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As I discussed on this blog, 2013 was to be the year of content marketing. (Here are all my posts on content marketing)
In essence, he asked what the impact of Facebook shutting down the “Like economy” last December will have on organic social media marketing? (And what the proper mix of paid and organic should be)
While I don’t pretend to have the answers to these questions, I wanted to share the problem here on the blog and put out a few related articles that you may enjoy reading. I hope it helps you jump into the conversation (see the great thread of comments on Gary’s post – cited below)!
So what happened?
Facebook made a change to its newsfeed algorithm resulting in a large decline in visibility of branded Facebook posts in an individual’s news feed.
The impact? Anecdotally, my wife, who runs the Facebook page for an international non-profit, said the change has resulted in a recent decline in her organization’s Facebook page stats.
What’s the Effect?
Gary argues in his post that it is the result of an effort by Facebook to drive more paid advertising (read his post for explanation). As a result, he says, organic won’t be enough to sustain a brand on Facebook.
Mark Schaefer posted a comment in Gary’s blog post that adds further clarity to the issue. In it, Mark is quoting a Facebook exec writing about the change: “On a given day, when the average person visits their News Feed, there are an average of 1,500 possible stories we can show. As a result, competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Pages will likely see changes in distribution resulting in a decline in organic reach.”
In a follow-up post, Gary discusses his recommendations to how businesses should adjust given the change to the Facebook algorithm.
Other Challenges to Content Marketing in 2014
As noted above, Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) recently posted about “Content Shock,” his term for the saturated marketplace of content marketing. In essence, he argues that as more people enter the content marketplace, competition for attention increases, and attention becomes increasingly fragmented. This makes sense! But this content is free. So how do you compete with the limitless supply of competition also creating free content? Mark argues that this flood favors those entities with big budgets, and that the cost of social media is rising. Read his post to get the details and more on the why.
Lastly, in a related vein I recently read an article on Shift titled “How Content Marketing Could Kill PR.” In essence, the piece argues that due to the flood of content being created, PR folks are being asked to pitch cruddy content. This may result in a loss of credibility, as those on the receiving end of the pitch are dealt sub par content. In their words, “What could kill public relations is not the content marketing itself, but increasing pressure from brands to pitch mediocre or bad content.” It is a really interesting read and one I recommend. So what to do? The simple solution may be “Create Great Content.” But will that really work? Will there be increasing need for PR professionals to help organizations break through this content shocked ocean of content and reach a targeted public?
What do you think? What is the future of content marketing? Is the “market saturated”? And if so, what will the effect be in 2014? How will organizations respond? Is the playing field no longer level for “the little guy?” Will the cost of social media become prohibitive?
Just some thoughts and questions for your Thursday! I hope you have a great one!