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What is More Important: the Quality or Quantity of Content on YouTube?

21 Dec, 2023
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The discussion around the "quality vs quantity" topic has been discussed on YouTube for years. If you search long enough, you will find examples of both successful video promotion strategies. Some rely on a strategy of creating high-quality content and others use a quantitative approach— flooding YouTube with constant content.


The question many vloggers grapple with remains unresolved: Should the focus be on creating videos of high quality or on producing a larger quantity?

The quantity promotional method

In general, this strategy has numerous advantages, especially for beginner channels. Particularly for novice creators, the quantity of content has a greater impact than its quality.

The more you film and upload content, the quicker YouTube determines your audience, where to show your videos, and how to promote them for more reactions and targeted audience traffic.

Constantly posting content makes it easier to understand how and why things happen, providing insights into the platform's functioning.

Vloggers often doubt these facts until they establish a connection between their actions on the platform and the subsequent impact on their content. Creators who frequently upload videos have significantly more chances to land in the platform's recommendations simply because they make more attempts. More attempts mean more chances.

Frequent publications also contribute to gaining experience; with each one, it becomes easier to prepare, shoot, and edit videos. With every publication, you gather more reactions and feedback from viewers, simplifying the creation of eye-catching thumbnails, interesting titles, and optimized video metadata that genuinely works.

While you'll make a million mistakes on the path to acquiring these skills, this is beneficial because more attempts and errors lead to quicker conclusions and the development of a channel and content strategy.

By adopting this approach, you will more rapidly discover a format for YouTube content creation that is both successful and comfortable for you. Utilizing growth analytics on the platform will aid in comprehending your audience, their preferences, and the type of content they enjoy watching.

Even if your experience with the first channel fails, which is not uncommon due to frequent attempts and errors in trying to create successful content, you'll still have something more valuable than any YouTube video about promotion - experience. Then, attempting to create a new channel and promote it won't be just an attempt but a conscious step with your strategy and analytical work.

Certainly, you can go through these stages of becoming a vlogger even if you choose the quality strategy. However, the quantity strategy has one indisputable advantage: you'll achieve this much, much faster.

An example is Jimmy, best known as - Mr. Beast, who is now a successful content creator with a 200+ million audience, a concept, and a strategy, and his videos are always captivating to his audience.

MrBeast at MrBeast Burger opening. Picture: Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images

But at the beginning of his career, Jimmy not only posted videos frequently but also created, let's say, all sorts of low-quality stuff made on the fly. However, he learned, tried, gained experience, analyzed, and experimented.

And now, after many years, he's a prominent creator who can afford to shift from a quantity strategy to a quality one. It's essential to understand the evolution of your strategy as your channel grows.

There's no point in uploading 30 monotonous videos when you've already built an audience that's getting tired of uniformity. Now, let's look at some issues of focusing on quantity.

The first danger is viewer fatigue. If a viewer subscribes due to something catching their interest in your content, they may not be ready for all the notifications of new videos they will receive. Initially, they might watch everything you do, but over time, monotony will tire them, and they'll start skipping new releases, feeling disconnected from your active rhythm, eventually leading to unsubscribing.

Additionally, focusing on quantity inevitably compromises video quality, especially for solo creators. If you concentrate on quantity, improving quality becomes challenging.

Daily uploads won't transform poor content into outstanding cinema; algorithms may work more frequently, but the overall outcome is questionable.

Many people don’t realize that emphasizing quantity excludes research, creativity, and exploration from your schedule. You might acknowledge its importance eventually, but you may lack time and opportunities to address these matters.

As long as your release schedule keeps pulling in views, you probably won't think about the necessity of being creative. This process is essential for both your viewers, who tire of monotony, and for you, as you will inevitably grow tired of repetitive work. This leads to the second problem: creator burnout.

In the case of a quantity strategy, your path to moral and physical exhaustion takes much less time than with a quality strategy. However, this is by no means a plus. Burnout is not something new, nor is it limited to those working 24/7. Burnout is a state of physical and psychological exhaustion that often arises in response to emotional strain.

Let's refer to a study that will explore this issue in detail.

This extensive study is dedicated to the vlogging niche in 2022, but it also includes a rather intriguing section on burnout. The diagrams reveal that over half of creators experience burnout, whether their vlog is their full-time job or just a hobby. However, the most fascinating aspect is the causes of burnout.

  • The reasons for burnout include the necessity to post content everywhere 
  • content fatigue
  • emotional labor invested in building one's brand 
  • the inability to mentally disconnect
  • social isolation
  • loneliness, and so on.

