When it comes to content marketing there’s the constant either/or debate—do you push out copious amounts of content: emails, social media posts, blogs; or do you hold out, refine your content and aim for quality?
Of course there are merits to both and some will argue until they’re blue in the face for either side. Time and again it comes down to one main question: How well do you know your customer?
On the quantity side, there is, of course, a sweet spot. HubSpot and Moz did in depth six month studies where they aimed to find the balance between frequency and quality. No one wants to push out mediocre content, but is it better to push out as much content as possible, sacrificing on the quantity, or is it better to keep up on the quality and opt for fewer posts?
Surprisingly, the results were not as cut and dry as you might expect. As it turns out, keeping your customers in constant reach does lead to more sales. Frequent contacts are necessary and can boost your results. However, there is a goldilocks spot where you have frequent enough contacts to reach your customer base and maximize your engagement. Piling on more engagement after that point won’t net the same results.
So, what’s a marketer to do?
Whether you’re looking at B2B or B2C contacts, one of the most important ways to stay on the radar is to be consistent. Consistent, semi-frequent and quality posts over a prolonged period of time will keep you in the forefront of your customer’s thoughts (and keep up your sales). Stay active and regular. Schedule your posts, your newsletter or your customer email to come out on the same days each week. Let your customers learn to rely on you.
Types of contact and content can vary. When you’re talking blog posts, 2-3 a week might be enough, or a regular weekly or bi-weekly email can be a great way to reach your customer base. On the other hand, with social media, the rule of thumb is to post regularly, frequently enough to engage your audience but not so frequently that you overwhelm.
Quality isn’t Universal
Know what quality means for your customers. It is not the same in all industries—there are some universal quality guidelines, but not everyone has the same standard of quality for every post or piece of content. In order to have a killer marketing strategy, you must know your customers.
An internet-based company, marketing, consulting or similar industry might require more attention to research and industry lingo. A small manufacturing company, medical office or other industry may be served by simply sharing research and news with an occasional unique or targeted post. It depends on the audience and what appeals to your customer.
So how do you know? Test, test, test again, of course. Pay attention to your analytics, and use them to guide you. A/B test your mass emails and weekly points of contact. Look at the data to see what appeals to your customer. Listen to customer feedback.
At the same time, don’t live and die by your analytics. Viral content can’t be predicted (or manufactured), and it’s hard (if not impossible) to always know what’s going to strike a chord with your base. If there’s something relevant to the present environment, something exciting happening in your industry, or something unique, fun or creative, share away!
Other ways to bolster your content include sharing guest posts with your audience and expert editorials. Offer how to videos or “interviews with the CEO”. Provide product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and other fun pieces of content to help take the work and dread out of content.
Assuring Quality Content
Have clear guidelines for all your contributors. Everyone from your CEO to your intern should understand the components of what your content needs to look like. Have a style sheet and refer to it frequently. Will your intern write on the same level as your CEO? No, of course not, nor should they. Allow for different levels to target different customers and knowledge bases, but keep the style clear and consistent.
Contributors should understand how to post, where to post and have examples of successful past posts. They should have a timeline, a basic layout and know what the regular CTAs and taglines are for your company. Guidelines will keep things consistent and allow you to shift some of the work of creating content throughout your chain of command.
Guidelines will also protect you when a rogue employee goes off the rails and makes a political post or shares something inappropriate. Provide clear examples of what is appropriate and acceptable for your organization and company and what areas should be either supervised or avoided. This protects you from liability and from offending your audience.
In today’s world of technology, marketing has now become publishing. Every company and organization needs someone who can write for their website, touch their customers online and keep the content flowing for their business. Marketers have to wear two hats—advertising and sales pitches are no longer enough.
Make quality content your priority and post as frequently as possible. Aim for relevant, current and interesting topics and pieces to really engage your customer base and keep your clients reading, clicking and sharing!
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