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Content marketing’s “quantity vs quality” debate rages on

content-marketingIn the past week, two influential SEO bloggers have expressed starkly different visions for the future of content marketing. First, BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson penned a thought-provoking article confronting the generally accepted notion that “content is about quality, not quantity.”

Rayson argues that content marketing is undergoing a fundamental change, one which will shift focus away from relevancy and subject authority to creating as much content as possible for as low a cost as possible. The basis for his argument is the ‘long tail theory,’ which, he explains “sees a shift away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (very popular products) in certain industries and focuses instead on the huge number of niches that exist (the long tail).”

Between April 2015 and April 2016, the Washington Post’s website greatly increased the frequency with which they published content, to a level of approximately 1,200 posts per day. In that time, the website experienced a 28 per cent increase in visitors. From October to December, more people were visiting the Washington Post than the New York Times.

The Post’s tactic was adopted by other large publishing companies like the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed, and it yielded positive results for each. But in spite of some evidence supporting Rayson’s claims, Moz’s Ronell Smith has asserted his view that content marketing’s future success actually lies in the opposite direction.

“The philosophy of doing a lot what we don’t yet do well,” Smith writes, “is ruining content marketing.”

While major publishers with established audiences may benefit from producing thousands of posts per day, the majority of brands are ill-equipped for this level of output. Indeed, for many content producers, quality may be inversely proportional to quantity, and vague, poorly written content from smaller brands is unlikely to attract traffic or shares. The better path forward, Smith suggests, is to “determine the cadence with which your brand can create uniquely valuable content,” and proceed at that pace.

As a Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media understands what marketing approaches – including well-researched, targeted content creation – will work best for your business.