At the beginning of 2020, we explored fast vs slow content and the impact each can have on your marketing campaigns. In 2023, more people than ever are reflecting on their pace of life, so we’re taking a deeper dive into the world of fast and slow content – and asking why slowing down and doing less can help you do better work, faster.

Over one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. TikTok has surpassed a billion subscribers. And around 70 million blog posts are published on WordPress every single month. In fact, there are 600,000,000 blog posts on the internet today, so don’t ever complain you don’t have anything to read.

The amount of content is overwhelming, to say the least. Especially if you’re a marketing professional or content creator. The pressure to blog, post, ideate, and engage both constantly and consistently can seem like a Sisyphean task. After all, you have to keep up with the pace that’s been set, right? The algorithm wants new content. We must feed the beast.

woman blogger working at a laptop

Except, if you’re under pressure to produce content quickly, all the time, the quality of that content will eventually suffer. Content chaos is not sustainable. And what’s the point in producing anything at all if it isn’t valuable to your audience?

This is a question that content creators are increasingly asking. At a time when the average blog bounce rate is over 80%, the vast majority of marketers have come to the conclusion that the quality of their posts is more important than quantity.

And this leans into a trend that is becoming increasingly popular with today’s creators: slow content.

Slow down. Do less. Be better. 

Slow content is about purposefully slowing down, getting off the content hamster wheel, and creating detailed, thoughtful work that has genuine value—the kind that can actually distinguish your brand from other online creators instead of getting lost in the noise.

It’s the equivalent of an editorial long read, compared to a news story that was published on deadline to keep people informed of breaking events. Both have a purpose, sure. But one has the time to consider its approach, formulate a stance, and provide genuine food for thought.

stack of newspapers

The results speak for themselves; Research shows that bloggers who write articles upwards of 2,000 words—those more often being well researched and carefully planned—are far more likely to have strong results.

In many ways, slow content as a choice is a psychological reaction to the relentless pace of modern life. We’ve seen this in other areas too, like the trend of ‘slow living’ that took off after the pandemic (and is still going strong).

Both are examples of people recognizing that the pace we operate is simply not sustainable. And, ultimately, that it doesn’t serve us or our readers. Sure, regular, rapid-fire content that pleases algorithms might get us in front of our audience, and it might even initially engage them, but is that engagement meaningful? Are they really taking anything on board?

With slow content, creators are looking to replace constant interaction with quality interaction. Now let’s explore how it really works.

The science behind slowing down

When we talk about fast and slow content, we’re not just talking about how quickly things can be created and pushed out into the public. We’re also referring to the way a reader’s mind processes information.

Nobel-prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman—no doubt a familiar name for those of you interested in cognitive marketing—first came up with the concept of fast and slow thinking in 2011.

In his theory, Kahneman claims there are two ways of processing information. The first, ‘fast thinking,’ is a sort of knee-jerk reaction to the information presented in front of us. The second, ‘slow thinking,’ requires concentration and a certain amount of effort on behalf of the reader.

graphic of Kahneman's theory of processing information, fast thinking being reactive and quick, slow thinking being experimental and needing more effort

This slower way of thinking requires an audience to genuinely engage with the topic at hand. That is why content creators should ideally aim to stimulate it with longer pieces that can’t be immediately devoured and forgotten. But doing so requires, carefully thought-out, well-researched, and genuinely thought-provoking content. It requires letting ideas percolate. It requires slowing down.

So, slow is good, fast is bad? 

Woah there, not so fast.

As a content creator, you know that your audience is often busy. Not everyone has time in their day to pore over 2,000-word blog posts and eBooks. In fact, 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts when they read. That’s almost half of your readership that either doesn’t have the time or will to read your work in full, at least some of the time.

Sometimes quickly hammering your key points home, dropping the mic, and getting the hell out of Dodge can be an impactful way to sell important ideas.

That is to say, there are plenty of instances where fast content can be valuable, too. The truth is, the perfect mix to engage your audience is likely a combination of both fast and slow thinking. And here’s the good news, once you’ve created your slow content, it’s easy to speed it up with atomization.

graphic of types of atomized content, Twitter threads, social media images, video snippets, podcast audio snippets and quotes from blogs

For instance, that 2,000-word blog post people didn’t have time to read can become a short video, an infographic, or whatever else you can think of. And, because you put all that work into creating a thoughtful, well-researched piece to begin with, you know the quality of your fast content will be great too.

Finding the right mix of fast and slow content

Because we appreciate the value of both, Turtl’s programmers designed our content platform software with this mix in mind. Our users can deliver a balance of both to their audience, simultaneously.

With Turtl, users can create dynamic, visually pleasing content pieces that deliver all the important info at a glance, while also allowing audiences to expand details and click through for a deeper dive. We actually based it on the way leatherback turtles hunt for food.

If you would like to explore more about why slowing down and doing less can help teams do better work, faster, especially with a recession looming, read our Turtl Doc about saving money on content


Click to read How to do more with less | Turtl Guide for marketers

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