Finding a Balance Between Content Marketing Quality and Quantity

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Finding a Balance Between Content Marketing Quality and Quantity


content marketing is a balance between quality and quantityLet's face it. We want our cake and we want to eat it now. We can see the benefits of writing at least five blog posts per week (higher traffic and leads), but when we outsource them to "blog farms," we see a decline in readership and shares. How do we find a good balance between quality and quantity that sustains our growth without diluting our content "product"? Here are some things to think about.

Consider the Root Cause of the Problem

Let's do our continuous improvement exercise, the 5 Why's.

Perceived problem: We don't have the internal resources to write a sufficient number of high-quality blog posts on a consistent basis to increase traffic and leads.


Because we don't have good writers on staff who have the bandwidth for blogging.


Because we don't hire people with those skills in mind and make content a part of their job descriptions.


Because we are just now recognizing the value of content marketing in our overall marketing strategy.


Because we adopted a 'wait and see' policy until the economy recovers and marketing trends become clearer.


Because we have always taken a conservative approach to new directions, and that has always been successful for us.


Continuous improvement is really good at uncovering bigger problems that plague the rest of the organization or hold it back. In this case, because the company is worried about hiring new people and doesn't recognize the value of talented content writers, it is prepared to surrender that advantage to more aggressive competitors. So what's the solution? Let's try some experiments by outsourcing a few blogs a month to some (relatively) cheap bloggers and see what impact that has on our inbound metrics. The trouble is...

  • The inexpensive, outsourced writers don't know you and don't care
  • You're not committed to consistent, high-quality content, and it shows
  • Your most valuable assets, your people, have no voice
  • Your leadership in your market has no voice, and no audience
  • This strategy won't work, so the initiative will die on the vine

A Better Solution?

Take the leap. Hire someone with excellent writing skills. Make blogging an important part of his or her job, and empower them to become an important voice of the company. Get leaders and staffers involved in the process. Your content person can help them express themselves through blogs and social media channels. If you're going to outsource, make sure it's with a firm or freelancer who commits to getting to know everything about your company, your people and your business.

Fear is the No. 1 public enemy of progress. This quality content thing is long past being a trend. It's a reality that isn't going away. You need to get on board now. It's that simple.

Photo credit: ross_hawkes

john mctigue blog photoWith over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via TwitterLinkedIn or Google Plus.

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Really encouraging thoughts. Practical too. I read on HubSpot's marketing stats that 100% of companies who blog multiple times a day have found customers through their blogs; 90% who blog once a day; and then the numbers start to drop considerably. Convincing stuff. In fact, I was just brought on as our company's first full time copywriter and content strategist. 
Thanks for the great post. 
Any tips or recommended resources on creating personas for targeting blog posts?
Posted @ Thursday, December 06, 2012 11:15 AM by Aaron Orendorff
@Aaron, thanks for your comments and congrats on your new, forward-thinking position. Persona development is crucial. Here is a blog post I wrote on the subject that refers to Adele Revella's work. 
Also, our partner, Mark Gibson, offers buyer persona analysis as part of his marketing messaging services. Tell him I sent you if you inquire further. 
Thanks, John
Posted @ Thursday, December 06, 2012 11:43 AM by John McTigue
It's true. Good writers increasingly rare to find. It might be better to empower existing, with better incentives.
Posted @ Thursday, December 06, 2012 5:11 PM by dhanti
Thanks John. 
We've recently started using contract writers. This has been a learning experience for us with editing some of their work taking as long as writing the blog post in the first place. 
Over time we've learnt that one of the keys is a really clear brief for each blog post. It might take half the time to write as it does to write a blog post, the results we are getting back are worth the effort. 
One of the other things we have learnt is to have a number of different writers available and understand each of their strengths. Use the right writer for each job. 
Posted @ Saturday, December 08, 2012 9:39 PM by Ken
Your comments on the time commitment just to edit and polish submitted blog posts is on point - you still need a good writer on staff just to do that! I also like your idea of a creative brief for each blog post, but you're right - that;s half the battle. If I have that, it's just another 30 minutes to flesh out the rest of the post. We've had good success with outsourcing to experienced bloggers who know the industry and have worked hard to get to know our clients. Still, you have to manage the asset. Thanks, John
Posted @ Sunday, December 09, 2012 6:27 AM by John McTigue
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