The Swarm and Communication

If you live in the Southern United States, the hum of cicadas is a nightly phenomenon. But, did you know that there are two kinds of cicadas? The first are called Periodical Cicadas and only emerge at 13- and 17-year intervals. Periodical Cicadas are found mainly in the Eastern United States, and they’re hardwired to emerge in the sunlight to avoid predators. The second kind of cicadas are called Desert Locusts and are mainly found in Africa.

Both kinds of cicadas use a swarm mechanism: the more Periodical Cicadas that emerge, the more that will reproduce, and the Desert Locusts use swarms to devastate large swaths of territory. The one dies off in a regular order, while the other is the product of atmospheric chaos—weather conditions and rainfall.

Now, what do cicadas have to do with corporate communication? They can teach us about how a business structures its communication, and how its messaging needs to suit specific conditions and challenges. Let’s take a closer look at content and how the idea of the swarm is important when it comes to just how much content your business creates.

Quantity vs Quality

Both the Cicada and the Desert Locust carve their evolutionary niche by sheer numbers—they simply overwhelm their predators. Classic communication theory would have it that quality will win over quantity every time. Quality messaging is what is rewarded by Search Engines. But there is a competing (or perhaps complimentary) theory and that is that the business cannot use quality communication without quantity.

There are those who say that quality communication is an art. It relies of intuition and other intangibles. The truth of the matter is that the success of a single piece of communication content cannot be foreseen. Markets today change at the speed of light, and so do the needs of consumers. You simply cannot predict how successful a piece of content will be, although experience does count for a lot.

A Numbers Game

Some think that organizations should take more time to produce less content, but what if there’s a sweet spot between quality and quantity?

The key might be to reuse content across a variety of different channels. If it works well on social media then use it as a hook for blog content, and if the content works well on a single blog then write about the same topic on a different blog. Also, use the same content to create images or video.

In other words, play the numbers game. The more quality content an organization has, the more successful they will be in achieving these seven magic results:

1. Increase audience retention

2. Obtain better social media traction

3. Establish trust with your audience

4. Generate leads

5. Improve conversions

6. Enhance SEO efforts

7. Build authority

Every company would be well-served to look to the lessons that Mother Nature teaches us, namely the lessons of the swarm. At iNA we have a team of dedicated specialist writers who create quality content across a variety of busines sectors. If your organization wants to dominate your market space, iNA has the assets to make that happen through content creation that is quick and offers exceptional value for money.

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