Marketers are always talking about content—how important it is for driving leads, building brand identity, developing loyal audiences, and more. However, there’s one question every marketer must answer when it comes time for them to develop content for their own brands or clients: how much content do I really need?
The short answer is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. There are, however, a few guidelines you can use to determine the amount of content that’s right for you and your business, and they come in two flavors: audience analysis and internal analysis. Examining your strategy through the lens of these two categories will help you discover both the high-level determiners and specific aspects of your business that will inform your content production volume, while never losing sight of the golden rule of content: always serve your audience.
Examining Our Audience
Examining our audience doesn’t necessarily tell us exactly how much content we need to produce, but it does allow us to lay the groundwork for why we’ll be producing the content, which will inform our choices surrounding volume later.
What Does Your Audience Want?
The first question to ask yourself, your team, and your clients when deciding how much content you need is what your audience wants. This includes aspects like:
- The types of content they’re looking for (videos, blogs, social posts, podcasts, etc.)
- The topics they want covered (product information, education, questions, etc.)
- How connected they want to be to you (the brand or producer the content is coming from)
- The platforms they utilize most heavily (your site, Facebook, YouTube, email, etc.)
We ask this question first to ensure we’re building our strategic foundation on the golden rule of content we spoke about earlier: always serve your audience. It also helps us begin narrowing down the platforms we need to look into and the types of production talent and sources we should utilize.
Where in the Funnel is Your Target Audience?
Where in the funnel your audience falls not only helps you determine the topics that will engage them, but also the amount and kinds of content you need to produce. For example, if your audience is at the top of the funnel, you may find that you need to produce a larger amount of content across a variety of platforms to reach as many new people as possible. On the other hand, audiences closer to the bottom of the funnel may be more interested in targeted content that allows them direct access to you, your business, or your brand.
Not sure what your customer journey looks like? Download our guide to mapping your customer journey here.
While these are examples, you can generally assume that the higher your audience is in the funnel, the more individual pieces of content you should produce for them. This doesn’t mean your volume will be lower for audiences farther in the funnel, however. While you may not produce as many individual pieces of content for these audiences, the content they are likely to look for will often be more involved, require more research, or include more direct contact between your brand and the audience themselves.
Now that we’ve defined what our audience is looking for, what content has the potential to engage them, and where they are in the funnel, it’s time for us to look inwards and define how much content we should be creating for them!
How Much Can You or Your Team Produce?
Quality over quantity, but quantity still matters. What does this mean? First of all, when determining how much content you should be creating, keep in mind that a single piece of high-quality content is always going to have higher concrete and abstract ROI than large quantities of low-quality content. Higher quality content serves your audience better, making it more likely that they’ll click through to your site, subscribe to your page, buy your product, or otherwise build their relationship with your brand. On the other hand, low-quality content can actively drive audiences away, and increasing volume here can make your brand feel spammy, harming you even more.
Always focus on the quality of your content first. Once you know you’re producing the highest quality content you possibly can, use the resources you have left to increase volume. As a general rule, as long as your quality stays high and is serving your audience, more is better.
How Much Content Can I Produce Consistently?
Consistency is key with content. Keeping your audience fed with consistent content is much better than producing a ton of content one month and very little the next. As people begin to grow in their loyalty to your brand, they’ll come to expect certain behavior. For example, they may check at a specific time each week or month for new content from you. In these cases, ensuring content is there when you’ve told your audience it will be is extremely important and should be determined by the capabilities of you and your team.
Create a realistic schedule for your content production, making sure to budget time for hiccups. Increase volume as you improve the efficiency of your production processes. As we’ve covered, quality is paramount here so make sure that you can not only produce the content according to your schedule, but that you have the time to make sure it’s as high-quality as possible.
Bring Everything Together to Determine How Much Content You Need
We’ve examined our audience’s wants and needs, pinpointed where they are in the funnel, maximized the quality of our content, raised the quantities to match, and nailed down a consistent production schedule. Solid.
Right now, you may be thinking, “Wow. I was honestly just looking for you to tell me how many blogs to post a month.” Fair enough, I’ll admit this was a bit long-winded, but good content strategy requires more thought than many marketers give it credit for. The right amount of content will be different for every agency, brand, marketer, and audience, and since you’ve read this far, it’s likely your job to figure that out. Just know that if you keep these guidelines in mind as you develop your content production strategy, you’ll set yourself up for content success.
And remember—always serve your audience!