Content marketers are tasked with navigating many tricky conversations with potential, current and long-lasting clients. For many, one revolves around the age-old quantity versus quality debate: Is more content always a better idea? Or is it smarter to publish less but provide more thought-provoking pieces?
While it’s true that every client needs something different out of their content marketing strategy, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all model, there’s usually some confusion over what works. This is because many are looking for quick wins when investing in a freelancer or agency.
However, as any wordsmith will tell you, content may be king — but it takes time and careful consideration to reign. As chief engagement and brand officer for EHE Health, Joy Altimare shares, the state of the internet, today and in the future, is an open, thriving marketplace for content marketing.
“Everything from our deciding where to vacation for spring break to political decisions is influenced by content,” Altimare says.
So what’s true — and what’s a ‘rule’ we all need to forget?
Common quality vs. quantity myths in content marketing debunked
Here, we spoke with executives who have developed successful campaigns to debunk common quality and quantity myths.
- Meaningful content
- Number of website pages
- Newsletter segmentation
- Social media posts
- SEO-keyword blogs
- Content marketing types
- B2B content development
- Newsletter frequency
- Building conversations
- Number of blog posts
Myth: It doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you are always saying something. Frequency makes you relevant.
Truth: If you take this approach, you’ll sacrifice relevancy and truth.
During the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, many brands wanted to step in and release a statement. This provided an uptick in work for content marketers who were challenged with figuring out the most respectful way to comment and stay on-brand. For many, it offered a gut-check opportunity where leaders needed to determine if they should say something for the sake of saying something or to step back because it wasn’t relevant to their industry.
Altimare references a recent Adweek poll that found 58 percent of respondents believe content needs to be relevant to their audience in order to trigger an action. It makes sense, especially when you consider that one person in your friend circle who joins every discussion, even if they have nothing meaningful to add. So, if they’re merely trying to hop on a high-traffic moment to benefit their bottom line? It’s likely better to stay mum and wait for a moment that makes sense for the organization.
Myth: The more landing pages a website has, the better.
Truth: Savvier consumers demand a seamless user experience.
Ten years ago, quantity was the name of the game when it came to landing pages, says Rachel Harrison, founder of RHC. Because website navigation maps became complex mazes with several layers, she says it created an excellent opportunity for SEO. How come? Each page served as a potential entry-point into the website, creating a case for call-to-actions everywhere.
Today though, it’s the opposite, since Google punishes those domains that offer a clunky, clickbait-like experience. Now, quality and relevancy are part of the algorithm, and thus, it’s better to have fewer yet higher-value pages. This will take various forms, depends on the industry, but as a general rule, it’s more valuable to have pages that make sense for the company and a blog that publishes on a consistent basis, full of a variety of blog content types.
Myth: When you have something to share, you should email everyone on your subscriber list.
Truth: No matter how excellent your content is, no one piece of content will ever be interesting or exciting to all subscribers.
Content marketers know the value of segmented newsletter lists — but it sometimes takes some convincing with decision-makers. According to Harrison, one way to phrase it is to remind them their email list is solid gold. And when brands understand consumers are receiving dozens — if not hundreds — of marketing emails daily, they start to realize the purpose of strategy.
This means not blasting every person with every little update or promotion, and instead, being specific on how often you send messages and who you send them to.
“Segment your subscribers, and communicate with specific segments based on what content or promotion will resonate most with that segment,” she explains.
And even if you’re talking about the same thing, the message needs to change, dependent on who you are targeting.
For example: One of your clients is a luxury resort that just won a coveted spot on a top travel magazine’s ‘must-visit’ list of the year. When communicating with their loyal fanbase, you thank them for helping you arrive at this honor. When speaking with those who have joined the mailing list but haven’t converted into customers, you share the news of their recent recognition and offer a discount for a three-night or more stay. For those who only visited once, the topic should focus on ‘coming back to a top-rated resort,’ and also offer a promotion.
Myth: You need to post all the time on social media.
Truth: Posting less on social but being more strategic with your posts will drive greater engagement.
Social media is a broad umbrella under content marketing and one that’s usually discounted. However, if you think about Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and countless others, the copy is part of the strategy, including:
- Call-to-action text
- Replies to comments
Mark Kapczynski, the chief marketing officer of Gooten, says the beauty of social media is the fact it’s a playground to test and try different ways for your brand to engage with customers. However, this doesn’t mean companies should just post endless photos and share a random article just because. Not only will it not yield the engagement and conversion that brands look for, but it will result in fewer follows since your audience will be confused about your purpose.
“Experiment by thinking through different messages, visuals, contests, incentives and more to tease out engagement,” he advises. “Focus on quality posts that have a reason for being vs. just posting another post celebrating some meaningless daily holiday.”
