Content Marketers, This Is Not a Drill: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Content Marketers, This Is Not a Drill: 5 Alarm Bells from BuzzSumo’s Latest Report

Content marketers, there is a content marketing emergency happening right now. After analyzing 100 million pieces of content for social sharing, social traffic referrals, and backlinks, the team has one clear takeaway: What most content marketers are doing is no longer working. You can no longer expect to publish content, share it on social & expect people to find it. 5 Content Marketing Alarm Bells #1 – Shares Are on the Decline The Alarm: The median number of shares on content has declined by half since 2015. Influencer marketing makes sure your content gets in front of the right people, and more than 8 of them at a time. Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now — the content needs to come from people your audience already knows and trusts. Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now — the content needs to come from people your audience already knows and trusts. What You Can Do: The amplification model of “post on social media and ask people to click through” has been obsolete for a while now. #4 – Backlinks Are Hard to Earn The Alarm: As we refocus attention on search over social, we have to consider backlinks. Interestingly, the “new” most effective tactics are those that have been steadily working the whole time, while some of us went chasing shiny objects: Create high-quality, best-answer content, leverage influencers for amplification & credibility, capture your audience and serve them engaging emails.

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AWWOOOOGA! AWOOOOGA!

Content marketers, there is a content marketing emergency happening right now. This is not a drill. Please gather your belongings and exit the building in an orderly fashion. Go to your predetermined meeting spots to verify that your co-workers are safe, and start making a plan for the future.

I’m not naturally an alarmist. But there’s blood in the water. And smoke on the water. And fire in the sky. BuzzSumo just published their Content Trends for 2018 and the results aren’t pretty. After analyzing 100 million pieces of content for social sharing, social traffic referrals, and backlinks, the team has one clear takeaway: What most content marketers are doing is no longer working.

“The key takeaway from our research is that it is much harder to drive referral traffic from social networks than it used to be. Social sharing has halved over the last three years and organic reach has fallen, particularly on Facebook,” BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson told us. “To be in the top 5 percent of shared content you needed just 343 shares in 2017. At the same time, content competition continues to increase with an ever increasing number of articles being published each week.”

So, do we assume crash position and wait for the inevitable?

Heck no! Content marketing isn’t dying; it’s evolving. We can evolve our tactics and strategy to recapture our audience’s attention. Those who hear the alarm and take action will thrive, while those who keep snoozing will go down with the ship. As Rayson told us:

“The lesson for content marketers is that you must have a content promotion or amplification strategy. You can no longer expect to publish content, share it on social and expect people to find it.”

You must have a content promotion or amplification strategy. You can no longer expect to publish content, share it on social & expect people to find it. – @steverayson #ContentMarketingTrends Click To Tweet

Here’s our look at some key findings from the report, and what smart marketers will do about them.

5 Content Marketing Alarm Bells

#1 – Shares Are on the Decline

The Alarm: The median number of shares on content has declined by half since 2015. There has also been a sharp decline in viral posts with hundreds of thousands of shares, and in the effectiveness of “clickbait”-style content.

What You Can Do:. Instead of going after huge share counts, we should focus on getting shares from — you guessed it — influencers who have a relevant audience! Influencer marketing makes sure your content gets in front of the right people, and more than 8 of them at a time. Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now — the content needs to come from people your audience already knows and trusts.

Brand amplification of content isn’t enough to earn shares now…

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