Quality versus quantity is the question on a lot of content marketers’ minds right now.
It’s the same type of questions all over my news feeds.
Which is better? Where should our priorities stand? If we have to create a huge quantity of content, where will we find time for quality content? What if I spend a lot of time on quality content and it doesn’t pay off? Will I have to pull 16 hour days to get this done? Will the quality of my regular content suffer? Will this make me lose customers? Is it worth the risk?
In summary: There’s too much to do, too little time, too little confidence.
But I’m here to try change your tune.
I’m going to convince you, with all the energy I can muster up, to start creating big content.
What do I mean when I say “Big content”?
Big content means content that is high in quality, unique and evergreen = Q.U.E! (I’ll be using that a lot in just a few moments, so remember it!)
It can come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not necessarily physically big.
Instead, it’s content that you spend weeks (even months) creating that is exceptionally well-researched. It is content that’s out of the norm and that will last for a lot time.
Big content shakes things up by stepping outside of the standard flow of blogs, infographics and webinars that fill our daily internet lives.
I like to call big content, “epic content”. You might have a different word for it. But for this blog post let’s call it “Big content”.
What You Should Know About Big Content
There are four key things about big content that I’ll discuss in this post.
- It’s a lot of work (but so is everything that’s worth doing).
- It takes a ton of creativity (but there’s always places to get inspired).
- It doesn’t have to be technically “big” (but it should be evergreen).
- It’s not a risk, (but it is an investment).
1. Big Content Is a Lot of Work
I’m not going to lie to you and say that this will be easy because, to put it bluntly, it won’t be.
But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
The thing is, anyone with a computer and the internet can create “easy” content. It takes little to no expertise, industry knowledge, experience, networking connections etc. to write a blog and create content.
That’s why there’s so much competition. So many blogs. So much content. Everyone’s doing it.
But not everyone is creating big content.
Because it’s hard.
And while it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a single penny, it will cost you in time, sweat, headaches and determination.
But while many business owners don’t mind the sweat, headaches and determination, what they really mind is the time that is required to be invested to create big content.
How Do I Find Time To Create Big Content?
Trying to fit everything into a 24 hour day is near impossible for some of us.
In fact, plenty of people who have sat down and write everything they want to do in a day will realize that it’s just not possible.
That’s why I’m not going to suggest that you should load big content on top of your existing schedule. It’s not realistic and I’m tired of reading blogs that think working 16-hour days is practical advice.
You are working to live, not living to work.
Instead, I’m going to suggest that you make big content a priority and make room for it in your schedule.
Here’s a few ideas on how to do this:
1. An Hour A Day
Start by putting an hour aside every day to work on big content.
This is 5 hours after the first week.
By her calculations, you’ll have your blog post in 8 weeks if you work on it for an hour a day.
Sure, it’s slow but if you’re hesitant about big content it’s a great way to get started.
2. Reduce the Quantity of Content You Create
One hour a day isn’t for some people. Which I get, because sometimes you need a few hours so that you can properly engage with the work.
But how about trying to reduce the amount of content you’re creating for a few weeks?
I know, I know – I just said to create less content! Shocking!
But here’s what I’d do: If you normally create three blog posts a week, and each one takes a day to a day and a half to create, then reduce this to two blog posts that take two days to create each.
This way, you’ll still be posting regularly, the quality of your content will be higher, but the shift will give you one entire day to create big content. That’s about 8 hours. So after 5 weeks of doing this you should have some big content created!
3. Guest Blog Posts
If you simply cannot change the flow of your content strategy for whatever reason, might I suggest bringing somebody else on board?
I’m not suggesting that you hire a writer to create the Big content for you (although, by all means that works too!), but having a guest blog post that can take the place of one of your posts will give you time to create Big content without your audience ever having to notice.
Even better if you have a few guest posts scheduled so that you can comfortably arrange to have a consistent amount of time for your big content.
2. Big Content Takes a Lot of Creativity
Forcing yourself to be creative is hard.
Like I said, big content doesn’t fit neatly into any one definition, so the possibilities are endless.
But sometimes endless possibilities are annoying because it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Do Some Research To Get Inspired
Quora is a fantastic resource for businesses and marketing. Quora is a question and answer site, but tends to lean towards business-minded and/or a more educated audience.
It will help you figure out what your customer base actually wants and needs, so it’s a good place to start. You can easily search terms related to your industry and see what questions people are asking, and then see if you could create something that answers these questions!
Reddit is a great platform for marketing research (although, be advised that marketing or promoting on Reddit is a big no-no). Reddit is a really easy-to-use link sharing site, and it’s full of things that people find interesting, funny or clever.
What’s really great is that you can see what is trending as interesting by how high it ranks on the page. The results at the top of the page are the most popular topics that have been upvoted.
You have to sign up to be able to vote, but not to search the site.
