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? Below you’ll find each of them with my perspective as it applies to you. I even add a bonus “alarm” if you will at the end.
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. Being featured or shared by an influencer will instantly increase your visability in the market. Influencer marketing is piggy backing on someone else’s “popularity” for the benefit of all concerned.
You want to be very careful how you use technique. Make sure your content is of equal value to that of the influencer even if your experience is not. Your leveraging their experience not trying to prop up your poor content.
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 algorithm focuses on “meaningful engagement”. Maybe that’s where it should always have been.
Once you realize that you simply working with a PPC platform you will need to test more carefully (shouldn’t have been doing that all along) and monitor your audience’s behavior toward your content.
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 – its rightful place – as the search engine giant you can capitalize on this trend by serving up quality content. Give your audience what they want (if you are struggling to know take this quiz) and google will love you for it.
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. It seems now that the higher the word count the better as well. Honestly, we should be excited about this return of the power of Google as a search engine.
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.
You’ll be penalitized for simply creating content to syndicate across multiple channels without consideration for what that market needs. High quality links is what Google desires. Anything short of that will cost you.
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. Working to provide the proper content formula to be found on the search engines. It worked 15 years ago and it still works today.
Stop looking for the magic bullet and start doing the right things.
The Sixth Alarm Thinking This is Just a Blip
Things are constantly moving this arena and there are a lot of “trendy things”…this isn’t one of them. This is for real. You either adjust your plans or get lost in the shuffle. I don’t make it a practice to push the panic button, but this is something you simply can’t ignore.
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