How Much Content Do You Need?

Content marketing is being sold as "updated" Guerrilla Marketing, but hold on a minute...
Content marketing is being sold as “updated” Guerrilla Marketing, but hold on a minute…

The question of how much work you should do in each area of your site is a common one. Even if you are experienced in a certain field, a new site (or blog) can be a totally different experience. If you are a marketer, you want people to buy, or at least be interested, from the first blog post, first web page, first tweet, first Facebook “like“. From the writer, editor, marketer, technologist, essentially “site owner”, every word should be understood, in context, and truly something that will make an impression. That is clearly not the case. The internet is too broad of a platform which serves many people. It is hard to make every page exactly in the context for everyone. That means writing, drawing, and recording more material that you need. Maybe not more than you “need”, but at least more than just a few pages or posts. There are different reasons to why people read and respond, So:

  • How much content do you need?
  • What minimal amount of work do you need to see results?
  • When and where do you need to promote (or advertise)?
  • How much work will you need to maintain people’s interest?

Before you decide how much work you are going to assign to each task, get a clear plan and do some poking around on the web. Once you have a plan, test your assumptions by writing a few pages, posting them on a test site, and promoting them to see if anyone responds. Then look critically at the statistics (analytics) or responses (comments, social media) and decide how much work is required. I give this process of estimating work because in blogging and in design of small (product, brochure) web sites, it is easy enough to estimate and get good numbers. With larger sites where programming or customization of large frameworks is required, more precise estimation is needed.

In more specific terms, I see product (sometimes also called brochure) sites and blogs, with estimates of 50 to 100 pages (or posts). Site owners (usually product managers or marketers) usually want most of the content done in one bundle. Blogs sometimes can be rolled out in phases with each post or a few at a time. When a company or organization has multiple products or projects, the content can go to five to ten time this size. BUT, doing a 1,000 page site is not something you will do in one phase. In situations where there are separate “parts” to a project, there is usually a preference to start with one or more parts then do the rest later. In most projects, where the writer or editor is familiar with the field, 50 pages can take from a month to three months to write, edit, post, and promote. Comparing to most small and medium size companies, this is more than most products have today. With a site like this you can start doing real SEO with enough content. If you are creating a sales system with a funnel and multiple landing pages, even with a blog, you also have the ability to do this with 50 to 100 page site. The same goes for other marketing or P/R techniques.

With respect to “Guerrilla Marketing” and the techniques used in the past. There are some similarities to doing a small site and promoting it on social media sites. After all, you are doing the work yourself and usually even in a corporate structure the type of work and results expected are similar to marketing on the web. But there are some big differences. The biggest one is the scale of the web and your ability to either hit a niche group “right on” or some way of creating a viral effect. This was not the world of Guerrilla Marketing with anything that used print, radio, or direct mail. Digital media is very different and today it is used differently. People respond to digital messages differently than print. The volume of messages we receive in the digital world is simply many times the messages from the pre-digital age. Take that as a first level departure from the old Guerrilla Marketing idea and book.


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