In Praise of Frequency in Content Marketing

September 1, 2016

Content Shock

Content Marketing World 2016 is taking place next week, September 6-9, in Cleveland. (Can’t wait to eat Cheetos and drink orange soda).

At previous Content Marketing World conferences, Content Shock was a key topic of discussion. Content Shock, a concept introduced by Mark Schaefer, holds that the sheer abundance of content in the world is limiting content marketing’s effectiveness. 

So how can marketers combat this glut of content? Many thought leaders make the case — rightly — that producing high quality content is one way to fight Content Shock. They also argue that far too many content marketers focus on quantity over quality.

I’m not going to argue against quality content. That would be like arguing against Mom or apple pie or football season. Quality is an imperative.

And I’m not going to argue that Content Shock isn’t real. It is real: There is a glut of content, and we as content marketers are competing for attention with great content from Pokemon Go to “Peaky Blinders.”

But I am going to argue that frequency — producing a regular stream of content — is essential for content marketers. Here are five reasons why frequency is crucial to producing content marketing that works.

Frequency has always been a key tenet of advertising.

Frequency is critical for TV advertising. Ad agencies have also known that ads must run often to have any impact on the consumer. It’s the same in content marketing, which requires engaging a prospect numerous times before it converts a prospect to a lead or a to a paying customer. Interviewed in “The Big Data-Driven Business,” Bill Macaitis, who is now CMO of Slack Technologies, said attribution data clearly showed the impact of frequency in content marketing. “You come across prospects 10, 20, 30 times before they ever become a lead,” he said.   

Frequency is the only way to build subscribers.

It’s hard to build a subscriber base without a newsletter or blog being produced regularly. Whether that frequency is hourly, daily, weekly or monthly, pick a frequency and stick to it. Don’t underestimate the importance of subscribers. None other than Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says that your subscriber base is a crucial sign of health of a content marketing program and subscriber growth is the “one marketing metric to rule them all.”  

Frequency is a pathway to better quality content.

It’s hard to hit a home run in a single at-bat. The more you step up to the plate, the more likely you are to hit a home run or two or three. The same is true in content marketing. The more content your team creates, the better they get at the craft of content creation and the more likely there are to have a tremendous success, delivering a piece of content that drives leads and revenue. The only way to get better at writing and creating content is to do it.

Frequency allows more A/B testing.

With more frequent content production, you get more of an opportunity to test what kind of content works for your audience. Frequency enables more experimentation, and you might be surprised by what content works. And what doesn’t.

Frequency enables always-on marketing.

Always-on marketing is the concept of always having content available for prospects, no matter where they are in the sales funnel, what device they’re using, and what form of content they prefer. As a content marketer, you must create awareness content all the way through to product demos. You must create content for mobile as well as desktop. And you must also create content that speaks to buyers as well as influencers in a range of departments. LinkedIn research showed that an average of about four departments, including IT, HR, and finance, influenced the typical B2B purchase.

The bottom line is that quantity isn’t necessarily the opposite of quality. In fact, frequency can actually help you generate quality content. And with a studied repurposing effort, you can create content once and see it live on in various forms on your LinkedIn Company page, Twitter, Instagram, your company blog, and elsewhere.

See you at Content Marketing World, where LinkedIn Marketing Solutions will be sponsoring the metrics and analytics content track.

For more thoughts on building a strong content marketing program, download the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing today.