There are also “subreddits” where you can find communities that are devoted to a specific topic. This is a great place to observe your demographic for anything you think they might find useful or interesting.
What is really awesome about Reddit is that things that are upvoted there can quickly go viral. This way you get to look at your demographic’s most talked about topics, check out what the general public are feeling right now about it and see if there’s a market there to work on.
Pinterest is probably the best place to get inspired by visuals. Businesses have used it for marketing purposes by sharing content they’ve created such as infographics, printables, eBooks, colouring pages – you name it!
Even if you’re not too keen on visuals, I would suggest having a browse through the boards anyways. You can see the competitions creative endeavours and look at what your demographic might be pinning.
Big Content Examples
But I’m not going to just send you through the internet to figure it out for yourself right away.
No, I’m much nicer than that.
I’ve done some preliminary work for you and have chosen three of my favourite big content examples for your inspirational needs.
Example #1: Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge from Velocity Partners
I came across Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge from Velocity Partners when I first started to learn about marketing, and it changed the way I thought about content completely.
The creator of this strikingly simple video is the co-founder of Velocity, Doug Kessler, and boy does he get his point across. This slide is an analysis of the future of content marketing as more and more people begin to create sub-quality content. ,
It looks simple but you can guarantee that it took him hours of research, planning and writing to create it. It also has all the necessary components of Q.U.E:
- It’s well made with lots of research behind it = Quality.
- It’s different from everything else that has been created = Unique.
- It’s written about a topic that won’t get old very quickly = Evergreen.
It’s the perfect big content piece.
And I promise you that I didn’t choose this because it also happens to support my argument for big content nicely.
(Ok, maybe I did a little bit)
Example #2: Sungard’s Zombie Survival Guide
Sungard went with the good old infographic, but they’ve taken it to the next level with a zombie twist.
And who isn’t a zombie/The Walking Dead fan nowadays?
Sungard who may or may not have gotten the idea from the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ok, they totally did.
But they disclosed that in the opening paragraph, so we’ll forgive them.
Sungard uses the trending zombie apocalypse theme to their advantage by comparing moving to their cloud service with surviving a zombie attack.
- It’s very well-made = Quality.
- It’s taking a familiar story and connecting it with their product = Unique.
- It’s something that will keep being useful for a long time = Evergreen.
It has Q.U.E. again! Success!
Example #3: Simply Business’s “Step-to-Step Guide to Your Social Media Success
This guide was created by Simply Business to help businesses create successful online marketing strategies.
The idea is simple, you start at the start flag and answer each question. When you say “yes” you will go directly to the next question. When you say “no” you go to a blue box containing bullet points relating to that topic in it.
To make it even better, each bullet point links you to the appropriate source of information.
Once you’ve completed that step and have gone to the appropriate source of information, you move on to the next question.
The guide is super easy to use, but without a doubt it took them a very long time to complete.
It’s really well-researched and on-topic.
It’s also one of a kind, in that all the information has been gathered together in the one easy-to-use place.
It’s also content that businesses will keep needing to use over and over again.
3. Creating Evergreen Content Is a Must for Big Content
Big content needs to be evergreen because it needs to last. You don’t want to invest a lot of time into something that will quickly fall out of fashion.
Your big content should be something that people will keep coming back to.
As you can see from the above figure, the evergreen content receives more continuous traffic than timely content, and timely traffic receives a larger boost at first but then nothing after that.
Ensuring that your big content is evergreen will mean that the time that you invest in creating it will continuously pay-off, and in the end, be viewed by more people.
It’s kind of like the tortoise and the hare story. Sure the hare (timely content) is originally the obvious winner, but he’ll get exhausted quickly and lose. The tortoise (big content) will keep on going and eventually win the race.
4. Big Content Isn’t Risky
One of the most common misconceptions people make about big content is that it’s risky.
But if you think that investing time into something worthwhile is risky, then let me ask you this:
Is going to the dentist risky?
Of course not.
Just a few hours a year will make sure that you are going to have healthy teeth for longer, thus making your life a lot easier.
Seems like a pretty good investment of time to me.
We need to start producing content with this same logic. Sure, regular content is important but everyone is doing it.
Regular content is like brushing your teeth every day. You need to do it but it’s nothing to call home to Mom about.
The thing is with regular content (and brushing your teeth) that while it will tide your business over, it won’t make you (or your dental hygiene) spectacular.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being mediocre.
So no, I don’t think big content is risky. I think it’s an investment, but one that makes sense for the future health of your business.
“Build It and They Will Come”
Spending a long time creating Big content that is high in quality, unique and evergreen can be difficult, confusing, intimidating and all those other scary buzzwords that we use as excuses.
But big content will make all the difference to your business.
So, right now take out a piece of paper. Figure out how you’re going to fit it into your schedule. Scour the internet for inspiration. Come up with an idea and get to work.
And after that, don’t forget to let us know what you’ve created and how successful it’s been!