If you didn’t know who Bruce Lee or Kareem Abdul Jabbar were and the two were stacked up next to each other ready to fight, you’d probably put your money on the huge, muscular Jabbar rather than the miniscule Lee. In the incomplete movie, Game of Death, Lee beats Jabbar in a fight. It was a close fight with Jabbar getting some pretty solid shots in. The reality is that the fight probably wouldn’t be close. Even the Jabbar is much bigger and physically stronger, Lee’s discipline, skill, and pure fighting strength would likely prevail. It’s a debate that some could argue, but if you truly understand the dynamics of fights, you’d know that Jabbar would not stand a chance in normal conditions.
That’s all fiction and speculation, but there’s very clear evidence that a “Bruce Lee” style of content marketing is much more powerful than a “Kareem Abdul Jabbar” style. It applies to the three major benefits of content marketing: search, social, and website engagement, and packing the best of the best into a smaller package is by far more effective than tons of low-quality content.
The unfortunate myth about the phrase “content is king” is the concept that more is better. That’s simply not true. A page with three paragraphs of useful, unique content can easily outrank a page with tons of poor content. In fact, it’s often the case that the shorter content helps the rest of the website rank better as well.
Google and Bing love content – this much is true. However, the algorithms can decipher the difference between content that brings true value and content that is there for the sake of having more content.
There are times when longer content is better, particularly when it comes to academic-style resources. Detailed “how to” articles, in-depth commentaries, and multi-page case studies are just some of the examples. These are the best kinds of content when building up authority for a page and a domain, but it’s still about quality rather than quantity.
The key to knowing when to go long and when to cut it short is based upon the value the page is bringing to the audience. Forget the search engines for a moment. They take their cues from the activities of people. A short piece of written content with an attached infographic or video, for example, might appear small to the spiders but if other websites are linking to it and people are sharing it, then it will gain authority. Longer forms of content must be worth the read to make this work. If it must be long to communicate the point, so be it. Just don’t make it long for the sake of bumping up word counts.
This is the easiest portion to understand about content marketing. People share shorter content. They just do. If they have the choice between a long article or a video wrap-up hitting the high points, they’ll share the video first. If they have a long piece of writing describing statistics surrounding an issue compared to a well-designed infographic and some lead-in text describing it, they’ll share the latter.
That’s not to say that longer content cannot do well on social media, but just as with SEO, there must be a reason to for them to read it if they’re going to share it. You have to make it worthy.
For Website Engagement
It doesn’t get any bigger than this when it comes to quality versus quantity in content marketing. Once people are on your website researching, if they spend time reading a bunch of low-quality content, you might have just lost them. Say more with less. Get to the point.
People don’t like to have their time wasted, so don’t waste their time. Make every word count. Focus on quality. Forget word counts. Say what you need to say in the right amount of words – no more, no less.
This article is under 700 words and communicated exactly what I wanted to say. Now, let’s watch Lee versus Jabbar: