For years, marketers, publishers, and writers have been bemoaning the density and saturation of the content sea.
In a world where everything has been content-focused for as long as we can remember, it’s understandable that many people believe we’ve reached a point of content saturation. Blogs, social media, articles, podcasts, videos – it’s all too much, right?
The naysayers out there believe that as the shorelines of the content sea rise, and marketers around the globe continue to pump out material at alarming rates, getting content noticed is impossible. And, we’d probably all be better off just giving up on content altogether.
Contrary to what so many people believe, a recent study is making waves in suggesting that the future of content marketing lies in more content, not less.
Read on to learn more.
The September BuzzSumo Content Marketing Volume Study: Major Findings
In response to people who claim that we’ve hit a saturation point and that the only direct content production can go is down, BuzzSumo recently conducted a major study this September that explores the present and future states of online content – and blows apart a big myth.
More content isn’t a bad thing; in fact, quantity of content could just be where the future is headed.
Here are a few of the study’s key findings:
- High-volume content strategies produce real results.In the BuzzSumo study, Steve Rayson (the study’s author) found that several of the companies currently performing the best in the marketing industry could attribute a fair amount of their success to high-volume content strategies. HubSpot, for example, published 4,000 posts in the last year and received 2.8 million shares as a result, while Social Media Examiner has published 400 posts, which raked in more than 1.8 million social shares. The moral is this: when you have an audience that relies on you for quality content, you can drastically improve your leads and engagement by adopting a high-volume content strategy and publishing more content, more often.
- Short-form content may be ideal for social shares.When Rayson evaluated the 50 most shared posts in the marketing and IT sector, he found something shocking: 45 of them were under 1,000 words. While long-form content is still the winner in value and information, it turns out that short-form may be ideal for encouraging social shares and going viral.
- Video content may be more efficient than written content.By 2017, an estimated 54% of all web traffic will be dedicated to video. Because video is more cost-effective and efficient than textual content production, it stands to take over as the content method of choice for many marketers.
Why More Content is the Future of the Digital Marketing Industry
According to Buzzsumo’s study, The Washington Post publishes 1,200 posts each day.
Does that seem excessive?
For many people, the answer is “of course!”
When you look at the publication’s stats, though, it all begins to make sense. In the last year alone, the Post’s readership has grown 28%, and its traffic numbers even surpassed The New York Times for a few months at the end of last year.
While it’s fair to assume that this rate of success owes to several things, the foundation of it all is simple: more content.
Although the drastic rise in content publication and distribution might seem like the natural consequence of increased readership, it’s a tactical, long-term strategy put in place by The Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos.
By increasing the output of content, Bezos and his publication also enhance the value they can offer readers, and thus set themselves apart from other publications in the industry.
The Washington Post isn’t the only place standers-by can see such a drastic increase in content, either. For another example, consider Google’s bank of indexed pages. In 2010, the search engine had indexed just over 5 trillion pages. By 2016, however, that number had soared to 30 trillion.
Talk about a content increase!
The truth is that content is everywhere, and while many marketers believe we have to reach a point of critical mass eventually, the current trend is leaning toward more content rather than less.
Here’s why: as life becomes increasingly digital and consumers become increasingly value-focused, content is the answer to dozens of problems, ranging from relevance to the search for information.
As such, companies and organizations that produce the highest amount of quality content in the least amount of time are currently the ones positioned to win the race for attention.
Quality vs. Quantity: Can the Two Exist?
For years, the call in the world of content marketing has been, “quality first, then quantity!” Thanks to the current stampede of content, however, it’s become necessary for marketers to learn to do both at once.
In addition to turning out a lot of content, today’s marketers also need to turn out relevant and high-quality content. Without the latter component, the content that’s being produced isn’t worth anything, and has the potential to hurt a brand more than it helps it.
With this in mind, it’s clear that not only can quality and quantity exist together in the current climate of content marketing, but that they must.
5 Factors Contributing to the Increase in Content
While there are dozens of things contributing to the rising levels of content on the web, the following are some of the most prominent:
1. More global internet users are interested in content
As the reach of the web extends around the globe, people are becoming more and more interested in content.
From informative blogs to in-depth articles and funny social content, people are searching for content to fill a wide variety of needs and interests. Because of this, the concentration of content on the web must increase accordingly.
Currently, the boom in content is happening across virtually all distribution channels and platforms.
In addition to the fact that Google is indexing trillions of pages each year, peer-reviewed scientific journals are publishing upwards of 2.5 million new articles each year and social media is virtually exploding with new content.
What’s more, this trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As more internet users come online, the demand for diverse, relevant, quality content will only increase, and content teams and marketers will be forced to deliver to stay afloat.
2. Decreasing costs of content production and distribution
In the days when content was limited to newspapers, radio ads, and print publications, producing it was expensive, and content volume was constrained by necessity.
Today, however, there are dozens of free content creation and distribution platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and with a few clicks of a mouse, anyone can build a website and become a publisher in his or her own right.
As the costs of and effort associated with content production have nosedived, people around the world have begun to turn to content creation with increased vigor. Today, it’s easier than it’s ever been before to produce content and share it online, and, as such, everyone’s doing it.
3. There’s a dramatic increase in content formats
Today, “content” refers to everything from a blog post to a video, and everything in between. This diversity has allowed people from all backgrounds and walks of life to migrate to content creation, even if they’re not interested in every facet of it.
Previously, someone who wasn’t a good writer might shy away from online content because it was limited to blogs and web articles. Today, however, that same person has the option to create and distribute videos, podcasts, visuals, and memes. The possibilities are virtually endless.
As a result, online content has begun to draw in people from all backgrounds and interest groups, and it’s made the web a much more interesting place as a result.
4. Fact: high volume content strategies perform better
Anyone doubting the value of high-volume content production need only look at the statistics for companies that blog more often than others.
According to HubSpot, companies that write 16 or more blogs each month earn 3.5x as much traffic as competitors who blog less often.
When you consider The Washington Post’s dramatic success, it becomes clear that producing more content is typically linked with more readership, and for good reason: more content provides more value, and more value appeals to readers.
5. More expert content specialists are now available
As the demand for content has grown, so, too, has the availability of people who specialize in the creation and distribution of content.
This has meant that even people who don’t know the first thing about content creation can work with people who do, which translates to better and easier content for everyone.
Today, social media managers, copywriters, and inbound marketers are everywhere, and it’s easy to partner with a content specialist who can help enhance and build any content strategy in preparation for the coming years of online marketing.
More is Better: How to Apply the “More Content” Approach to Your Business
So, it’s true: the future of content lies in more rather than less.
With that said, though, it’s still not a good idea to simply run out and start pumping out thousands of posts each day.
Instead, brands everywhere will need to continue focusing on building a community by way of relevant, high-quality content.
While it’s true that high-volume content strategies are necessary for engagement and ROI, content quality, promotion, and topic mining are still key, and the marketers who master these things are the ones who will succeed in the coming days of content marketing.
Do you need quality writers to help boost your content strategy? Contact Express Writers or visit our Content Shop today!