For most brands, content marketing is the foundation for building and maintaining a powerful online presence.
Blogs, videos, infographics, and white papers are just a few examples of the many types of content that are tools for establishing a tight rapport with audiences.
Yet, while regularly producing large amounts of content has worked over the years, times have changed.
That’s right. Recent updates to search engine algorithms and consumer trends show that content marketing, when poorly developed or used ineffectively, can actually have negative consequences for your brand.
While cutting back on content marketing may not be the first approach businesses take for their digital strategy, there are a few scenarios when it can be extremely beneficial – or downright necessary for survival.
The Right Content Improves Search Engine Rank
For starters, all of your content plays a role in whether or not your website will rank in SERPs. Google tends to take a site-wide approach to analysing content and sees the appearance of thin content as spammy.
Pages considered to have thin content are those with little value to users and are thus recognized as low quality.
Think of content that is keyword heavy, has a low word count, content with many broken links, pages with affiliate content, doorway pages, and pages with duplicate content from somewhere else on your website (or the internet).
Marketers can fall into the habit of creating such thin content in an effort to boost content production. However, such low-quality pages are problematic because they have low user engagement.
When you have thin content on your website, not only will your thin content pages fail to rank, the ranking of your entire website will suffer since search engines will catch on to how people are – or aren’t – interacting with your website.
By creating high-value content that plays well with Google, even if it means only publishing new materials but less frequently, you’re keeping your website optimized for search and getting your message out to more of the people who you actually want visiting your digital channels.
Discover Insights for Content Strategy Planning
A benefit to dialling back on your content marketing, or even removing some resources from your inventory, are the clearer observations you can make about your content strategy.
Without being solely focused on producing large amounts of content, you can start to hone in on the real purpose behind the content your brand is creating and just how well it is resonating with your readers.
Do you need help figuring out what that is? Try out the Five Whys exercise to identify your company purpose.
Additionally, through reports from your digital platforms, marketers can identify shared themes that have low engagement on social media, low clickthrough rates in email and lower ranking in search engines.
Furthermore, tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation software platforms like Hubspot show exactly which channels are most effective for promoting your content and which are bringing in zero return on investment.
Metrics highlight the gaps in your current content inventory and opportunities for making better resources in the future. This information is essential for developing goals for your content strategy, which can influence the keywords you include to even the imagery or photography you use.
For example, if your target consumers are college-aged students, Twitter may be a better channel than email for promoting blog posts.
The takeaway here is that by targeting the exact channels your audiences are active on instead of allocating resources into all possible channels, you’ll be more efficient with time and money spent on content marketing.
Quality Content Helps Your Brand Reputation
While there are several causes why you might need to cut back on content marketing, arguably the greatest reason is the threat it can pose to your brand.
Content is a powerful tactic for establishing authority through thought leadership within your industry or whatever area of expertise you claim. However, if you are in the practice of producing lackluster content with little research to support your messages or if you are not removing outdated content, your organization could compromise the credibility and trust with the people it serves.
That’s why if you keep content production manageable, even if it means slightly scaling back quantity or frequency, you ensure your brand will have longevity.
Living in the age of information, which is full of innovation and new discoveries, means that what was fact six months ago could have been potentially disproved or changed. Older content must be regularly fact-checked and revised, or even completely removed from your website if it no longer serves value to readers.
The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that 63% of consumers globally trust search engines when conducting research on a brand.
Moreover, content with broken links or outdated design simply hurts the user experience.
Combing through your published content to check that it is brand consistent and contains current information, is fundamental for ensuring your content continually supports your reputation.
When Less Content Marketing Offers More Value
While efforts in SEO and pay-per-click supported by a regular stream of new content can expand awareness of your brand online, an effective content marketing strategy is not about blasting educational information out to the masses.
In fact, your content will be meaningless if it’s reaching people but still not being read by the right individuals.
Low-quality content created for the sake of having a huge quantity of resources, or hosting extremely outdated content on your website, hurts your search rankings, content planning, brand reputation and overall long-term success within your industry.
Instead, tailor your content creation to the target consumers of your product or service.
Focus on valuable topics, have a critical eye when editing and always make the time to repurpose content that is worthy of an update.
By putting these points into practice, you’re sure to obtain higher performance out of your content strategy that will empower, rather than work against, your other digital marketing endeavours.
So will you be cutting back on content marketing?