“Quality is much better than quantity. One home run is better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs
It’s the time of the year when many of us tend to over-indulge. Whether it’s saying yes to one more party. One more cookie. One more glass of wine. We get tricked into thinking that more is always better.
There’s a similar deception happening in the marketing world related to content production. Companies think they need to create more and more content – brochures, videos, webinars, white papers, infographics to keep up with the never-ending demands of the internet. But organizations that adopt this “more is better” mentality often get stuck, frustrated and eventually fail to produce any meaningful results.
Is it any surprise then, according to CMI’s 2017 Benchmark study that only 22% of content marketers consider their content marketing approach successful? Many marketers are rushing to create “content” without a well-thought out strategy. In fact, only 37% of organizations even have a documented content marketing strategy, and yet 70% of organizations state that they expect to create MORE content in 2017 compared with 2016.
Before you rush to create more, more, more, consider how you can make a difference in the lives of your buyers, versus contributing to the noise.
Adopt a habit of quality.
Developing high quality content starts with having a strategy and a commitment to producing excellent and useful materials for your buyers. Like all commitments, it becomes easier and more natural once we start practicing.
The natural question that needs to be addressed is “what does quality look like for our organization?” If you work in an organization where multiple people or departments are responsible for creating content, it is essential to gain agreement on what excellent vs. sub-par content looks like and how it will help accomplish your goals. That way, everyone can help reinforce the standards amongst all content creators and prevent “crap” from being published.
5 ways to ensure quality content production:
- Get Focused. Do you find yourself seeking more customers instead of focusing on seeking the right customers? It all starts with having a solid understanding of who you are targeting. Buyer Personas are a great tool to help you achieve this clarity.
- Be Purposeful. Your marketing team may be small, but don’t make the mistake of trying to use the same piece of content to talk to a variety of audiences. A generic approach doesn’t work. If you are not talking to one specific audience, then you are talking to nobody. Instead, think about how your content may help your buyer get educated and move them along their journey with your organization.
- Prepare. Stop rushing to create something just because you have a deadline. Keep an inspiration file. Talk to your customers to understand what their challenges and motivations are. Do your research ahead of time so that you always have ideas related to what your audience cares about. Here’s a quick source of inspiration from around the web for when you feel stuck.
- Plan. You’ve heard the quote by Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Without a content plan and strategy in place, you surely won’t produce high quality content. Your plan should be documented, and outline exactly to whom you are trying to reach, what you hope to achieve, and how you will get there.
- Measure. Start measuring the success of your program based on engagement, customer conversations, and how it contributes to advancing the buying process. Of course, you should also seek informal feedback from customers and your sales team. What’s most helpful? What’s least helpful? You’d be surprised what you can learn if you just ask the right questions.
In summary, more content does not automatically equal more followers. More followers do not equal more sales. More sales do not equal more profit. So, before you think about producing more noise, remember the words of Zig Ziglar – “Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count.”