Myth: Every blog has to be stuffed with keywords.
Truth: Blogs need to be educational and have a reason for a viewer to read it, not just to discover keywords.
SEO keyword development and writing is a vital part of content marketing and a skill that many writers have learned in recent years. However, sometimes well-meaning marketers try to stuff in as many keywords into their blogs as possible, hoping it’ll result in their goals. In reality, Kapczynski says this is the equivalent of dropping acronyms into PowerPoint slides.
“You are pretending to know more than you really do,” he shares. “Focus on the right keywords to help in SEO searches to drive your thought leadership points that are naturally relevant for your business.”
And remember: Every blog doesn’t need 20 keywords since that doesn’t create a well-written, thoughtful piece of knowledge. Instead, include the right keywords a few times as part of a structured, easy-to-read article. And as Kapczynski reminds, Google rewards unique quality content, so simply writing the same set of keywords in every piece ends up having a reverse effect on search results.
Myth: All content is created equal.
Truth: Content serves a different purpose, dependent on brand goals.
Though brands should have a variety of different mediums with content marketing — their blog, social media channels, LinkedIn articles, white papers, and so on — it’s a myth to believe that all content is created equally, Altimare reminds.
A few examples include:
- Some content investments are for SEO purposes, helping a company to build domain authority and expertise, driving sales and conversion rates.
- Other content is to update current clients on the latest developments to improve loyalty.
- Some content is meant to convince potential leads to become fans.
- While not a ton, some is on the fluffier side, meant to entertain and humanize the brand. When you create a calendar and blueprint that outlines the purpose
Altimare says the actual value is having the right quantity of channels paired with quality content in all of them. When you effectively do this, you build read and customer trust: a feat that can’t be prioritized enough.
Myth: Every B2B post must be educational.
Truth: Create a balance.
One mistake content marketers — and brands — make is taking a yawn-worthy approach to B2B creations. As an example, they believe all blog content, all social media posts and all newsletters need to be purely educational in nature.
Though yes, they are hoping to establish themselves as an authority and a valued expert in their industry, if it’s all jargon that’s difficult to mull through, readers are going to lose interest fast. Instead, Kapczynski says to think about a balance between having some fun as it pertains to your space while also providing need-to-know information. This helps to develop a personality for a brand and reduces bounce rates.
Myth: Newsletters need to be once a month.
Truth: You shouldn’t set an end-all-be-all schedule.
Much like segmenting your newsletter list, it’s also essential to allow some flexibility with email blasts. While many content marketers will create a calendar that outlines a monthly and weekly email routine, there are some instances or cases where sending out another message based on a current event or a memorable holiday could result in higher conversion and click rates. Also, here’s where length plays an important part in strategy, according to Christopher Tompkins, the CEO and head strategist at The Go! Agency.
He suggests breaking down the long and drawn out newsletter — that has tons of content and requires tons of scrolling — into smaller, more scannable digests.
“It is better to get more impressions throughout the month rather than leaving all of your email marketing success to a single blast,” he adds.
Myth: Increasing production is the most important thing.
Truth: Reliability is key.
Brands should never allow any of their channels to go silent. One blunder many make is hiring a content writer to develop 12 blogs for them, publishing them all at once, and then not posting for a few months. Instead, it’s better to have a reliable, dependable schedule that readers and fans can look forward to, creating engagement and excitement around the shares.
However, since Google rewards those who publish and post daily, Altimare says they prioritize production and then lose steam. And eventually, the quality of their posts goes down the drain since they simply can’t keep up.
“This results in an ineffective strategy that can lead to content that was immaterial and unprofessional, causing the audience to lose trust,” she explains.
Instead, it’s better to think of the person on the receiving end of the content. Are you talking with them — or at them? It has to be a two-sided conversation for a meaningful strategy, and not one promotion after the other.
“You don’t have to consistently talk about your company and business, you can begin to provide value by offering your audience advice and support for things that affect their daily lives, and has some connection to your brand’s mission,” Altimare shares.
Myth: Creating countless blog posts is a good thing.
Truth: Creating just a few quality posts that are well written and well researched are more valuable.
Kapczynski says that many marketers think that if they just stamp out blog after blog, they will gain traction and demonstrate thought-leadership. But, if your blogs don’t follow guidelines and best practices, they actually just take space on your domain without serving a purpose.
Some key considerations:
- SEO-optimized blogs must meet the latest rules from Google, including the number of keywords, internal linking, word count and more.
- News-worthy blogs must be produced in real-time and quickly to remain relevant to current times.
- Generally speaking, blogs should be longer vs. shorter to gain traction on the internet.