Content Marketing Institute has a mantra they preach:
“Don’t Build on Rented Land.”
What exactly does that mean? It means you should never make a social media profile on a platform that you have no control over the centerpiece of your content marketing strategy.
Why not? Because the future is unpredictable, and there’s no guarantee that the features and functionality, the audience you’re growing, or the platform itself will be the same tomorrow. In this article, we will explore some of the pitfalls of leaning too heavily on a social media platform for your strategy, and introduce an alternative approach that will enable you to leverage the power of social media in a way that won’t jeopardize your brand.
Cautionary Tales in Content Marketing Strategy Mismanagement
The internet is littered with stories of content creators who went all in on a specific platform and lost it all when the platform changed how they displayed content or how their algorithm served that content to the audience.
From 2005 to 2008, MySpace was a juggernaut and a true pioneer in social media. Then everybody’s friend Tom (remember Tom?) sold the company to a major corporation that spiraled it into an internet wasteland in a few years’ time.
Facebook used to encourage business pages to run ads to increase followers. Companies invested in growing their audiences, and then Facebook began limiting their ability to reach them with voice-crushing algorithm updates.
TikTok was recently a major topic of conversation, as the U.S. was considering banning its use in this country. Content creators throughout the nation were up in arms because the platform they’d invested all of their time and energy in was at risk of disappearing overnight.
Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion because its photo sharing tilt was something they simply couldn’t duplicate in their own platform. And now they’re abandoning that direction in a bid to better compete with TikTok’s short-form video.
Elon Musk may or may not be buying Twitter, depending on the day. We still don’t know how that’s going to end. But it probably won’t be awesome.
These are just a few examples, but they all have one thing in common. They had disastrous effects on people who relied too heavily on the platform, and there’s not much any of them could do about it.
Own Your Content Marketing Strategy
When it comes to the digital landscape, there are only a few assets you own and can control 100%. They are things like your website, your subscribers, your mobile app(s), and your email marketing platform. I know… it’s 2022 and nobody wants to talk about websites and email marketing. But the truth is, the best way to create a sustainable content marketing strategy that can stand the test of time is to center it on these channels you have the power to control.
Podcasts, blogs, and video content can all be housed on your website. And building a library of content there will ensure that when TikTok changes the algorithm, it doesn’t take you down with it. Hosting content on your own website also affords you the opportunity to capitalize on Google, still the world’s leading search engine. And when that traffic visits your website, you are empowered to control the experience.
A Better Approach to Social Media
We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t use social media for your business. It can be incredibly powerful and is a very valuable business tool. But putting all your eggs into one social media basket is risky. We’re also not suggesting that you must create and maintain profiles on every social media platform. Doing so could spread your resources too thin, and it would be very difficult to create anything of value. Instead, get to know your audience and the type of content they are hungry for. Then identify 1-3 social media platforms that will help you reach the people you most need to reach to be successful.
Once you’ve identified where your audience is, utilize those platforms to reach a wide audience of people with a taste for the content you’re creating, and relentlessly invite them to join you by visiting your website, downloading your free resources, and subscribing to your email list. Over time, you will build a faithful followership of people who have opted into your content and are your audience to interact with how you choose.
The best part of this approach is that when the social platforms make changes that no longer suit you, you’re not forced to adapt or die. You can simply abandon that platform for one that’s better suited to the type of content you want to product, the audience you’re trying to reach, or the budget you’re willing to spend.
A Web 3.0-Proof Content Marketing Strategy
There’s a lot of discussion about what role websites will play in Web 3.0. We’re here to tell you, they’re not going anywhere. As the internet evolves, your website will remain your one haven of complete control. If you’re not creating an experience that attracts the right audience and keeps bringing them back for more, Kolbeco can help you develop an audience-focused web presence and content marketing strategy that will position you to ride out any unforeseen rough waters in the seas of social media ahead. Learn more about our people-focused approach to marketing called the 490 Factor, and how we use it to help clients unlock and tell their unique brand story effectively.