New Report Reveals The Latest Content Marketing Strategy Changes This Year

Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs to Shift This Year

Have you noticed a significant change in your online reach lately? This could be due in part to changes in the way readers consume and share their content according to a new report by BuzzSumo.

The economic value of simply publishing content is zero – unless it is seen and shared. ~ Mark Schaefer

As content has evolved previous tactics are not as effective as they once were just five years ago. Schaefer points out in the BuzzSumo report that too much information on the web has resulted in what he calls, “Content Shock.” This ultimately drives up the cost of marketing in order to keep up with the competition.

This year your business should be gearing up for a new environment with less of an emphasis on social referrals and more importance on social engagement. Social media continues to be a dominant player along with fresh, original content that establishes a brand as a leading authority.

Take a look at this recent study by Shareaholic featured in the report, which shows a significant decline of social referrals on the leading networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter:

Here are a few key takeaways from the report and how your business can stand out from the rest:

1. Social shares are down by half

Last year we saw a big shift in social referral traffic — especially from Facebook. Private sharing, competition and algorithm changes have caused sharing to decrease. The websites that have been successful during this change are the ones that have built an authoritative presence and produce quality content. Clickbait headlines are especially on the decrease while users are turning more to places like LinkedIn to find fresh articles.

As a specific trend becomes viral so does the volume of articles being published. This results in a large number of posts that are simply getting missed as they are blending into the large influx of information at the same time. While it is good to stay on top of the latest trends for your niche your brand should also be paying attention to the number of articles that are already being written about a particular topic. If it’s too popular chances are your visibility and social shares will be very low.

3. Private sharing of content is increasing

Instead of publicly sharing information readers are shifting more to sending information through email and on private messaging platforms. This is beginning to overtake social media usage which is referred to as “dark social” or “private media.” The most common apps users are turning to include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber.

4. Content is being found outside of social media

As mobile usage continues to grow users are now getting their information through notifications rather than conducting a Google search or going on places like Facebook and Twitter. This means that if your business has a regular newsletter set up then the chances of your audience getting your content and reading it is greatly improved. Email subscriptions will continue to be important if you want to grow your visibility online.

5. Lower organic reach on Facebook means good news for LinkedIn

If you regularly engaging and sharing on LinkedIn then expect to see more of a response from your content in the near future. According to the BuzzSumo report, comments, likes and shares are up more than 60 percent after the platform went through a series of updates and improvements. As a result the most social shares are coming from this platform with a lower result from Facebook and Twitter.

It used to be the case that a large part of your marketing plan included strategies that encouraged quality backlinks. While these are still good the way they are received has changed. The trend of authoritative websites producing more backlinks is on the rise. This includes informational long form content that has detail facts and statistics such as how many people use their smartphones over broadband usage. This type of “evergreen content” is also garnering more social shares and has a longer lifespan online.

The latest changes in content publishing and marketing should not cause alarm for brands but rather be an encouraging shift away from clickbait and sales posts that do very little in building a reputation online. The emphasis is now on quality content that people will want to share privately and not so much on social media, which tends to devalue your message.

BuzzSumo recommends that businesses continue to include social media marketing in their overall plan, but with more of a focus on building relationships. As you build more authority through quality articles trending topics will stand out more to your audience. It’s best to write these pieces before they become too saturated online, and to build your posts in a well-researched, remarkable way. Instead of publishing too often write something meaningful and helpful to your audience — make it worth their while to read it.