Content Distribution: Because Social Media is Killing Your Reach

Text of my newsletter from 22nd November

Two days ago, I emailed my business partner the link to the first item below, and he carried out an experiment to check the validity of its message.

The result was a 100% confirmation, but I’ll give you the details later.

Social media is killing your reach

The social media platforms’ objective is to grab new members and keep them on their platforms for as long as possible, so they can attract and retain advertisers.

This has trashed the effectiveness of organic social media marketing as a place for marketers to promote content published on their own properties, and generate leads.

In order to keep people on their platforms, the social media sites are killing the reach of content that contains links to external websites.

Without reach and, therefore, eyeballs, marketers are being prevented from promoting work on their own websites.

But it’s not just social media that’s hitting small businesses.

Google, which is effectively a monopoly, has increasingly filled the first page of its search results with paid ads, its answer box (where it’s lifting content from other websites), or links to its owned properties.

Again: business owners who publish content on their own web properties, no matter how well researched and presented it is, are being penalised.

I set out the details on Google’s actions in this post.

The overall result is that it’s increasingly difficult for any business, particularly new businesses, to attract a decent volume of visitor traffic to their websites, unless they pay.

Of course, an alternative is to publish your best content on the social media sites but, as I’ve discussed before, you lose control of it when you do that.

Your posts can be banned (one of mine was deleted arbitrarily last week), and your entire account can be closed down if you annoy the platform sufficiently.

Publishing your own content, on your own website, is the only way to have complete control of it.

But, to get visitors, you must now either pay, or focus a lot more attention on content distribution, which is this week’s theme.

And that experiment my colleague conducted?

We wanted to test the theory, discussed in the first link below, that the social media platforms reduce the reach of posts that contain links to external websites. Or, in the case of Instagram, even the ‘Link in bio’ sentence in the image description.

He put up two posts on Instagram, same day, same time, both of which featured pictures of wildlife. One of them included the term ‘Link in bio’ in the picture description and the other did not.

The one that included ‘Link in bio’ reached 116 accounts, and the one that did not reached 199 – a 71% greater reach.

Organic social media marketing is no longer the visitor traffic generator that it was just a couple of years ago.

Instead, it must now be used as a brand building platform, where (if you want greater reach) your content no longer includes links to your own properties.

Focusing on content distribution and promotion is now the best way to get people to your website. Or paying, of course.

This week’s links

The theme this week is content distribution.

The first article below expands on the changes in social media marketing I touched on above, and gives some alternatives for generating visitor traffic to your website.

I’ve also linked to articles on content distribution, creating distribution channel maps and 23 content distribution tips.

The incentives to publish no longer reward creators

This article by Rand Fishkin highlights how Google and the social media sites are destroying the volume of visitor traffic to content that businesses publish on their own websites.

He also suggests some different ways that you can attract visitor traffic in the new normal:

The incentives to publish no longer reward creators

Content Distribution: everything you need to know

Jodi Harris takes us through how to set up an effective content distribution plan as part of your overall marketing strategy:

Content distribution: everything you need to know

How to create a content distribution channel map

Effective content distribution is driven by your choice of distribution channels.

Not only do you have to create content that is useful to your target audience, you need to promote it through the channels that they use.

Krystle Kopacz takes us through a process for defining the most effective channel map for your content:

How to develop a channel map

23 content distribution tips

Kiera Abbamonte lists 23 content distribution tips that she got from interviewing a panel of marketers:

23 content distribution tips

Fun flashback

This week’s flashback is from the classic Roy Orbison & Friends concert, Black and White Night 30, from 2013.

Here he is performing one of his biggest hits: ‘Only the Lonely’:

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Martin Malden

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