I’m a collector… a collector of tasks, of emails, of information. Sure I may not ‘collect’ with the rabid precision of a philatelist or a sucrologist (which, by the way, I found out today refers to individuals who collect those little sugar packets you see in restaurants – you know who you are). But my day is incomplete if it hasn’t ended under a mountain of ‘stuff’. Yes, I’m very busy and important.
It’s the end of another week of treading – read hurtling around – the content treadmill and a myriad of press releases, social media posts, newsletter copy and website content bombarding a very crowded (travel) cyberspace. Some of it’s good… really good. But if I’m honest, some of it could really be better.
Which got me to thinking that, if, like me, you’ve fallen into the trap of chasing quantity over quality in a noisy and competitive marketing world in which you’re fighting to stand out, you may just want to take a Kit Kat break to think why you’re actually doing something, before you routinely just do it.
Like magpies, we’re attracted to large (which most of us automatically equate to impressive) numbers. I have 20 000 Facebook likes, thousands of website hits. I even have a press list of 2 000 journalists. I’ve sent 120 emails today. Tweeted 37 times in the past week and have sent out three press releases. My epiphany this week? That’s all meaningless unless it delivers a result worth getting excited about.
It’s a pretty scary thought, hedging your bet on quality over quantity. It means fewer opportunities to get your tourism brand or destination out there. Fewer opportunities to be seen, to be recognised. But by chasing quantity you may be on the proverbial treadmill to nowhere and certainly missing a golden opportunity to really bond with your existing and potential customers.
The pursuit of quality also entails taking a lot more time to do something properly. No more copy and paste from travel news sites, mining the Internet for the Top 10 restaurants in Cape Town or posting an inspirational travel quote just so you can tick that off your list of ‘things to do’ for the day.
To really stand out, you’re going to have to spend some time figuring out what your customers want to read, what they love to read and then write something unique, truly unique. Something that will entice them to come back again, again and again.
According to brand journalist, Nicole Jenet, the winner in the battle of quantity vs quality is always the latter. Jenet says if your goal is to position your company as a thought leader, enhance your reputation and provide value to your customers, quality will trump quantity every time.
And here’s the best bit: “Generating mediocre or low-quality content may actually dilute the high-quality content you spent so much time and resources on to produce. After all, you don’t want to do anything that will cheapen the perception of your content and, thus, your brand.”
What’s the point of posting a daily Facebook post, tweeting up a storm or sending your newsletter out for the fourth time this month, if nobody reads it? "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Sure, there’s a veritable avalanche of travel content being pumped out by the news, blogs, social media, newspapers and radio. And if you’re just going to add to that chaos, according to blogger Anne Murphy, instead of strategically targeting your customers with the information they truly care about and want to engage with, you’re not going to see results.
According to Murphy, 27 million pieces of content are shared every day – 27 million! Nobody’s looking for more content. But everyone’s looking for interesting, valuable, well done content. Slow down and figure out what resonates with your customers. Focus on the content that stands out from the deluge and then take the time to do it well.
So, come Monday, instead of joining me on that content treadmill so you can tick off one of your ‘to do’s’ for the week, make a commitment with me to produce only high-quality content, even if you post only a third of what you would have posted before.
Let’s ditch that dirty marketing habit. Repeat after me: Content is not a commodity. Bad content is…