Why “Do Less, but Obsess” is a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

Posted on February 20, 2020

In a world saturated with content, where every brand is a publisher for their industry, how do you stand out from the crowd?

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk to Ann Handley, who is the Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, a well-known keynote speaker, and author of top-selling books like “Everybody Writes Your Go-to-Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.”

We talk to Ann about:

– How competitive it’s become for content to stand out from the crowd and if we’ve become too obsessed with metrics.

– What goes into making content that stands heads and shoulders above everything else, including examples from Ann.

– Why video should be part of your content marketing mix.

Happy Growing!


Time Stamped Notes

[3:55] – We talk about content saturation and how brands need to differentiate themselves in a crowded content market. To stand out, you need to be the best answer to your audience’s questions.

[5:40] – A great content strategy works for almost any brand if executed right. Ann talks through the example of TSA, who has a million followers on Instagram.

[7:00] – We debate if marketers are over-measuring the work they do. At times doing content marketing is about taking on risk, doing things where the ROI is more difficult to quantify. If we only focus on metrics, we could miss great opportunities to build our brand.

[11:20] – Ann gives us an example of a brand that does content differentiated from what everyone else is doing. Orbit Media, a content marketing agency, does excellent content, and because of that generates 50% of their leads from their blog.

[14:00] – Andy Crestodina is the person who creates incredibly well-researched content for Orbit Media. Ann talks about why his content is so fantastic.

[16:40] – We talk about the advantages of doing less content, but content that’s of higher quality. Ann calls this – “do less, but obsess.” There are some channels were quantity might make sense, e.g., those you’re trying to acquire traffic from and others where you need to focus on quality, e.g., social, email.

[21:30] – We go into some other examples of content that stood out, like “Will it Blend” and why it’s still remembered by so many people even though it was published many years ago.

[24:40] – We talk about the value of adding video to your content marketing mix. Ann gives some examples of how her company, MarketingProfs are integrating video into what they do.

[27:45]- Ann’s company has been publishing content since 2000 and were early on most mediums, but still finds video a tricky format.

[30:25] – One of the problems with video marketing is most of them are one-off, and it’s hard to create video series that get a lot of traction.

[32:15] – Ann talks about a campaign they ran that was an infomercial done in a Slideshare format. Ann thinks Instagram stories is a great way to create the same kind of format that worked on Slideshare, a visual story. 


– Ann on Twitter / LinkedIn
– Kieran on Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium
– Scott on Twitter / Linked / Medium