With the explosion of platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn, the game has changed. Today’s big publishers are social media platforms, providing an opportunity for every man and his dog to get their content to the masses. As such, content marketers must now consider a new variable when publishing content: Does my content require a permanent home on my website? Or can my content be “homeless” and live exclusively on an external platform which I don’t control?
Asking yourself the following questions will allow you to distinguish whether or not you need to find a permanent home for your content.
For companies operating Business to Business (B2B), content usually focuses on products and product education. Typically, this means that you cater for a particular audience. With the primary objective of your content to educate your consumers on the need for your product and its effectiveness in solving a problem they may have, you will want to walk consumers through the buying process. Those operating B2B can benefit greatly from adding their content to a website or media centre, with the goal of developing a flow of output which drives consumers to your website and ultimately to purchasing. Social media posts and email newsletters should be used to drive traffic to e-books and blog posts where consumers are able to learn more about your product and continue their education on the importance of buying from you. Having that permanent home for your content provides the link between consumer education and your brand.
For brands operating Business to Consumer (B2C), you may not require a permanent home for your content. That’s not to say B2C businesses don’t need content added to their website or media centres. However, a majority of the content created for B2C brands tends to have a consumer focus – publishing images, text and videos that have a focus on shareability and fits organically on social platforms can be more beneficial for these businesses, helping to create brand awareness.
For any publisher, growing a healthy database of email newsletter subscribers is a must. But many businesses make the mistake of not wanting to ask consumers to subscribe for email notifications which is crazy, what’s the worst they can say? No? You can gain a lot by convincing your audience to engage with your content on a regular basis. For that very reason, it is important you have a permanent home for your content where you are able to continually direct traffic and further educate your consumer.
There is specific content which may not require email promotion. Certain public relations content can actually benefit from living elsewhere. For example, last year, the New York Times ran a story taking shots at Amazon and their office culture. Employees quickly took to social media with personal essays and posts defending their employer. If these responses were posted to the company’s website or in a newsletter, they would have looked orchestrated and self-serving. Posted to external platforms, these seemed not so influenced but genuine which was instead a benefit.
Homeless content should be created with social sharing in mind. Social media algorithms are now so advanced that they organise our newsfeeds to give trending topics and stories the most attention. If you are producing topical content which is time-sensitive, you would have greater success with posts that meet the context of specific platforms as opposed to an isolated blog post on your website.
Conversely, if you are creating content which remains relevant over time and doesn’t tend to have a use by date, it would make sense to house it on your website for SEO purposes.
It’s no longer a question of asking whether mobile marketing is important – we know it is! Social media apps have taken a share away from websites and are the primary method of consuming content. If you want to stay ahead of the content curve you need to be optimising for mobile. Some users may choose to open web browsers to access your website, but chances are they are going to click a link via Facebook or Twitter, or watch video on YouTube or Instagram.
Though social media platforms seem to be helping publishers build their online profile and audiences, that doesn’t for a second mean a brand has control over the content they publish to these platforms. Facebook controls everything in the Facebook universe. Twitter controls the Twittersphere. When your content is homeless and only resides on the platforms you have posted to, you’re at their mercy.
With social media platforms continually changing the way they do things, there is no saying that they won’t start deleting older posts, change their algorithm affecting your reach or censor certain content for whatever reason, there is very little you can do about it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take full advantage of the platform’s out there because you should! Go where your audience goes, join the conversation and engage with your consumer as much as possible. However, keep this in mind when it comes time to decide whether you’re going to give your content a permanent home or continue to rent your little piece of digital real estate.