There’s no doubt that content marketing isn’t what it used to be – it’s actually better. The content marketing evolution has been happening for sometime now. Gone are the days when simply flooding the internet with spun content backlinks to your site would rank you on Google. Do that today and Google will at the very least penalize you. At worst you could get blacklisted.
I’m glad to see this evolution impacting content creators.
Recently the staff at BuzzSumo released a report on the trends in content marketing and what that means going forward in the industry.
When asked if content marketing was dying BuzzSumo says:
Heck no! Content marketing isn’t dying; it’s evolving. We can evolve our tactics and strategy to recapture our audience’s attention. Those who hear the alarm and take action will thrive, while those who keep snoozing will go down with the ship. As Rayson told us:
“The lesson for content marketers is that you must have a content promotion or amplification strategy. You can no longer expect to publish content, share it on social and expect people to find it.” via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
So what are those 5 alarms that we must be paying attention to if we are to survive this shift?
You Won’t Get the Shares You Once Got
Influencer marketing makes sure your content gets in front of the right people, and more than 8 of them at a time. Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now — the content needs to come from people your audience already knows and trusts. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
Influencers are vital to your amplification strategy. The magic of viral content is influencers. An influencer is anyone recognized by large number of people as an authority in the niche. They come with a huge following that looks to them as an authority and they respond to what they share. Influencer marketing is piggy backing on that “popularity”.
If you’re depending your social media channels to amplify your content you’re going to miss out. Facebook is limiting your content based upon engagement factors in much the same way that engaging content is required to rank on Google. Engaging content is required and your content must engage your influencer’s audience as well. Learn to write for that broader audience.
Facebook is Blowing You Off
Start thinking of Facebook as a pay-to-play platform and adjust budget and expectations accordingly. This is also a good time to evaluate how much of your audience is actually on Facebook and actively engaging with content. The report also shows that LinkedIn* likes and shares are up more than 60% from last year — which means LinkedIn may be a better place to focus your attention. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
Facebook is simply another PPC platfrom and should be seen as such. You can do some amazing things with
Facebook, but you can’t do them for free as many were once taught. The new Facebook alogrythm focuses on “meaningful engagement”. Maybe that’s where it should always have been. This is another move in that direction of quality content verses quanity of content. Quality is winning. Figure this out and you’ll win as well.
Google is Still The Search Giant
Facebook is steadily trending down as Google continues to rise. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
Google love is always going to be good for your content marketing. The frustrations with Facebook actually
work to your advantage. As Google returns to the top to its rightful place as the search engine giant you can capitalize on this by doing what serving up quality content.
Google is a tough code to crack (I say that tongue in cheek because you don’t crack their code), but quality content on blogs and in videos is still the best policy.
Backlinks Ain’t What They Used To Be
The majority of content that attracts backlinks is high-quality research or reference content from authoritative sources. Work on building your library of stellar content, optimize it for SEO, and you can begin earning backlinks. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
Look carefully at that quote: “High-quality research or referenced content from authoritative sources.” That’s called curated content. Curation is the process of finding authoritative content, organizing that content in a manner best for your audience, providing value to that content by give your view/interpretation/commentary. Build a library of that and you will earn backlinks.
Your Content Must Count or You Don’t
Publish higher-value content at a slower cadence. Take time to deliver authoritative research or reference works rather than lighter, more shallow content. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
According to Dan Norris in the book Content Machine, “Great content is something you provide your audience that captures their attention and encourages them to share.” In other words, the things you share must make a difference to people. They must engage with the content It must contain careful research (accurate truth is the basis for all quality content). Shallow content only contributes to the noise.
The delivery method for the content doesn’t really matter. It can be written in a blog, delivered as a video, micro blogged on Twitter or other social media channels but the fact remains it must provide value to the intended audience.
The BuzzSumo Report offers the following conclusion for content marketers:
Interestingly, the “new” most effective tactics are those that have been steadily working the whole time, while some of us went chasing shiny objects: Create high-quality, best-answer content, leverage influencers for amplification & credibility, capture your audience and serve them engaging emails. via: Content Marketing: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report
Isn’t that really what we should have been doing all along? Engaging an audience with quality content. Providing the best answers to important questions. Collaborating with influencers on meeting the needs of the audience. Staying in contact through email. It worked 15 years ago and it still works today.
Stop looking for the magic bullet and start doing the right things.