When it comes to content, is less more? Well, the short answer is kind of. It’s not that less is necessarily more, because you can really never have too much content, but that in a world where even the biggest companies have finite resources to devote to any one thing, you can likely get more out of your resources if you focus on producing fewer pieces of content, or fewer channels, or fewer social media platforms and instead focus on the specific platforms and types of content that make the most sense and are the most relevant for you. And then focus on really absolutely nailing those. That last part is key to the less is more strategy. Take the same resources, pour them in to a smaller quantity of content, and let those pieces have all the concentrated awesomeness that would normally have been spread out over several times more volume. It’s about impact per piece, it’s not about just doing less work.
Reasons why less could be more for you.
It’s more effective – Home run content, as Doug Kessler of Velocity Partners calls it, just works better. It gets a stronger response, it decays slower, and it gets shared more, which helps it cut through the morass of workmanlike content. Because each individual piece of content is more effective, it can functionally do the work of several pieces and then some.
It frees you from search – If you can produce that absolutely, crushingly great content, even in much smaller numbers, it helps free you from dependence on King Google and the ever-changing ways to appease him. Search results are great, and SEO and SEM aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but real live people sharing your content with other real life people who they know and who trust them is not only not going to change when an algorithm gets updated, it carries with it a stronger social and emotional weight than an automated search result.
The great stuff is versatile – That really great content can be repurposed in potentially dozens of ways, so not only is it more effective the first time, its usefulness doesn’t stop there. It can be a blog post, an ebook, a slideshare, an infographic, a podcast, a follow-up video, and who knows what else. This doesn’t mean you can just dump content from one format to another, you always have to be aware of the constraints and strengths of a format, but if the core of it is great and effective, if it’s really a home run, you can retool it to work in all kinds of different ways. Consistent branding and a whole mess of useful content, in one (not so) easy step.
The law of diminishing returns will always get you – Bad content can sink you just as fast as good content can lift you up, and one of the surest ways of ending up with bad content is to spread yourself and your content team too thin. If you’re trying to make too few people or too little money or too little time do too much, the results are rarely pretty. If you focus on less content that is shockingly great, those same resources can go a lot further, and you avoid the risk of customers developing a negative association with the company because of subpar content.
Almost no one needs to be on every social media platform – Lots of brands seem to be everywhere, and some manage to do alright with it, but realistically, most companies really don’t need to be in every corner of the digital landscape all the time. Facebook and Twitter are too big to ignore in all but a very few cases, but Pinterest and Tumblr may or may not be necessary. Unless you have an actual audio brand, SoundCloud really won’t do you a lot of good. There are dozens of these kinds of industry and brand specific decisions to be made all the time and there’s nothing wrong with being particular about where you devote your efforts. Before you set up an account, give yourself a bit of time to really think through how you imagine it being useful for your business, and give yourself and your team permission to decide something just isn’t a good fit.
So is less really more? Not always, but absolutely in some cases. As in many things, quality over quantity if you have to make the choice. I’m sure you’ve got examples of companies who ended in odd corners of social media or digital marketing and didn’t seem to know what to do there. Care to share in the comments? And thanks again for taking the time to join us.