With Content Marketing, More Isn't Always Better

If you use content marketing as a marketing strategy for your small business, you know that the more content you produce, the better—right? Not so fast. According to a recent report, The Content Marketing Paradox: Is More Content Really Better?, marketers today are producing more content than they were two years ago, but user engagement levels with each content item are declining.

The study assessed over 13.8 billion pieces of content over 24 months on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and brand blogs. Between January 2013 and December 2014, marketers in the study nearly doubled the amount of content they produced (it increased by 78 percent). However, user engagement with this content (defined as taking an action with the content, such as liking, retweeting, favoriting, pinning or commenting) dropped by 60 percent on average per piece of content.

If you’re beating yourself up that your company’s blog posts don’t get any comments, perhaps you should stop. The study found that almost one-fourth of business blog posts get zero interactions, and 43 percent generate 10 interactions or less.

Which social networks get the most and least engagement?

Twitter gets the least average interaction of any social network. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of tweets generate 10 interactions or fewer. However, several other social networks fare almost as badly. Sixty percent of Pinterest pins, 65 percent of Google+ posts and 68 percent of LinkedIn posts generate fewer than 10 interactions.

At the other end of the spectrum, Instagram enjoys the highest average engagement. Only 10 percent of Instagram photos and 6 percent of Instagram videos generate 10 interactions or fewer, while nearly half (49 percent) of Instagram photos and a whopping 60 percent of Instagram videos generate 250 or more interactions.

Facebook also performs fairly well. Still, 28 percent of Facebook posts generate 10 or fewer interactions. And while 36 percent of Facebook posts get more than 250 interactions, sponsored content accounts for most of these posts.

What do the results mean for your business? Content is important. But instead of focusing on churning out lots of content, spend more time fine-tuning the content you do create. Make sure it ranks well for the keywords your customers care about; provide relevant, useful and interesting information that they need or want; and spend time (and perhaps marketing dollars) promoting it to ensure you achieve your goal of spurring interaction with customers and prospects to generate more leads and drive sales.