You’ve heard it a thousand times before — content is king and distribution is queen. And while you are constantly creating content and sharing it, are you reaching the right audience?
Many people think their efforts end once the content has been published, however, this is merely effort enough to scratch the surface. In reality, if you don’t distribute your content using the right medium and to the correct audience, it will never see the light of day. It really is a case of “you’ve got to be in it to win it”.
At Styla, we believe you should concentrate your efforts on one social media channel, at least at the start, so you can execute your content and distribution strategy with a clear goal in mind. You might consider yourself the ultimate multi tasker, but spreading yourself too thin is an approach that doesn’t work well when it comes to the ever-hungry social media machine. In the wise words of the late Steve Jobs:
Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.
Of course, your number one goal is to direct traffic to your magazine with the content you create. Although there are a score of different social media platforms available, we recommend Facebook above any other. Now, as much as we hate to admit it, Facebook is here to stay. For most, it’s an enduring love-hate relationship. Even with the constant updates and changes to the algorithm, which, unfortunately, never seem to be in favour of businesses, we can’t help but love it as a tool to distribute our content online.
-- there are over 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide,
-- 1.09 billion people log in Facebook daily, and
-- The average time spent on Facebook per day is 20 minutes
But, your competition is fierce:
-- 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared daily,
-- 16 million local business pages exist, and
-- 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical to their business
Source: Zephoria Digital Marketing
We rest our case.
You may have considered who you want your target audience to be, but oftentimes what you want and reality don’t really line up. If you have already published content, then it is possible for you to gauge exactly who your audience is. Even if you don’t have very many followers, any data is better than none. And from our perspective, the only way is up!
Aside from tracking your website performance through Google Analytics, Facebook Insights is a free and extremely valuable tool to analyse your social audience. You can see:
-- Who your largest audience is (gender & age group)
-- When they are most active on your Facebook page
-- What medium they use to visit your Facebook page (mobile, desktop, tablet)
-- Which posts appeal to them most
It is also possible for you to export this data so you can compare days, weeks and months against one another. Don’t worry if numbers and percentages aren’t your thing — we’re here to help!
While you don’t want to be a carbon copy of your competitors, it’s good to see where they are at in terms of the content they produce and how they distribute it.
Keep an eye on:
-- What topics they write about,
-- What websites and Facebook pages they share,
-- Who they cite and quote in articles,
-- Who they have partnered with,
-- Which social distribution channels they use, and
-- How they structure their content
Especially if you are new to the game, using your competitors as a way to measure and track your progress can be useful at the start. While you don’t want to get caught up in a game of cat and mouse and constantly trail behind them in terms of trends and newsworthy content, you’ll eventually get into a rhythm that will allow you to be totally autonomous. After all, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, right?
Does your content inspire your audience? Does it offer them something, or solve an issue either personally or professionally? If not, you’re falling at the first hurdle. In an age of non-stop storytelling, where news and celebrity gossip are available at the tap of a screen and visual media is shared and seen by millions of social media users each day, your content needs to stand out more than ever.
There are millions of pieces of content out there, ready to snatch away the attention of your readers. To ensure your content resonates with your audience above that of your competitors, aim to convey a story that they will be able to relate to. This means rather than sales-focused Facebook posts with a simple call to action, you should be delivering engaging narrative posts packed with tension to pique the curiosity of your followers.
The key to coming out on top is to really understand your audience’s values and emotions, and to tailor your content accordingly. It should ask the questions your audience really want answered, and should address the issues which really matter to them, both before and after they click the post.
Unfortunately, Facebook is making businesses play hardball, especially since fewer and fewer free options for distribution exist. Due to the changes in the algorithm, organic reach on Facebook is suffering, with most companies citing that their posts are reaching between 2-5% of the total audience. This is a huge drop since 2015, and it has had a devastating impact. While it may seem like a fairly unfair handicap on business pages, it is essential to invest in Facebook should you wish you content to appear in the news feeds of your followers.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to invest a huge amount of money into Facebook, a little goes quite a long way. However, if you want to see the very best results from your content, this is a step that should be high on your priority list moving forward.
Ultimately, content distribution plays a huge part in the success of your magazine, as does adopting the right strategy to get your content noticed. So, what are you waiting for?