“When content doubles, attention halves” - Gerry Mcgovern
Here’s a marketing prediction for 2016: “The smartest brands will publish less in 2016, putting more emphasis on larger editorial projects. Blog posts have become just too ubiquitous at this point. It’s easy to write 600 words about the latest trending topic, but it’s better to write 2,000 words on something that will shake up your industry” - Jordan Teicher
Given that every single business entity now resorts to content marketing - in order to differentiate ourselves, we must go back to the Jerry Maguire way of doing business - Less is More.
Let’s delve deeper to see why writing less content might actually be a good idea in 2016.
1. Establish industry expertise through well-researched content
Undeniably, content marketing is on a friggin’ roll. It’s only natural to assume that you have to do more than your competition to be better than your competition - publish more posts, generate more content, and so on.
Well, not really. True that the digital market is super over-crowded but as counterintuitive as it seems, the right step here is to step back and find a way to differentiate yourself - you can’t use aggressive marketing to do that.
Frequent writing is no longer a ‘good’ strategy to market yourself.
What would you rather do? Focus on the quality and the richness of your content instead. It is more important that you establish industry expertise through your content. Google is now better able and more focused on giving higher search rankings to good quality content that users spend more time on.
For example, if you are writing a how-to blog post - make it detailed, interactive, include infographics, case study examples, make it aesthetically pleasing etc.
2. Focus more on promotion and outreach
Let’s take an example from my startup Hiver: we follow something called the 80/20 rule of promotion - we spend 20% of our time and money on content creation and 80% on promoting it to the right audience. When compared with 2014, we produced half the content in 2015 and saw 1.4X conversions.
Marketers need to realise that most of the content they produce goes under-utilised; for example: if we post a blog article, we could derive more value out of it by:
- Promoting/re-publishing it on platforms like medium.com, growthacking.com.
- Taking it to a wider audience by approaching influencers who can at the least share your post - works wonders!
- Using marketing automation for building more relations, wider social media outreach, and generating more leads.
The takeaway is: Everyone’s writing content, it’s time to put more emphasis on taking the content to the right audience, which does not happen as organically as we’d like.
3. Cut out the content wastage
I believe that content quantity is something of a bell curve like this:
As you increase the content frequency, everything looks good and uphill for a while, but after hitting the sweet spot, right at the top, how much ever content you produce goes right in your trash can.
By producing excessive content you will be overloading your audience with excessive information which serves absolutely no purpose at all. This kind of an overload is not just a waste of content, but also dips the lead generation to content ratio.
4. Build an aura of exclusivity
Consider a classic country club or a golf club: what makes it so special to get an invitation from such clubs? The exclusivity.
Another famous example is from the book by Robert Cialdini called Influence: In this book, the author’s friend decides to decrease the price of a piece of jewellery since it was not getting sold. The assistant accidentally increases the price and guess what, the next day a customer buys it for that new increased price. Why? Because the customer thought that a piece of jewellery this pricey, must be very exclusive.
This is not manipulation, but human psychology. A similar theory applies to content too - if you pour out too much mediocre content into the digital space, you will be just another company trying to make profits and grab prospects. You will never build a name and create value for yourself.
5. Focus on long-form content (which is loved by search engines too)
Less emphasis on quantity can give you more time to put into each and every piece of content, especially long form content which is great for businesses. Here’s why:
- You can include analogies, examples, and case studies which help readers understand better, and which in turn helps you get through to them.
- Business storytelling is a great way to engage readers and entice them. Long form content gives you more scope to talk about your business stories.
- It is impossible to write a 2000+ words article unless you have a good command over the subject, and so this demonstrates your expertise to the readers.
- The best way to win the SEO game is long form content. “If Google has a choice to show two articles for the same keyword, which one are they going to chose: the one where readers average 45 secs on the page or the one where readers average 4.5 mins on the page.” - Marcus Sheridan, Founder of The Sales Lion.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
- Andrew Davis
About the guest author
Niraj Ranjan Rout is the founder of Hiver (hiverhq.com), an app that turns Gmail into a powerful customer support and collaboration tool. Niraj works on programming, customer support and sales, and also contributes to design and UI. He’s a fusion music aficionado, loves to play the guitar when he can.