One of the things that intrigues me most about golf is that the entire goal of the game is to play the least amount of it. The winner of the game is the one who swung the club the fewest times. It’s a beautiful aspect of the game – one that we can learn a lot from in our content and marketing strategies.
One of the questions I’m most often asked in workshops and consulting engagements is “How much content should we be producing?” Of course, there’s only one correct answer:
“As much as your strategy says you should.”
I can’t give this answer, of course. It would be highly unsatisfying to people looking for quantitative guidance – not to mention people looking for a way to gauge their rank among their peers. How do I answer, then? Until recently, I’ve said this:
“As much as you can be great at.”
The problem is that basically this answer says, “As long as it’s remarkable content, you should produce as much of it as you can.” I now think that advice is wrong.
Why? Consider this. The mark of any great concert, television series, movie, or novel is that when you get to the end, you find yourself wishing that it would go on. You’re satisfied, you’re moved – and you want more. In fact, the better and more impactful the experience – the shorter it can be. The Great Gatsby is only 180 pages. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is only 160 pages. The classic film Casablanca is 100 minutes. That’s not to say that long content, or a lot of content, can’t be effective. War and Peace wouldn’t be War and Peace if it weren’t 1,200 pages. But not every book should be that long. And, just because it can be that long – doesn’t mean it should.
Further, work has every tendency to fill voids in space and time. In a perfect world – as creative knowledge workers – we’d be spending less time actually creating content, and more simply thinking of better, innovative and remarkable things to create. Of course in most businesses, it works quite the other way around. If we’re going to shift this balance at all, one step to getting there will be to not fill every single second of our day with the business of assembling content.
So, from now on when people ask me how much content they should be producing, and I have to give a took quick answer, I’ll say:
“As little as you can while still creating the impact you want to create.”
“Leave them wanting more”
It’s in this way that I think content and marketing strategy should be like golf. We should not aim to produce overwhelming amounts of content – even if we CAN be great at it. Rather, we should aim to produce just enough to deliver the value we intend, and to create the change in behavior we are trying to effect. No more. Get through the course in as few swings as possible.
Lets go work on our swing.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.