It’s an age-old debate. With often finite resources, you either publish more content, and let quality take a hit. Or you focus more on the quality of the content, but you’re able to publish less of it. Which approach is best? To answer that question, first of all, what exactly is meant by content quality? Of course, judging quality can be very subjective. But there are some commonalities:
- Substance: Is the content mainly ‘fluff’, or is it worth someone taking the time and effort to consume it? Is there real value in the content?
- Engagement: How engaging is it for your audience?
- Topic: Is the topic on-target in terms of the audience you want to attract?
- Visuals: Is there suitable use of graphics, images and other visuals. Is it part of your Visual Storytelling Strategy?
- Professional: Does it sound or look professional? Does it avoid typos, with appropriate use of punctuation and correct use of English?
- Expectation: Your title sets an expectation for what your content will deliver – does it match up?
- Length: Is the content an optimal length for both the media used (e.g. text, video, podcast) and the value you want to deliver?
- Flow: Does it flow well? In other words, does it read well (or for video or audio, is the content well edited and structured)? Is it easy for someone to follow and get value from?
“You can publish a thousand blog posts in a year, but if only three of them are truly noteworthy, valuable and share-worthy content … then you’ve wasted quite a bit of time.”
Does quantity ever win over quality?
In short, no.
Your content exists primarily to start a relationship with your prospect, your potential customer. If their first impression is a poor one, then your content is doing more harm than good.
In brief, you should always aim to create the best content you can with the resources you have.
It might mean creating content personally, outsourcing it, or having someone on staff.
Either away, aim for continual improvement.
Rather than short-term quantity, aim for long-term quantity – while maintaining quality – through regular, continuous content publication.
Hubspot found that businesses publishing 16 or more times a month attracted nearly three and a half times the amount of traffic of those publishing 4 times a month or less.
However, for this to work, it must be quality content. Simply churning out low quality posts to ramp up the quantity won’t work.
10 Ways Quality Always Trumps Quantity…
So why is quality so important? Here are 10 reasons why it always pays to prioritise quality above quantity:
1. It’s Evergreen. The best content works for months, more likely years, after initial publication. It needs to continue working for you. If it’s poor quality, it will simply sub-perform and won’t deliver anything like as many benefits for you over the long-term.
2. Build Social Influence. To attract people to your social networks, and build your influence and authority, your content needs to have the appropriate level of quality and really deliver value.
3. Reputation. Think about each piece of content as a sales person for your business. It should build trust and credibility with people in your marketplace. Low quality content will do the opposite.
4. Link Building. You’ll attract few if any links to low quality content that has little value for your audience. Quality content will naturally attract inbound links and continue delivering value for your business for the long-term.
5. More Results. Your content will usually have some kind of call to action. This will only be effective if your content is engaging, high quality, and people stick around long enough to see it.
6. Repurposing Opportunities. If you’re solely publishing content for example on your blog, you’re missing out. Repurposing your content onto other content channels (here are 50+ ways to do so) repays dividends. Focusing on the quality of the original content item means you get more benefits wherever you republish it.
7. More Responsive List. As you create new content, share it with your email list. When you’re sharing quality content that delivers value, you build a stronger relationship with your list and build their level of response to you.
8. Search Engine Visibility. Low quality content simply falls off the radar on search.
9. More Shares. Higher quality content attracts more engagement and gets shared more often.
10. Improved Bounce Rates. People bounce away from low quality content. This reduces your visibility on search as well as reducing engagement with your content, e.g. people signing up to your list.
In brief, always focus on the quality of your content. Sure, it’s harder work in the beginning and requires more resources.
But by creating high quality content assets, you create real value for your business over the long-term.
Steve Shaw is the founder of vWriter.com, helping businesses “Be Everywhere” through the power of content. Grab a free copy of his Content Authority Formula, the proven formula that builds your authority, influence and visibility across the web.