The study doesn't specify how often vloggers release content because burnout is a common "ailment" for creators in their work. What happens if you add a hectic schedule with daily publications? The answer is obvious.

Quantity of content is not only about daily releases; it also involves the volume of content.

You can skip daily uploads, share only a couple of times a week, but still face a frantic work pace. Twenty-minute videos require about the same amount of time to create as four to five-minute ones. You'll just upload them less frequently.

In this case, all the problems mentioned earlier with the quantity strategy will still impact you, but without the bonuses of having more chances for promotion from YouTube’s algorithm. Meaning, the time spent will be the same, there will be fewer videos, and you'll get tired very quickly.

In conclusion, the quantity strategy will help you gain experience faster. You will have more chances at success with frequent publishing but at the cost of your content quality suffering. Additionally, you'll encounter burnout and audience fatigue from churning out content more quickly.

The quality promotion method

Focusing on quality it becomes evident that the pros and cons are the complete opposite of what the quantity strategy entails.

The most significant advantage is the ability to meticulously work on content at all stages. There's no rush: you can refine the script and locations, choose shooting techniques, paying more attention to the visual aspect, both during recording and editing.

If the quantity strategy is focused on short-term gains, as videos are made quickly on current topics, the quality strategy is about long-term success.

You might not gain millions of views instantly – which is unlikely in any strategy – but you have more chances to continually gather views, as each new video will push your channel forward, including old videos if they are of high quality.

Thorough work on content will allow your videos to stand alongside those of well-known creators and compete with them.

Most major creators eventually abandon the quantity strategy, preferring quality videos. For example, look at MrBeast. Now his videos are released once a month because producing content at that level takes a lot of time and effort. However, when you are a novice and not working with a team,you have to consider the downside of spending time creating high quality content.

Focusing on the quality of videos slows down channel growth. You are attempting to produce high-level videos which takes considerable time. However, you're uploading content so rarely to YouTube that it will take the platform a couple of years to find the right audience for your work.

Also, if you lack experience in shooting large projects and high-quality videos, it might end with you getting buried in your perfectionism. Attempting to create the perfect video can become a hindrance to putting out something good.  You may conceive a video, start preparing the perfect script, studying tons of expert materials to create something flawless. You refine the text, and then a month or two pass, and you simply burn out on your idea.

Perfectionism with no off switch is extremely dangerous; it can kill your creativity. Imaging a person who watches videos on setting up beautiful lighting, shooting from interesting angles, editing cool videos. They consume all types of educational content until they are blue in the face. Then they take courses on YouTube marketing and promotion, but never execute, make mistakes or get feedback from the audience. Therefore they don't gain experience. You can practice and go through tutorial hell learning about how to run a channel but eventually,  without taking action - a creator will fail. 

So, what is the best course of action when both quality and quantity present potential benefits and risks for vloggers?

Time for a compromise

In reality, the choice of strategy depends on many factors: your goals on the platform, seasonality, audience demands in your niche, and much more.

The ideal format is a reasonable number of videos created with high-quality content. However, it's worth noting that for such a format, you need a team, and without effective delegation, you physically won't be able to create great content at a good pace. Don't forget that there are also tasks related to working with advertisers, collaborations, bartering, content expansion, and other aspects that come with a large YouTube channel.

But first and foremost, you must understand that you should focus on your preferences. No one else will know what you enjoy doing and what you don't. At what pace you are comfortable working, what comes easily to you, and what you want to avoid.

Both quality and quantity are great tactics. You simply choose what suits you best or find a balance between both methods. For example, you might be willing to sacrifice your growth rate for the quality of your videos, or vice versa.

Consistency is crucial on YouTube, but that does not mean you must upload daily. Therefore, a schedule is your tool but it should not be an anchor that weighs you down. A regular release schedule is good primarily for creating discipline and viewer awareness.

A good piece of advice is to determine how much time is comfortable for you to work on a video and create your content schedule based on that. Don't look at other creators and try to “keep up with the joneses”. We are all different, and there is no universal strategy.

If you feel that a video is of poor quality but still upload it for the sake of consistency, that's a bad sign. If creating videos is challenging for you, and you're squeezing them out, that's a bad sign. If you have no time left for rest and generating new ideas, that's a bad sign.

As one of the YouTube experts, Tim Schmoyer, says, "Quantity will increase your creative skills, but quality will increase your loyal audience." Take note and keep creating.

Good luck!

 

Author
Author

Sasha Lerman

Copywriter, writer, editor. Development and promotion on YouTube, as well as many other exciting topics.

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