The Case For Cutting Back On Content

At this point in the game, you probably know that the key to great content marketing is consistency, but for some, consistency has turned into excessive. Our friends at CMI say at least 73% of organizations are expecting to create more content in 2017. If you fall into this category, there’s a pretty high chance you’ve been producing daily or weekly content for months now, but aren’t seeing the traffic, leads, or conversions you were expecting from your content marketing efforts. For you, it’s time to do something radical. It’s time to stop creating so much content. Here are some reasons why:

You’re Not Promoting Enough

The first reason you should seriously consider cutting back on content is that you are not promoting it enough. The folks at Hubspot suggest using 60% of your content marketing resources on promotion. That’s pretty conservative, compared to folks like Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, who suggest sticking to an 80% promotion to 20% creation method.

Promoting your content doesn’t have to start and end with paid social media posts. One of the best uses of your time may be approaching influencers who have audiences they can spread the love too, or offering to be featured on their platform as an opportunity to share your message (you see this a ton in the Podcasting world).  Building and using an email list to reach people is also a popular way to reach a captive audience. Take a step back and make sure you are promoting your content wisely and if that’s not working, it may be time to look closer at your creation strategy.


The Quality Isn’t There

CMI’s research shows that 77% of all increases to content marketing effectiveness are through better content creation, both in quality and effectiveness. Well, sure! If you look around at all of the content floating around on the internet, it seems like anyone can hop on a mic, punch keystrokes, and talk to a camera to create content. Unfortunately, a lot of unpolished content is just bad. In this case, it may be that you have brought in someone to create content, but didn’t bring in the right someone to create content.

In this case, you may have underestimated the cost of high-quality content. It could be that folks are seeing your content promotion but aren’t sticking around to get the value out of your low-res YouTube video or they can’t stand your tinny-sounding talk-show. You may need to dig deeper into the content marketing coffers to invest in equipment and talent to help take your content quality to the next level. Luckily, talent shouldn’t be too hard to find with the general decline of media companies and massive cuts to talent, like ESPN laying off over 100 reporters, anchors, and commentators last month.

Your Audience Isn’t Interested

The number one factor contributing to content marketing stagnation in organizations is the strategy (or lack thereof). It’s not that the content isn’t good or that audiences aren’t seeing it – it’s simply that the strategy is off and therefore not producing the results you expected.

Clearly, strategy covers a gamut of topics, from how you measure success to the message you want to communicate. All we can do is point you towards the right questions to dig into your strategy.

Are your measurement methods meaningful or vanity metrics? Are you taking feedback from your audience and adjusting your content accordingly? Are you committed or flexible with your content strategy?

Since we aren’t our customers, content marketers know we can’t create a perfect content marketing initiative at the drop of a hat. The best thing we can do is create a culture of communication with your audience that directly feeds into the content creation process. If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, why are you creating anything at all?

Know a marketer or two who may be interested in this message? Feel free to pass along our infographic to quickly share the message.

Author: Jaden Bales
Jaden Bales is co-founder and lead strategist at Mountain Valley Marketing, a digital marketing firm rooted in the Pacific Northwest. He spends his professional time helping clients create exceptional customer experiences online and his personal time seeking out exceptional experiences outdoors. Follow him on Twitter at @heyjbales