The digital and content marketing landscape is rapidly changing. For the last couple of years, we’ve known that high-volume content production and publishing, backed by a social media amplification strategy, can lead to good things for your brand. But now the Internet is getting more crowded and noisier than ever.Consumers are getting blasted on all fronts, and we’re all getting lost in this sea of content. Brands now have to figure out how to cut through this wall to reach consumers.
A focus on high-value, high-impact content, with a paid and earned distribution strategy to amplify and target, is looking more and more like the smart and strategic path for brands.
No more free lunch from Facebook
Within the year, Facebook will no longer be a viable free network to distribute your brand’s content; but before we all pull our hair out, keep in mind that doesn’t mean it isn’t still viable and valuable. Initial figures estimated that brands were only getting their content in front of about 17 percent of their audience organically, but recent figures show that number to be closer to 12 percent; and Facebook has said that its ultimate goal is to push that number down to 1 percent.
What does that mean? In the simplest of terms, you have to pay to play on Facebook, and you’re likely going to pay more than you used to. As it relates to brands, Facebook is migrating to a paid advertising channel versus a free marketing platform. I encourage you to check out Chris Penn‘s article “How Much Will You Need To Pay Facebook” to find out more. The immediate result is shock, anger, and frustration, but this shift opens up much more targeted audience media opportunities for brands.
Targeting content for target audiences
That is the core strength of a paid distribution strategy: You can reach your target audience. As with Facebook, the same holds true with Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, and you should expect these other networks to eventually follow Facebook’s lead. Don’t panic; with a focus on omni-channel, high-quality content, your brand will be able to diversify and pivot to other networks and other digital marketing tools, and if you’re willing to invest in creating great content, you have to be willing to invest in ensuring that it is seen by the right audiences. You shouldn’t be promoting every post and piece of content, only the best – only the pieces that will have the most impact. As Jay Baer says, “In social media marketing, average is no longer adequate.”
Your website, blog and content marketing efforts will need additional support now. Explore services like Outbrain and Taboola, or you can reach out to companies like Raidious and DigitalRelevance,who specialize in helping companies with their content distribution needs.
It is time to shift your budget, and it is time to think big. If your brand has had a budget for high-volume content production, Raidious recommends reworking that budget to focus on less content, but content of a more impactful nature, and creating a line item or sub-budget for paid and earned distribution. This strategy should give you more insight and consistent reporting as to what is happening with your content once it is released into the wild, as well.
No more free lunch. The free ride is over. Your grandpa has crashed the party and is scolding all you whipper-snappers on how good you’ve had it. Get ready. Pivot and reallocate, and get your remarkable content in front of the audiences you’ve worked hard to attract.
Image credit: Bastian Könings
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