressing a point. No doubt I will tell you more of my strategies anyway in future articles.

When Short is Better Than Long

There is also the mindset that if short is good then long must be better. Says who? That’s simply not true. Don’t get me wrong, it can be true. But it’s not ALWAYS true. And if you’re a content marketer, it’s not even usually true.

If someone wants a short answer to a specific question (which is some 90% of queries that take place in search engines), the long windy answer is NOT a good quality reply by any measurement. It’s just long.

Just answer the question.

2 Key Questions

Question: When was the last time you found the answer to your search query in the 300-400th, or 400-500th, or 500th+ word section of an article?

Answer: It doesn’t happen. And a long article does not make the front end any easier to find. 

Question: When you make a search, get your results, click on the result you think you want to read, what is the next thing you do?

Answer: If you are like most people, after clicking and opening up your result the next you do will be to scroll down to see how long it’s going to take you to get your answer, the information you want. And if you perceive the article as too long to get your answer, you back out = a bounce, the worst thing that can happen after someone searches and finds you. Too long is too long. If you are writing long windy articles you are NOT doing so as part of a content marketing strategy.

Long is Not Sustainable

This doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for long, well-written articles. Those kinds of articles are precisely the kind of articles I am writing here at SEJ. Even so, writing long articles is NOT a good content marketing strategy. It is not sustainable. The results take too long to get, if they can be gotten at all. Remember the fellow I mentioned in a previous article here at SEJ.

2 Rules of Thumb

A simple fact – search engines are stupid. A search bot cannot read an article and make a subjective determination that says, “Wow, this is good writing, good style, deep, well-researched, substantive content.”

A search engine can, however, count. The content at this site is balanced (uses a reasonable percentage of the same character combinations); this website is consistently on topic; this site has more related articles internally as well as links to more external sources that are related as well, and this site has more on-topic content than another site.

Another fact – if you want more eyeballs on your site from search, give searchers more good stuff to find. Stop fiddling with the few pages and offer up more good stuff.

Conclusion

Quality does not need to suffer at the expense of quantity. They are not enemies. The real winner in content marketing will be the site which offers the greatest amount of quantity without sacrificing quality.

Next article – Social Media versus Social Networking in Content Marketing, a Clear Winner

Image: Property of  BillBelew.com.

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Bill Belew

Bill Belew

Professor, Speaker, Author, blogger, all-around old man. Having taught a full 48-hour MBA course in Marketing with Social Media at ... [Read full bio]

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