Why do we focus so much on understanding a thing that we can’t manage? Why do we get angry every time a platform changes its behavior, or its algorithm?
When Facebook changed its news feed algorithm, every social media marketer freaked out. When Instagram decided to move from the chronological timeline to show only the moments the user is interested in, there were hundred and thousands of blog posts asking them to change it back.
Marketers are more interested in understanding a platform they can’t control. And why is that? Because they believe that if they can understand a certain platform they will walk the path of success?
There is too much chattering about the platforms. Instead, we should focus more on the content we put there.
We should focus more on content
Content is that one thing that makes your brand stand out online.
I respect Gary Vaynerchuk for what he’s doing. Not because he is a tremendous entrepreneur or that he managed to build a personal brand that can carry a marketing company, do some product partnership or talk to the biggest events from this world.
I respect Gary because he is consistent with what he is doing: putting out content.
When I was at a conference and talked about Instagram I also told my audience that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but look at what others are doing and experiment on their own instead. So I asked my audience if they heard about Gary Vaynerchuk, and somebody told me: Yeah, how couldn’t we? He is everywhere.
His content is everywhere.
When you have a great piece of content, people will come to your platform.
I’m not saying that you have to be everywhere. That you have to copy/paste Gary’s strategy. My focus here is on the content.
Focus more on the content instead of focusing on how a platform works.
But don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t only put out content and then wait for your users to come. You have to have some basic knowledge about the platform. But that doesn’t mean that you have to invest all your energy in figuring out why Instagram has changed its algorithm.
You will understand how the platform works when you put out content and experiment with it.
That’s why I’m a big fan of experimenting with content and marketing. Do you want to know if it’s good for you to launch an Instagram account for your brand? Do an experiment, launch a side project, work on it and after a while write down the results. Is this something your audience might like? Is this something your brand should focus on?
Creating great content will make people recognize you, trust you and engage with your brand.
But here is the real catch – what is ‘great piece of content’?
Your community will tell you this.
Understand the community before the platforms
I understand that there is a certain subjectivity here, but let me be clear with this.
Maybe what you believe is “great content’ it isn’t for your community.
So what should you do instead?
You should understand your community’s behavior. What are the things they like the most? What is the type of content they engage more with?
It’s kind of reverse engineering here. Before you should understand the platform, you must create content. Before you create content, you must understand your community.
So, instead of understanding a platforms’ algorithm, wouldn’t it be better if you focused more on your community?
Research and experiment.
As I already said before, there is way too much chattering about the platforms. Instead, we should focus more on the content we put out there and on our community.
These are the 2 things marketers should have in their minds this year: content and community.
Call it however you want: content aggregation, content creation, content marketing, user generated content or other big words.
But content is the what will help you keep your head in the game and above all the algorithm changes on the platform.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the power of online advertising, the power of content hacking and other strategies we might use.
Even more, the best marketing efforts we can do are the ones in which every strategy represents struggling for one single goal.
That means that SEO without content is zero. That content without design is zero. That content on social media without advertising is almost zero.
In conclusion, before you get upset again that Facebook or another big platform in which you invest all your energy changes its algorithm, take a breath and then focus more on what you can create for your users: content.