The pace of doing business on the Internet is faster than any other industry in any part of the world. You can just sit on what you think is a “winning formula” and assume that it’ll keep raking in the riches for years to come. Google’s algorithm changes. Facebook’s algorithm changes. How people use the Internet changes. What people use to access and interact with the web changes.
What could be a tremendously successful “winning formula” today could be rendered obsolete tomorrow. You could even be harshly punished for continuing to do as you do, completely reversing your fortunes overnight. And one of the oldest surviving mantras of making money online is certainly starting to show its age.
The Content Marketer
For as long as I can remember, “content marketing” has been utilized in some form or another as a means of boosting your online business. The main goal with traditional content marketing is to increase traffic to your website and, through that, you presumably have some system in place in order to profit. Maybe you can ask for more in advertising revenue. Maybe you can increase the commission you earn through affiliate marketing or by selling your own product. It didn’t really matter. The name of the game was to drive more eyeballs to your site.
While you can make money online without your own website, the default business model dictates that you do have your own website as the primary base of operations. It’s where all your social media profiles lead. It’s the link you provide when you write a guest article for another site.
Maintaining a blog that is updated regularly and frequently was and still is in your best interest. Google loves fresh content, so a blog is great for SEO. And new content gives you more legitimate “excuses” to promote your site on social media and other platforms. It drives traffic. But it’s no longer enough.
A Decentralized Strategy
An infographic posted on Hubspot illustrates what they’re calling “decentralized content marketing.” In effect, what this means is that your content marketing strategy needs to extend far beyond your own website. It needs to go far beyond the central base of operations. It needs to reach out to where your audience already is.
Marketers are still heavily working on a lot of the same kinds of projects, like growing SEO and creating blog content, with the same kinds of objectives, like converting leads into customers and growing traffic to the website. However, marketers need to recognize that actual Internet usage doesn’t really reflect that.
Too Long, Didn’t Read
Blogging is still important and valuable, to be sure, but some 43% of people polled said that they’ll only skim through blog posts with just 29% indicating that they’ll read through the whole thing. People just don’t have to the time to read each and every word that you write. There’s a good chance you’re skimming this blog post too and I don’t blame you.
But if Internet users are just skimming through your posts, what can you do to really grab their attention? What can you do to better convert them from casual readers to paying customers?
Based on the survey conducted, the two types of content that people are most likely to consumer thoroughly are videos (like vlogging your snorkeling trip) and social media posts. When you start posting videos on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you essentially tick both of those boxes. Think about how you use the web yourself and you’ll intuitively recognize that this trend is growing.
You might skim through long-form content like white papers and e-books (like 41% of those asked) and this doesn’t discount the value of such content. However, if you want to increase your chances of someone actually consuming (close to) the entirety of what you produce, you may want to shift some of your focus to videos, social media posts and, to a lesser extent, news articles and research content. You may want to extend your content marketing to platforms like Medium too, as well as podcasts and messaging apps.
By now, you’ve likely noticed that John himself has integrated this strategy into his own content creation schedule. In addition to the regular blogging here, you’ll notice just how active he is on social media and how frequently he uploads an episode of Driving with John Chow. People are more likely to watch one of those videos than they are to read through a blog post beginning to end.
People may not come to your website nearly as often anymore, because they’d rather watch your videos on YouTube and Facebook, skim through your posts on Instagram, and listen to your podcast through iTunes. So you need to leverage these “decentralized” options just as much as you would your own site.
Vary your content and its distribution, build your brand everywhere, and establish a stronger relationship with your friends, followers, prospects and customers no matter where they are on the web.