Hubble’s Law is the basis for the theory that our universe is in a constant state of expansion. The same applies to the worldwide universe of content — it just keeps growing.
In July 2016, almost 70 million new posts appeared on WordPress alone. That’s over 2 million posts each day. The ease of publishing content online has allowed not only experts to voice their opinions, but also everyone from casual hobbyists to enthusiastic writers. The resulting clutter is increasing, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.
A brief history of the (content) universe.
Just eight years ago, Google’s algorithm’s indexed a mere 1 trillion pages. By 2014, Google had indexed 30 trillion pages of content. With (literally) more available content than anyone could read in a lifetime, how can marketers devise a content strategy that stands out in the crowd?
Quality over quantity in the content world.
It’s easy to dismiss the majority of content clutter as ramblings of bloggers and spammers, but that isn’t often the case. Many publishers like the Washington Post and BuzzFeed have intentionally increased content production over the last few years. The key to succeeding at this tactic while still engaging your audience is short, concise content that answers valuable questions or meets the needs of a niche community.
In the past, content marketing experts have stressed the importance of quality over quantity — one to two well-researched pieces of content per month at 1,000 words each. However, recent data shows that shorter content in higher volumes produces higher overall shares, while long-form content reigns supreme in individual article shares.
The thought of producing more content may stress out some marketers, especially if they’re operating on a tight budget with few writers, but employing certain strategies will maximize available resources.
Serialize content for returning readers.
Consider splitting a long article into three to five shorter pieces, and posting them in a sequence. In between posts, tease audiences on social channels to remind them that the next part of the series is coming. Not only does this spur excitement and encourage repeat visitors, but also it provides the opportunity to dive deeper into each topic, creating space for long-tail phrases.
Explore other mediums within the content.
Great content doesn’t only mean text woven into intriguing sentences. Marketers should explore video, podcasts, infographics and other formats as part of a content strategy. Transcribing a video or podcast as a blog post to repurpose the same message is another way to extend the life of a single piece of content. It’s important to add fresh value with every post, however, so that readers aren’t taking in redundant content.
Use algorithmic reporting for high-volume news.
The Washington Post used algorithms to report the final score of many of the Olympic games this year. This gave reporters more time to do in-depth humanitarian stories about the athletes while leaving the numbers work to the robots. Automated content won’t suit the needs of every business, but those focused on extremely timely and numbers-driven content should consider this idea.
A content distribution strategy is just as important as the content itself. As marketers churn out more content on the regular, it becomes increasingly important to use every channel, owned or otherwise, to push it out to an audience.