How to avoid the 'content quality' trap

Jason Graub
December 1, 2023

In the world of marketing, there's a common trap that many of us fall into — obsessing over content quality. 

When we get so caught up in creating the "perfect" content, we inevitably end up delaying its release.

Now, I’m not saying that quality isn't important; it definitely is. But most times, we need to strike a balance between getting content out quickly and ensuring it's the best it could possibly be. Think "done, not perfect".

So, what do we mean by the "quality trap"?

Marketers spend a ton of time and resources making our content top-notch. In North America, a majority of marketers (38%), spend 1-2 hours writing a typical blog post. About 29% spend 2-3 hours writing, and another 29% spend 4+ hours per post (HubSpot).

But once you've communicated the core messaging — everything else has diminishing returns.

There’s a lot of low-production content out there performing just as well if not better than high-production value content. 

How to Escape the Trap

How can marketers avoid the content quality trap while making sure our content hits the mark?

Here are 4 quick tips:

  1. Focus on What Matters: Identify the most important messages you want to convey and put them front and center. This way, even if you need to make trade-offs, your core messages will shine through.
  2. Set Realistic Standards: Define what level of quality is "good enough" for your audience or campaign. Sometimes, a small imperfection here and there is okay if it doesn't ruin the whole experience. 
  3. Improve Gradually: Instead of trying to make everything perfect upfront, release your content in stages and use feedback to make it better over time. That way, you can find that sweet spot between quality and speed.
  4. Use Tools and Templates: Don't reinvent the wheel. Use tools and templates made for creating content, whether that’s an article, video, or even interactive tours and demos. They will make your life easier and help you produce content faster.

One of my favorite quotes is from Seth Godin, “Ship the work”.

As marketers we need to recognize the content quality trap and learn how to break free from it. Quality is important, but so is getting your content out there quickly. 

Buyers are hungry for content, and they are often not as picky as we think. Understanding what your audience needs and values is the key to content marketing success in 2024. In fact, in a 2023 survey conducted by Semrush, 45% of marketers stated they are publishing more content and publishing more frequently in order to see success (State of Content Marketing: 2023 Global Report).

By finding the right balance between quality and speed, you can create more content experiences that resonate with your audience and keep them engaged in less time.