Are you creating content like a business or a publisher?

Act like a media company. If you’re into content marketing you’ve probably heard this phrase before, but it’s something that is becoming more and more prevalent as the amount of content being produced increases. But what does this actually mean and what’s the difference between putting out content as a business and putting out content as a publisher?

Digital media companies or publishers typically focus on a small number of topics or themes and produce content around them. There are exceptions as always, companies like Vice News, BBC, Al Jazeera report on many topics from around the world, but are more news orientated publishers, hence the large spread. However, no matter what their focus is, the one common ground they share is in what and how they publish content.

Most media publishers are not restricted to one type of content, they generally publish across multiple formats and platforms: short form video, long form video, podcasts, articles, journals etc. They also produce a large volume of content and make use of the different publishing platforms available to repurpose their content in different formats to enhance a piece’s lifespan.

Businesses on the other hand tend to produce singular pieces of content that focus on specific needs or problems their products and services address, often in one of two formats, and spend more time optimising content in the expectation that the piece will perform well. In short, the content is often valuable but self-serving and promotional. There are of course a multitude of things that you can do to enhance a piece of content: if it’s a written piece you can make sure it’s optimised for SEO, same with a YouTube video. And if the piece of content is good then it might do well.

Modern day media companies and publishers have a different mindset. They are not trying to promote or drive business results, they create and share large amounts of content everyday, on a variety of topics, spread this content across as many platforms as they possibly can and look to build audience and brand.

Of course, with a focus on volume there is a debate around is the content good quality? Can it even be good quality if their focus is quantity? For some media companies, no, for news organisations focused on reporting the content may not be all there, but their focus is not on engagement, it’s about keeping their audience up to date. However for companies like Vice, RedBull, Business Insider, CNBC, I would say that their content is good quality, their focus is on talking to and with their audience about topics they care about, and as such their is much more of a reason for the quality to be better.

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re a small business, not RedBull, and you’re right,you can’t possibly put out 7000 pieces of content a day like Vice does. But why can’t you put out 7, or 17? And why can’t all of that content be good quality?

I believe 100% in volume of content, the more content you can put out that is insightful, valuable or entertaining, the more attention you will get, the quicker the audience will grow, and the more money your business will make. However I do not think that volume for volume sake is a good strategy. Anyone could put out 10 pieces of crap content everyday. In order for volume to work, it needs to be good quality.

Now quality is subjective, but when we say “good quality”, we should listen to our own internal voices. If we ask ourselves, “do we think this is a good quality piece of content” and the answer is yes, then put it out. We must be our own critics. We must commit to only putting out good quality content, but be razor focused on putting out more of it.

There is a reason that Vice, the BBC, CNBC, NBC get the audiences they do. It’s partly because the content is great, but it’s also partly because there is a lot of it. With the sheer volume of content and individual voices spewing ideas out across the internet, we as humans have much shorter attention spans and are likely to forget.

If someone sees a post of yours and enjoys it, you want to make sure they see more of it. If they’ve only just discovered you they might not remember your name. It’s up to you to engrave it in their brain.

So how to create content like a media publisher?

  1. Commit to creating quality content

  2. Focus on publishing as much as you can

  3. Repurpose everything so that you can publish your content on as many platforms as possible to increase a piece’s lifespan

James Quayle