You may be using the mantra “Content is King” within your marketing team or throughout the agency. After all, it IS all about the content these days.
Even the giants of streaming are opening up their wallets for content to fill their platforms. At the end of 2020, Netflix was shelling out $17bn per year on content creation. Their new and highly successful competition in Disney+ promised investors to scale their content budget from $2bn in 2020 to $8bn-$9bn in 2021. That’s a lot of zeroes right there.
Disney+ has no shortage of quality content to draw from. With those budgets, they are more than capable of ensuring the quantity delivered regularly. But let’s face it, the rest of us have to make hard decisions between quality and quantity. So, let’s talk about that.
The simple answer to that question is high-quality content. Duh. Yet content is very subjective. What might be considered high-quality content on TikTok will be thrashed on hyper-specialized blogs on a narrow topic. So how do you define quality content?
First, let’s look at what God-Emperor Google has to say. Google measures content by three benchmarks: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness - E-A-T for short. In most basic terms, you have to prove that your word as a specialist has authority, your website is trustworthy and won’t lead to data leaks, and you have authority within the community you are writing for.
But wait, there’s more. Your high-quality content must also be engaging, unique, offer value, must be made for people, not search engines, avoid cliches to lure said engines...but at the same time be ranked high in the search engine, be visible, show engagement and so on.
Besides being slightly contradicting, high-quality content is also expensive to create and hard to achieve. Here’s where medium and low-quality content comes in.
I personally define medium and low-quality content as written pieces that are based just on keywords. For example, our very own blog has an informative article on how to leverage marketing automation. There’s nothing wrong with the article - it’s a step-by-step guide with a checklist of things to consider when setting up automation processes. But the article doesn’t have sources, doesn’t offer deeper insights or fundamental strategies on how to achieve successful automation. It also operates on basic terms only, and I know for a fact it was written with relevant keywords as a priority. That is an excellent example of medium-quality content.
Then there’s low-quality content. Not only does it provide little value to the reader, but it also contains basic grammar mistakes and exists solely for the search engines to find the website it’s on.
While we all dream and strive for high-quality content, there is no escaping medium and low-quality content. Or is there?
Here’s where the real struggle begins. Do you create content solely for your audience, prioritising value over everything else? Or do you try to find a middle ground, sacrificing little bits of quality to incorporate SEO goals? It really depends on your content strategy. While content is indeed the king, content strategy is the emperor that rules over everything.
Before planning and releasing content, I like to categorise it. This simple action allows me to:
Written content - probably the most popular form in the world. In 2019, more than 64.7mil pages were published on the WordPress platform. That’s more than 177k per day. It’s a lot of content. Mainly because everyone thinks they can write, and they do. Here are types of high-quality written content I tend to work with:
Audio content - a trend still rising and is expected to grow even further. How do I know? When advertisers are there to buy airtime, you know you made it as a content platform. PwC forecasts immense growth for the podcast industry, aiming to reach $2bn in advertising revenue in 2021. Here’s how I segment audio content:
Video content - I don’t really need to introduce this format. Instead, I will leave this stat: 1bn hours watched daily on YouTube. The growth projections for video on demand are expected to overcome $45bn revenue in 2021. With the rising availability of video production tech, this segment is only going to grow forward.
So, we have types of content that all can become kings of your agency’s content production. So, what next? Why KPIs, of course. All content is, at the end of the day, subject to ROI. But that’s a story for another time, in Part II of this article.