That might seem like counterintuitive advice for a content marketing agency to give its clients.
But we’ve reached a saturation point as marketers. There’s so much content out there, in pretty much every industry. Some of it is great — really helpful, thoughtful reads that educate and add to a bigger conversation. (The Rep Cap team highlighted some of our favorite reads and content sources at the end of 2015.)
But a lot of the content that marketers are churning out just isn’t awesome. As a reader, customer or prospect, it’s usually pretty easy to tell when a blog post or email is inspired and new, versus when a marketing team was just trying to check off a to-do.
Here’s the crossroads we’ve reached:
- We know process is important. It’s the only way to create content without constant stress. We’re big proponents of creating a well-defined content process to make content marketing easier. We’ve perfected a system of Basecamp to-do lists, Google sheets with calendars planned out ahead of time, and a network of people to get all the work done.
- We also know that readers don’t care about process. They don’t care about our to-do lists. They don’t care about our calendars. They only care about what’s in it for them: useful, personalized advice that makes them better at their jobs.
So how do you produce the content quantity you need to keep your marketing moving forward, while putting an emphasis on quality — creativity, new ideas and being helpful?
Right now, the answer that’s working for me is: Keep iterating. Keep learning. Keep reading. Don’t get so tied to your process or plan that you miss an opportunity to create something interesting.
Here’s a peek into what I’ve been reading lately to help me think through these content questions.
Convince & Convert’s deep dive into this issue: Is More Content Better?
Jay Baer and team have gathered some of the best thinking on this question. I especially liked reading TrackMaven’s report, The Content Marketing Paradox, with research on whether brands’ content really drives business results.
If a blog post publishes in the forest and nobody hears it … Copyblogger tackles straightforward ways to make your content more scannable and shareable. Sometimes details like line breaks and subheads really can make or break a blog post.
The Content Talent Crunch: Time to Change How We Train, Hire, Nurture from Content Marketing Institute
Maybe the quality vs. quantity answer is more about talent than process. If you have A-team marketers and writers on your team, would quality become less of a concern? One of my favorite marketers, Jay Acunzo, thinks about how content marketing has changed and what we can do to make sure our talent pipelines keep up.
Reading something great this week? I’d love to hear about it on Twitter!
Make your content better. Download our guide for week-by-week tips: