Choosing Between Quality vs. Quantity of Content With Ben Sailer
Businesses need to focus on producing high-quality content that is valuable and relevant to their audience. However, it's also important for them to consider the quantity of content they produce.
In conversation with CEO of Pepper Content Anirudh Singla, Director of Inbound Marketing, WordPress.com at Automattic, Ben Sailer talks about ways to overcome the challenge of choosing between content quality and quantity.
Here are some excerpts.
1. How has your journey been in the content marketing space?
I studied journalism and PR in college and wanted to be a music journalist, but after realizing its viability, I pivoted to PR and marketing and landed a content writer job at an e-commerce company. I worked in content marketing for two years in e-commerce and a year and a half in an agency for big B2B clients in various industries. I then spent six years in the startup world at CoSchedule, starting as a writer and eventually becoming the Inbound Marketing Director.
In January 2022, I started working on the WordPress.com product as a Content Marketing Editor and then got promoted to Director of Inbound Marketing. I lead a small team of two, but we aim to grow in the future. Over the past decade, I have had a diverse range of experiences in the content world, working with small local businesses to global brands like WordPress.com. I am proud to say that after ten years, I am still passionate about this field.
2. How big was the team at CoSchedule, and how did you go about building the entire content engine?
I started at CoSchedule as employee number 26 – one of the few marketers on the team. Initially, the content team was just me and a graphic designer, and we created the majority of the content in-house. We had efficient processes and focused on creating content for our blog, which we then repurposed for email and social. We eventually added interns and freelancers to the team, but only after we knew what we wanted from our content could we give them good direction to maintain our edge. By directing the writers well, we were able to scale our efforts while still making sure our blog sounded like ours.
3. How do you choose between quality versus quantity of content? Also, how do you structure your teams with respect to in-house freelance platforms?
As a part of the team at WordPress.com, I have always believed in quality over quantity when it comes to our content. Our CEO, Garrett Moon, shares the same vision, which made it easier for us to focus solely on producing high-quality content. This is not the case with many other companies, where content marketers are often pressured to produce a high volume of content, leading to subpar results.
The rise in AI tools for content creation has resulted in a race to the bottom, with companies relying on these tools to produce more bad content faster instead of creating high-quality content. However, companies that focus solely on producing exceptional content will succeed in the long run. I started producing content myself to demonstrate how publishing fewer but better pieces can drive results more quickly. I was able to prove this with data, and this scarce but better mentality is now starting to win internally at WordPress.com. In marketing, data always settles any argument, and this applies to content marketing as well.
In a lot of companies, content marketers get a directive or mandate from someone higher up in the organization who doesn't understand marketing or content. That is where the question of picking between quantity and quality comes from.
4. What do you think about freelance teams? Are you an active proprietor of building an on-demand talent pool?
I am a huge advocate for freelancers. In my experience, when outsourcing for in-house content teams, there are two options - going to a content agency with a large pool of writers or reaching out to individual freelancers to build a trusted pool. I have had successful experiences with freelancers in the past. At CoSchedule, I was able to find great freelancers easily due to the company's strong brand recognition in the B2B marketing space. At Automattic, working with content agencies has not been as successful and has led to a shift toward finding trusted freelancers.
Agencies can sometimes only focus on producing content as specified and not invest in the outcome. I believe finding talented freelancers who can produce results is the way to go. However, I want to emphasize that our experience with agencies has not been ideal, but it doesn't mean agencies are bad - it just means we need a different type of partner.
Data ends every argument that exists ever in marketing.
5. If you were to imagine a Salesforce-type set up for content marketing – that one stack that could help you solve and scale all your content marketing problems – what would that look like?
I think Salesforce is powerful, but most companies only use a fraction of its capabilities. A holistic solution that handles all aspects of content marketing would be ideal. This solution would include an editorial calendar, a project management platform, a means to manage collaboration and communication with writers, the ability to pay writers in one click, and a way to measure the results of the content through different channels and generate a report to share with stakeholders.
Currently, it takes at least four or five different platforms to achieve this, but having everything integrated into one platform would save time and eliminate the stress of managing the process. Such a solution focused on content and managing the entire process from idea to measurement would be game-changing for marketers.
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