I am a huge fan of TrackMaven. Their competitive intelligence software for digital marketers is as good as it gets and they consistently produce some of the best data-based content marketing research available. They recently published a new eBook called The Content Marketing Paradox: Is More Content Really Better? It's a must-read for content marketers.
TrackMaven analyzed over 13.8 million pieces of content to answer the question, "Is more content better?" Their data confirms an intuition I've had for some time now. In the past few years, inbound marketers (like me) have preached the gospel that more content will get more traffic to your site. Companies across the world answered the clarion call and there has been a virtual flood of content unleashed.
Content Production? Up. Content engagement? Down.
The TrackMaven analysis identified a very interesting fact. In April of 2013, the trend line for content production crossed the trend line for content engagement. In other words, with the glut of marketing content published, the audience engagement per post dropped significantly.
Image courtesy of TrackMaven
It makes sense and confirms a long-held hypothesis of mine: it's harder to make your content stand out amongst the noise created by the glut of low-quality content.
Quality trumps quantity
As far as I'm concerned, the case is closed. Quality trumps quantity. Rather than producing assembly-line quality content, spend your time creating content that people actually want to read. As you produce content, your audience will let you know what's hot an what's not. Content that's good will get more page views, more shares, more likes and more retweets. Analyze your content and see what resonates and try to identify why it resonates:
Do certain subjects resonate with your audience?
What are the titles of your top posts? What's different about them?
Does your audience like images? Statistics?
Which posts generate the most leads?
- Which format does your audience prefer? Blogs? Videos? Slideshares? Webinars?
Use the typical lean approach: take the feedback from your audience and do more of what works and less of what doesn't.
Don't forget to promote your content.
Spend as much time promoting your content as you do producing it.
Share your posts on social media - use images and snippets of text to get people to click through and read your content.
Reach out to influencers, vendors and customers. Ask them to read and share your content.
Get your employees to share your content. For most B2B firms, your sales people and executives will have more LinkedIn connections than your company does. Make sure to take advantage of those connections by having your team share your content.
Consider promoting your content with social media advertising. One tip - don't waste your money by promoting bad content. You'll do more harm than good.
Much of your content will be "evergreen." The example that I use is that the blog post that produces the most traffic to my site in January 2015 was written in June 2013. Produce content that will produce long after it's published.
The best thing you can do for your content marketing is to step up the quality and promote your great content. You'll get much better ROI using a forward-looking content marketing strategy.