Everyone knows content is fundamental to successful marketing online. Without engaging, original content, all your slick pay-per-click ads, personalized email campaigns, marketing automation and eye candy website aren’t going to help your business, school or non-profit one bit. But knowing content is important doesn't tell you anything about the best strategy to create the awesome content you need. The following strategy works whether you're marketing $250,000 software, a medical coding certification program or a new social media application.
Often times my clients get hung up on writing the perfect piece of content. They think big and then try to write bigger. They want to cover a subject from the beginning of time and into the future in a single ebook, blog post or webinar. But is the most awesome, engaging content always the ebook, webinar or slideshare deck that labors to answer every possible question or objection in one voluminous tome? Will you be more successful writing digests worthy of a Nobel Literary Prize or sending out hundreds of 140 character tweets? Neither as it turns out. The most potent content strategy going is thinking big but acting small. It’s a content marketing approach I call Quantum Content. Quantum Content, the smallest, self-contained, relevant and actionable story about your product or service is the most powerful.
Here are 7 potent reasons your marketing will produce better results if you write Quantum Content, rather than thinking big and writing bigger:
1. Quantum Content is More Searchable
When you break your big content story into multiple pieces you get more bait in the water to attract the internet’s most content-hungry customer….Google. Producing multiple pieces of content supporting the same theme gives you the opportunity to emphasize a wider number of keywords, cross-link more related content, acquire more inbound links, and increase your total number of ranked pages.
2. Quantum Content is More Easily Found
Your content findability factor goes up when you repurpose and reimagine your content while also quantizing it. Here's what I mean. What will get more exposure for your company, a blog post or a blog post plus a cool video? A cool video or a video plus a written (keyword optimized) transcript? A Slideshare presentation or a Slideshare presentation and an SEO optimized blog post? Every presentation you create should be accompanied by at least one blog post, and each blog post you write is a ready-made concept for a presentation. Leave clues for your audience. Each should point at the other.
3. Quantum Content is More Current
It's rare to find truly timeless content. My kids tell me they won't watch movies produced before they were born and I believe that attitude of 'newness' pervades our sense of what is 'good' in the online information world. Unless you are a historian, how often do you look for content that's more than a few hours, days or maybe weeks old? Information is 24x7. Trends that can impact your business, school or non-profit rise and fall in days. If your content strategy is designed to turn out 2 - 3 really big pieces of content a year, you are, by definition, old news. By contrast, Quantum content is fresh and responsive. Offer perspectives, ideas and how-to's that people can use right now.
4. Quantum Content Gets Consumed More
It’s the consumption principle. In a world where 140 characters have become the definition of fully-formed thoughts, what will get consumed more – a 120-second video, or a 24-page eBook? Unless you’re writing rivals a short Stephen King essay, it’s the former. The reality is, Sally Don’t Read - much. Every trend in social media and content marketing is toward brevity and showing rather than telling. YouTube. Viddy. Tumblr. Socialcam. Pinterest. Instagram.Infographics. Will I even be writing this blog in 24 months? Will anyone still read the 700+ words in this post?
5. Quantum Content Gets Shared More
The viral potential of Quantum Content supersedes that of larger content 99 times out of 100. This is partially related to the consumption principle above. We are more likely to recommend via tweet, buffer, +1, share, email forward, etc. content we have actually consumed. Math also favors sharing of Quantum Content. If you have one super awesome eBook, it will probably be shared - a little. However, take that same eBook, release it in 8 parts, and the combined shares for all the components will be greater – and given the inclusion of sharing behaviors in search results, this also impacts the searchable principle.
6. Quantum Content Gains More Mind Share
Thinking small gives you more opportunity to create and sustain mindshare among media, prospective customers, and even current customers. Apply the principles of consumption – small content gets consumed more – and recall the old sales maxim about how many touches it takes to create a customer – at least 6. If you’re trying to build mind share with a multi-tasking, time-slicing audience, the only way you’ll cut through the static of everyday life and increase your influence or facilitate a close is by offering more, relevant, bite-sized pieces of content. Quantum content.
7. Quantum Content Generates More Leads
One of the often overlooked benefits of thinking small in content marketing is that each time you deconstruct your content, you have another opportunity to include calls-to-action. Remember, you’re not in the eyeballs business. You’re in the behavior business. A 5-installment series gives you 500% more behavior influencing call-to-action opportunity than a single treatise on the value of your product, service or school. Added benefit: when your content is smaller, your calls-to-action compete against fewer words, pictures, and other content elements, which will properly emphasize the reason you’re investing in content in the first place.
Shrink to Greatness.
A single cell is inconsequential (unless you happen to be a biologist). But when that single cell divides and then divides again, and again, making many new, smaller copies of itself, together all those individual cells can accomplish and become incredible things. The next time you’re brainstorming a content marketing program for your business, school or non-profit, shrink to greatness. Take your big idea and deconstruct it into three, or five, or eight smaller ideas. Reinforce your smaller, more consumable ideas in all your channels: blogs, social media, webinars, slideshare, video. Shrink to Greatness. Write small content. Write more of it. Try it.