Content marketing is something us marketers talk about every year as ‘changing’… and it may seem a little weird that we are constantly changing our minds on what content should be and what will work well...
But content marketing is ever changing! And that’s a positive thing for business as it keeps marketing fresh and unpredictable.
One of our main forecasts for the future of content marketing, particularly in 2018 is the focus on quality not quantity.
Now this may be a given for some people as quality content should always be a priority, right? In fact, what a lot of professional services marketers are doing is focusing on producing as many short 200-500 word blog articles as they can for as many industry keywords or sector areas as they can. Often this will be a rehash of a news story or a piece of commentary on an industry topic.
We’re currently in the process of carrying out our annual research into digital marketing in the legal sector. You don’t have to go far to find law firms who are blogging on a daily basis, attributing blogs to lawyers from various areas of law.
This tactic may seem like a good idea to some and in many ways is still a useful way of driving traffic to a website. Get as many blogs as possible out there in front of the people who are likely to be searching for your services.
But, what about when people land on your blog post? Is a quick 500 word commentary enough to turn someone from a website visitor into an opportunity?
For the most part, the answer is no…
So then you need to ask yourself, what is the point of my blog? Is it serving a purpose by just attracting website visitors but not converting them? Is it giving something back to the reader in terms of helpful tips, advice or delight?
This all ties back into inbound marketing as a concept and strategy - you can find out more about what inbound marketing is here.
So how can you take this quality not quantity content method forward into your own marketing efforts?
Focus on helping and delighting your audience
Creating quality content can be a difficult task for professional services firms. It can take days to plan, research and write a good content piece.
But it's no bad thing to take more time to produce fewer words if they are of greater value to the reader.
The benefits of creating something that will genuinely help someone to achieve a goal are well worth the extra time and effort.
A lot of marketers will have an editorial calendar which will involve anything from a blog post a day to a blog post a month and everything in between.
Instead of focusing on posting that one 200-500 word blog post every day, take time to create one 800+ word blog post a week that offers something really meaningful to your audience. A piece of content that will make the user click further into the website and head further down the buyer's journey.
Mix up your content types
It can be so easy to focus on blogging as your main source of content but as you know, we are in the age of video and interactive content and the blog content market is saturated.
So as marketers, it’s up to you to make your firm stand out and stay relevant.
That means trying to think outside the box a little more when it comes to content creation.
If you are doing a video, make it about something that your target audience need help with or advice about. Take time to properly script it and plan it out.
The same can be said for a piece of primary (gated) content like a guide or checklist. They take longer to create but offer so much more value to website users than a simple blog post.
Set your website up for conversion
There is no point investing all of your time on creating quality content if you don’t have the means to convert users into leads.
Part of the quality not quantity process is to make sure that all of the extra effort and time you are putting into content creation is paying off.
Add further calls to action and forms onto your blog pages to convert users into leads.
Make sure you are internally linking other content pieces together so that people stay on your website for longer.
Essentially, make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to get in touch with you.
Spend budget on amplifying quality content
You would probably never think of spending money to amplify your daily blogs to your audience and for good reason… It would be a waste of money.
On the other hand, when you have a quality piece of content that is converting web users into leads, then amplifying it further can only be a win-win.
Spending some budget on boosting your content on social media can be a great way to increase the number of leads you generate.
If you are struggling for time and resource… Outsource
Without a doubt, some marketers who are reading this will be thinking something along the lines of: ‘Content creation is just a small part of the constant barrage of daily marketing tasks - how can I find time to write these bigger, better quality content pieces?’
If you are struggling then there are a multitude of agencies and freelancers who can create content pieces for you.
The obvious advantage of this is that you can take content creation out of your task list and still have a stream of great content without a drop in quality… assuming you can find the right agency or freelancer!
Quality vs Quantity
The Quality vs Quantity argument has been around forever and really it’s all down to the results you want to achieve from your content.
There has been a shift, though… People now expect content to be high quality, regardless of whether it’s a short blog post or a 20 page guide! When they search for something in Google and click on a link, they want to be able to find the answer to their questions and more, instantly.
While quick, short form SEO curated content can be great for your traffic volume, it doesn’t serve a purpose unless it’s providing some sort of tangible ROI.
Quality content, on the other hand, can still be SEO optimised, it gives more to the reader/viewer, it increases brand reputation and it increases conversion rates, giving you an ROI on all that time you spend producing content.
It’s all about the time and resources you as a marketer are willing to put into it. It’s also about where content marketing fits into your strategy and how it contributes to building leads and, ultimately, your business’ bottom line.