Inevitably, when you’re thinking about your content marketing strategy, you’re going to have to think about how much content you should be creation versus the amount of effort you should put into distributing content. And before you get to that point it’s important to explore whether content creation is the most important element of content marketing or whether content distribution is more important.Is content creation more important that content distribution
I need to hold my hands up here and say I have always been a firm believer in the power of creating more and more content in order to grow traffic. My focus on creating more and more content has probably gone some way to inform the way that GrowTraffic carries out our content marketing services. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but there are many ways of thinking about this.
I’ve worked in a number of marketing teams over the years and I can assure you one thing that’s for sure; most marketing managers and directors hate the idea of creating lots of content. The reason managers dislike creating a lot of content is because it’s challenging to work strategically and maintain quality if you are just bashing out content.
I believe the volume and velocity of the content doesn’t have to reduce the quality and doesn’t have to mean it’s not strategic.I’ve had many conversations about this with marketing professionals and I’ve been proven right countless times, Ensuring quality and alignment to the strategy is one of processes and management. But, it also relies on your ability to promote the content.
When I started creating content for websites it was the golden age of content marketing, in fact, back then we didn’t even call it content marketing. So when I started out creating content, every piece of content I wrote went on to rank at position one in Google and drove targeted traffic. The problem now is everyone is creating content so it’s much more competitive.
If you want to get the kind of broad coverage of content required for most businesses you’re going to find that not all content is going to be able to drag in a lot of search volume. Sure, you’ll end up with a compounding traffic effect, but if you want each piece of content to gain high amounts of traffic in a short space of time you’re likely going to need to put a distribution strategy in place that covers each piece of content.
Personally, I reckon in most industries you need at least 200 – 500 well-created, quality pieces of content in order to make a dint. That’s going to take some time to create and get out there. For most businesses I’ve worked with you can expect that to take around 12 months to 2 years. If you’re going to pay someone to create that content then you’re going to be looking at tens of thousands of pounds and you’re definitely not going to get a return in the short term. If you need things to move faster, you’re going to have to use every promotion and content distribution tactic you’ve got in your marketing arsenal.
There’s always Pareto’s Law to talk about as well. In content marketing circles the argument is you should do 20% content creation and 80% content distribution. Personally, I don’t buy this argument. I think you should roughly follow this for your best content, but your best content should represent 20% of your content calendar, on top of this you want around 80% of content that’s not quite as special.
There are many reasons why you wouldn’t spend 80% of your effort into distributing some content. So let’s take search volume – ie interest – on some topics you’re going to cover in your content. If you’ve got something that’s quite niche and it’s only going to get searched for every now and then, there no point spending all your time distributing it. It won’t get anywhere.
This is where keyword research and persona development is important. Keyword research is going to tell you what the inbound opportunities are through search alone and the persona work is going to tell you the size of the audience and roughly how often they will experience the issue you’re covering in the b log. This will give you a rough indication of how much effort you should put into content distribution.
So to summarise, it’s not as simple as carrying out 20% content creation and 80% content distribution. It’s an interesting rule of thumb and one which most marketers would espouse, but in many industries, the most important thing you can do is create the volume of content that’s required to start dominating the industry and distribute those pieces of content that are most important to your funnel.