"There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup."
Author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World
Quality content is key to audience engagement. You can hit an audience as many times as you’d like, you can spend as much money as you please on branding efforts that plaster your name all over the place. But the name of the game in modern content marketing is quality. Without great content, you can’t engage a great audience - and your marketing success rates don’t stand a chance.
Quality Over Quantity
There’s no better cliche for this one because it’s the plain truth. Quality content is far more important than quantity of content, and likewise the quality of your audience outweighs its quantity. Having 500 engaging pieces of content and 1,000 active followers beats having 6,000 subpar blog posts with 100,000 inactive followers. Believe us: those 1,000 engaged followers will grow through sharing and word-of-mouth, while the number of hangers-on to boring content will inevitably plateau and shrink.
What Gives Content Value?
So how does one go about creating quality content? Truly engaging content must be:
Timely and relevant to current events or popular topics.
Pertinent to the target audience.
Memorable and hard to forget.
Unique to your brand.
What are people looking for?
A story. Your ideal audience does not want just another regurgitation of something they read last week or something that makes them say “well, duh!” Be engaging. Take risks with your content. Tell your company’s story, tell your product’s story, or create a story that somehow links back to your organization or its mission statement. Heck, explain your mission statement through song, in a music video. Whatever you decide, remember: this is your chance to leave your mark!
How Is Content Delivered Most Successfully?
Not surprisingly, engagement rates are highest for social media platforms. Instagram and Facebook both regularly top the charts for engagement. Why? They are highly functional platforms that allow users to essentially build the community they want to be a part of. Additionally, both platforms offer privacy settings and customizable feeds that ensure viewers are seeing the exact content they want to see. This means that the ad spaces in these newsfeeds present great opportunities, but exist in a highly competitive space.
Alternately, ads placed in highly targeted areas or attached to specific topics within a digital publication present a more affordable, less competitive opportunity for most B2B advertisers.
Why Does Any of this REALLY Matter?
Let’s be honest; there’s a bottom line here. Quality content is not just the right thing to provide from a moral, do-good standpoint. It also saves money. Putting out a ton of content without meaning and clear targeting is basically an expensive way to reduce ROI. For certain types of advertising it actually directly makes fees more expensive. CPC campaigns, for example, get cheaper as engagement climbs.
For simple branding ads, boosting uninteresting content will not work. You can spend all the money in the world, but a bad ad is a bad ad - and when it links to bad content, you’re truly screwed. Even if someone does click on it, they are not likely to come back if they find their first visit pointless.
Creating content also takes time. Creating bad content wastes time. If time is money, then creating anything less than high-quality content is just throwing dollars directly in the trash bin.
Just Do It.
Get your momentum rolling and do whatever it takes to put out great content. Many times, content marketing doesn’t provide an instant payout - but it’s worth it in the long run. Don’t procrastinate, and don’t look for instant gratification. Remember that in the digital age, content essentially lasts forever. Make sure that the content you’re engraving on history is the right content for your brand.
- Lindsay Jawor