The debate about how often to publish content isn’t a new one. But it is an important one. Experts have many different points of view on the topic and it makes sense that everyone wants to weigh in. The business of content production is huge right now and as the lines between agencies, publishers and software continue to blur, companies are right to wonder how much time and money to funnel into CM.
There are dozens of publishing models, ranging from a single, goliath-sized post every 30 days to one low comprehension level post every few hours. In addition to publishing frequency, there are also plenty of questions about how long posts should be, how to come up with ideas, and if you should write when you have something to write about or do whatever it takes to find something to write about.
No matter what the hard and fast rules for each particular brand may be, one thing is clear – content marketing takes time, but there are long-term benefits. If you aren’t being diligent about devoting time and energy to your content production, you should be – and here’s why.
HLVC vs. LVHC
HubSpot and Moz, two of the biggest producers of content, recently conducted a study to crack the nut of quality vs. quantity in content. They compared their existing strategy of 23 posts per workweek with a Low-Volume/High-Comprehensiveness (LVHC) strategy of 11.5 posts per workweek and a High Volume/Low Comprehensiveness (HVLC) strategy of 34.5 posts per week. Hubspot found that the low-volume phase got over 30% LESS traffic than their initial strategy and the High-Volume phase. The high volume phase also garnered the largest number of leads – nearly double that of their initial strategy.
Another aspect of HubSpot’s study was to analyze the performance of the different types of posts it puts out, including listicles, How-To’s, Top Tens, etc. They found that leads were mostly linked to “deep tactical posts,” the most comprehensive post type. This means that you need to find a balance between the amount you are posting and the quality of your posts. If you find yourself rushing to run a story every day and you’re rushing through the editing process just to meet arbitrary deadlines, you might want to slow down the process and double check to make sure you’re publishing posts that are exactly where you want them to be – they are a reflection of your brand, after all.
Your SEO is definitely tied to the frequency that you’re publishing. Search engines have to crawl through and index your site every time you add new stuff to it. You also give your readers a reason to visit your site again, which bumps up your page views and in turn boosts your SEO. It also helps with social media mentions and link backs – both crucial elements of upping your search ranking. Google talks a lot about the importance of fresh content and every new update they release works harder and harder to purge search results of old, stale sites. And remember that Google is also sniffing out repeated and empty content – which means, to drive the point home, that your content production requires regular time spent in terms of both quantity and quality.
The Power of Total Posts
The total number of published blog posts you have on your site can have a big effect on lead generation as well. Hubspot found that, overall, the more blog posts a company published, the more leads they generated. Companies with over 400 posts got over 3x more leads than companies with 0 to 100 blog posts. Your posts can work in your favor long after you’ve published them – especially if they are super high quality and relevant to your audience. People can find old blogs in searches, shared on social media and peppered throughout the web in other places if you’ve been diligent about spreading the word. You can also link back to old posts in your new posts and double up on your efforts.
The bottom line is that we brands have to start thinking of ourselves as publishers. We’ve gone and made the switch from straightforward ads calling out our name and provided product in the middle of your daily news to uber-sophisticated content offering engaging value and thoughtful content that is relevant to what the consumer is doing in that very second. The most successful content marketing brands in the business are churning out content far superior to the giants of the publishing world in quality and quantity (and actually putting them out of business). As content marketing continues to evolve it will keep taking over marketing budgets and winning over users in the years to come – it’s time to start thinking of yourself as a publishing titan as well as a brand.
While every publication needs to run tests to figure out the right publishing frequency for their particular audience, it is clear that devoting more time and energy to consistent content production can lead to more engagement and better lead conversion.