Content Marketing: understanding the Distributed Media economy

Welcome to the era of "Distributed Content"

The lines move, the uses are changing. This is even more true in the flow of information. In recent years, search engines and social media tend to substitute to media publishers websites to share the latest news online.

The next step was only a matter of time: why serve just as a platform for publishers to share links when you can bring their content directly to your platform?
The path is simple: content creates habits, habits bring users back to your platform, which creates engagement on site. And isn’t engagement the Holy Grail of social networks, always searching for monetization of their services? The loop is well and truly closed.

With this in mind, the GAFA, those giants of Silicon Valley have been multiplying initiatives: Apple News, Google AMP, Linkedin Pulse, Twitter "Beyond 10K" ...

In this new landscape, Facebook Instant Articles is not a precursor. Yet it is the network that could well mark a turning point. The reason ? His gigantissime hearing real sinews of war. Because the network created by Mark Zuckerberg is on its own 1.59 billion active users worldwide. It has the capacity to democratize new uses very large scale and at high speed. Especially since Facebook is never lagging behind in terms of technological prowess.

Seeking optimized experience for multiplied engagement

responsive interface, autoplay videos, voice of the author subtitled, high resolution photos, 3D drawings, forms ... Instant Articles offer content producers a whole array of tools to optimize and significantly enrich their articles on mobile. player side is a single, intuitive, immersive experience that is created before their eyes: they can "like", comment (even photos and videos) or share snippets of text. With over one billion users, all published content is likely to draw a (very) large audience. For some content managers, it's just a dream come true!

But that's not all. Because beyond the billion users, Facebook has another heavyweight asset: its algorithm. Thanks to him, that's what appears in the newsfeed of users targeted articles tailored to their tastes. With the arrival of Instant Articles, instead of writing for Google, brands will begin to write for the "News Feed Ranking Algorithm" of Facebook, and touch their heart target without any harm.

With ROI analysis capabilities, brands can then choose to use Instant Articles Facebook as well to develop their brand awareness, generate leads or drive sales via the mobile channel. Depending on their objectives, the most creative brands will use Instant Articles to leverage the visibility of the content that power the "top of the funnel" (the top of the funnel, as they say) or rather attract readers to their landing pages and product pages via smart calls-to-action.

Distributed Content: What are your options?

What brands and content managers need to understand is that the landscape has considerably shifted. As we have illustrated in our small infographic, Before content distribution was pretty simple. Media and brands would publish on their website and or blog and this would then be shared on social networks.

content distribution before

Now the landscape is far more fragmented and implies that brands have a much more strategic approach.

Obviously brand and media can still publish on their website and blogs, but this is no longer the main channel. Some media like AJ+ boldly points it out: “we don’t have a website”. As a result of not having a website to host its content, the team optimizes their content for every social media platform creating exclusive content that adapts to each of these platforms. But news publishers aren’t the only ones reconsidering their Content distribution options.

Brands are making the leap too. Slack has also abandoned their blog for the platform Medium, arguing that they have had significantly more views in the past 90 days on Medium than we had in 18 months on their blogs

But it’s a mistake to think that social media distributed are the only channel to consider. For one must not forget those “traditional” media channels. You can find some that have truly dedicated contributor’s platforms (Like Huffington Post or Socialmediatoday solely based on external contributions) or media that showcase “expert sections” or kinds of partnerships.

And that’s still not it. As messaging apps and artificial intelligence boom new content chatbots strategies appear, as well as augmented reality apps. Whether it’s mobile gaming (familiar with PokemonGO?) or dedicated News apps like New York Times VR these new channels are completely reshaping the way we communicate and create content. It’s no longer just about pushing narratives through content but offering truly memorable and immersive experiences with content.

content experience

The rise of content distribution strategy teams

But to navigate in this fragmented world Brands and News publishers need to have dedicated teams. This is something already coming to life with what media have called the “platform wranglers” or platform ambassadors. Their role? establish and own the relationship with all major content platforms to provide editorial strategy direction. Same kind of direction for Buzzfeed that announced back in august 2015 creating a new team called Distributed BuzzFeed - or 20 employees responsible for creating original content, only to platforms such as Tumblr, Imgur Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook etc.

In other words, a team of people producing content that will never be published on, but on social networks.

What brands should remember is that bringing added value in todays world can only play through sufficiently specialized teams to segment content based on audiences and channels. It is no longer enough to create duplicated content on all these platforms. There is an urge to create exclusive content by channel. That is the key to reach our customers in today’s ever evolving world.

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