When is quality better than quantity?

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Before anyone rolls their eyes: No, this is not a classic less-is-more contribution. I realize that the topic of quality vs. quantity has been (too) often discussed in a wide variety of articles. In terms of quality content and content quality, Zielbar colleague Benjamin Brückner wrote an excellent article.

Rather, today I am concerned with two aspects that, from my point of view, often fall short in discussions and conversations - both with large companies and with SMEs, social institutions and solo entrepreneurs. Both have to do with a statement that comes from the blog of esteemed colleague Mael Roth:

A good content strategy does not focus on the channel, but on the substance of the content. This content is (hopefully) produced because a real need for information is to be satisfied.

This seemingly mundane statement leads to for me two conclusionswhich may seem obvious, but unfortunately are not in practice:

  1. If content is of poor quality, it can go away. Even more clear: poor quality content can damage your reputation and positioning, alienate customers and undermine your communication.
  2. Quality over quantity ensures that you use your resources sensibly. Those who prioritize quantity, on the other hand, often burn unnecessarily energy, time, nerves and money.

However, anyone who takes a deep breath and hopes to reduce their workload will be disappointed. In my experience, a focus on the quality of your communication does not mean less, but more work. But this is worth it.

If you want to be visible, you have to distinguish yourself

The also esteemed Mark Schaefer is, to my knowledge, the originator of the term "content shock". To put it simply, it describes the condition that there is so much content that readers, viewers, listeners and customers can no longer consume it at all. A thesis that I subscribe to. The colleagues from Marketoonist have poured the principle into a cartoon:

As a result, it becomes more and more difficult to attract the attention of the people relevant to the sender and then to arouse their interest. Not a nice view. But there is good news: content is similar to languages. Here is a running gag: "I speak the most popular language: bad English."

Applied to our topic, this means: There is also poor quality content - and more than enough. And that's a real opportunity. Because if you want to position yourself as a blogger, you have to stand out from the crowd. If the average quality is bad, good quality - in conjunction with a good strategy - ensures visibility. The esteemed Klaus Eck puts it this way on Medium:

Content quality is not an end in itself. Anyone who pays attention to substance and invests a lot of time in the technical quality of a contribution usually wants to achieve his goals with it and be perceived with the content. A certain depth is essential for this.

You do not decide what quality is

If you are now wondering how on earth you - perhaps as a solo entrepreneur - are supposed to consistently deliver high quality, please consider: Quality is in the eye of the beholder.

A concrete example: If you support SMEs with their entry into online communication - a not uncommon scenario - marketing and communication experts like Klaus Eck, the aforementioned Mael Roth and others like Babak Zand or Kerstin Hoffmann are not your benchmarks. With their content, they often operate in a purely technical context, i.e. they address completely different people and - depending on their addressees - apply a different level of quality or professional level.

Of course there are also colleagues who do an excellent job, especially in the SME sector. I deliberately do not mention them here. Because quality is not created by orienting yourself towards others - and copying your work - but by a simple principle that Klaus Eck calls in the PR Blogger:

The content should be useful and informative. The closer the content is to the interests of the searcher, the more successful a website is.

Sure, everyone knows that. Good content must serve the interests and needs of readers, viewers, listeners and customers. Bla bla bla. An understandable reaction.

But if that is so clear, why do many solo entrepreneurs, SMEs, social organizations and even large companies find it so difficult to determine the necessary quality level of their content?

That should be really easy. Just listen to the customers and readers, understand what they want and what level they expect - and good.

In practice, however, it is not that easy. For one simple reason: Many companies and entrepreneurs are busy producing content and don't have time to listen to the people who are relevant to them.

Sounds a little strange when you read it or say it, doesn't it? But if you don't have time to listen, learn and understand because of the sheer content creation, you act just like the lumberjacks from a parable.

In it, they saw a tree all day without really getting any further. At some point a walker said to them: “Why don't you sharpen the saw? Then it would be much easier. "Her answer:" No time, we have to cut the tree. "

Not really smart. In terms of the quality of content, this means: Take more time to understand the needs of your addressees, listen to them, talk to them. The quantity of your content may decrease, but the quality will increase massively.

Is your content worth the time?

In a very practical way, you can test the quality of your content by asking a simple question: Is your content worth the time?

In the video above, I primarily focus on the reader and viewer perspective. The quality of your content is right if they are satisfied after consuming your content and do not regret the time invested.

Time is precious to everyone, and given the content shock outlined above, your content shouldn't disappoint.

However, the question can also be asked differently: Are your content yours Worth time?

Because time is probably precious to you too, and if you don't have too much of it (if that's the case, we need to have a chat), you want to make sure that you are spending your time wisely.

Whether or not you do this when creating content depends on whether the quality is right. A quick thought experiment: You write ten medium-quality Facebook posts. You need an hour for that. Each one reaches around 150 people.

You need three to four hours for a comprehensive and high-quality blog article. In the end, it reaches more than 2,000 people, is shared and recommended.

From my point of view, it is clear that investing in the blog article made more sense and was more effective than the time invested in the Facebook posts. In this example, quality beats quantity.

But that does not apply universally.

Quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive

Admittedly, both in the article image and in the article, quality and quantity have so far been implicitly opposed as opposites. It's tempting and easy, because that's how the two terms are often perceived.

However, this view is very shortened. Your focus should be on quality, yes - but that's not a free ticket for low publication frequency or low quantity. Specifically, if you write two good quality blog posts, that's a good job. But if you can also produce decent Facebook posts and videos, all of which are useful and offer something to your addressees, that's better.

A quality focus doesn't mean your frequency has to drop. Of course, you can still deliver quantity - as long as the content is of good quality.

In order to make quality your focus, I recommend the following five questions, which I also work with for my customers:

  1. Who is the topic and the content of use?
  2. What do we want to achieve with it?
  3. Are we making good use of our time in content creation?
  4. What do we do with the content after it's published?
  5. How can we exceed the expectations of our readers / viewers / listeners?

Seriously answering these questions will undoubtedly take time. But this time leads to better content and - if it is provided as part of a strategy - effective communication. Not only do you become visible, your content also unfolds the desired effect,

Quality doesn't need quantity. But both can complement and support each other perfectly if the main focus is on quality.

Article picture: Martin Mummel / GRVTY

How do you feel about quality and quantity? Are these adjusting screws that you keep readjusting when creating and publishing your content?
Quality doesn't need quantity: what do you focus your communication on?
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