Quantity vs quality is a long term debate that affect many topics including online marketing.
Let’s put the conversation in place. For digital strategy we’ve already discussed that creating value content is one of the most effective methods out there.
So what should be the focus then when creating content?
For online marketing there are no universal rules. They all depend on opinions, audiences, behaviour, likes, algorithms… and so on and so forth. Therefore this topic is also an opinion based on some concepts.
I’ll start with a tale I once heard I believe from Ángel.
Once upon a time there was a professor in an art class. It was about making ceramics. At the beginning of the semester he separated the class in 2 parts with 2 different tasks.
For the first half of the class he told them to create exactly one pot for each student. So all the students we’re going to be dedicating all the semester in creating just one piece.
The goal was to make the best possible pot and to compare it with the other half of the class.
For the second half he told them that they had to create exactly 500 pots. So each student for the whole semester invested their time in creating 500, and then selecting their best to compare it with the other group.
Which group made the best pot?
Well the answer is the students who made the 500. Why?
Because that group had more experience and automatization in the process of making pots. By doing so many of them during the semester they significantly improved their skills. The first pot was not the same as the 500. The more they made the better they got at it.
On the other hand, the group that only had to make one was constantly thinking on how to improve the same pot over and over. Lacking the practice, skill, and experience of making many left them with little room for improvement.
The moral of the story is that the more you practice the better you will be.
And this applies to almost all skills in life, work, sports… A basketball player who practices his free shot throws 500 times after every practice will probably get really good at it whereas if he was not to practice at all he would get worse.
Simple logic and common sense. Although, in online marketing the quantity vs quality dilemma goes further beyond the surface.
I believe most people do not like spam. It’s very annoying to see someone updating their status 10 times a day and having to see it every time you log into facebook. Or some business saying 5 times a day: buy my product!
These sort of actions usually have negative results.
How many pieces of content should you post each day/week?
It depends on many factors, as many as you could imagine. Here I bring you what I believe are
3 important factors when deciding between quantity vs quality for content marketing
1. Your audience
You must always think about your audience when you’re posting and especially put yourself in their shoes as much as you can.
It’s easier than it seems. Think about how many times you’d wish to see your posts if you were the audience itself.
Are you the kind of person who you’d like to get an update of a page every 2 hours? Would you rather read one post everyday? Or one really good in depth post per week?
How about images? Would you like to see 5 pictures with 5 quotes everyday? Do you like the eventual cool picture with a nice quote every now and then?
Does your audience enjoy more the articles you write yourself or the stuff you share from other sites?
Does your audience get value from your pictures at the beach? Or the food you eat?
Again it all depends on your audience. It’s not the same the content an instagram fashion influencer has than the one of an SEO expert.
Some people want quality others quantity and all that’s in between. Get to know your audience and you’ll have the answer.
2. Your skills
Probably the most important factor in content marketing is the skill you have to create good quality content.
As stated before quality comes from practice. If you are a blogger who has written few articles you should probably focus on getting good at writing before expecting to create a kick ass article.
Before focusing on quality you should pay attention to your skill and be honest about it. Set a goal of quantity. How many articles do you think you should write before becoming good enough at writing?
If you’ve been writing for many years many articles in all its forms then you already have some experience and therefore have some skill.
The trick to know if you are good enough at something is to analyze your experience
Don't expect to be Michael Jordan if you haven't played basketball in your life!
When having no experience or very little, then you should focus on quantity so that you eventually get some experience and improve your skills. For writing do 50 articles and then 100. For painting do 100 paintings. For websites do 10 websites, and so on and so forth. Get good with quantity so you can then focus on quality.
When having lots of experience at doing something, and you are not getting good results, then it’s time to focus on the quality of your content. Not producing thousands of pieces, but creating a really good one.
3. What stage you are in
In the beginning stages of your journey you should not worry about having too many posts. That is because no one is going to care, or maybe just a few your friends and your family if you’re lucky.
You probably only have a few dozen or hundreds of followers. The chance of all of them seeing your posts is very little because of how social network’s algorithms work. They give priority to ‘well-known’ engaging pages.
At this stage the focus is usually to grow your audience. In order to do that there is no other way than to post and post and keep posting. Getting good at creating content and watching how your audience reacts so you can cater to their needs.
On the other hand, if you already have a suitable audience for your niche then the answer is obviously to focus on quality as you will provide greater value with your work.
Afterall, one should remember that extremes in life are quite extreme. Plato said that virtue is in the middle of the extremes.
For content marketing it's important to keep a balance between quantity vs quality. Although sometimes quality comes from practice i.e. quantity.
As always do what feels right for you.