As is the norm in the digital content world, things are always in a constant state of flux. One minute, the right keywords and grabby headlines are decreed the most important elements for an SEO-optimized story. The next, it’s content that elicits the most emotional response on social media (see Facebook’s ever-changing news feed policy here) that will dominate the news feeds.
But if there’s anything we’ve learned at Man Mo Media, it’s that no matter what the rules are and how they change, truly knowing your audience, and creating relevant content for them, is the only way to go. Tailoring one’s content or editorial/advertising policies to suit one specific digital platform might help one’s brand in the short term, but this could be at the expense of the brand’s own goals — and worse: when (not if) the rules change, it will be back to the drawing board once more. This is a game that digital publishers just can’t win.
So next time you publish a story or piece of content, consider this: is the goal to get more people to have an opinion on or reaction to it (which Facebook will take as an important indicator of relevance), or is it simply to educate and inform your readers? Do you really need someone saying “Nice one!” on the post, or do you simply want them to access this content?
Understanding why you’re creating a piece of content, will help you understand the best channels and methods to get the content’s message through. Instead of thinking, “What headline and what type of story should I produce to make it more popular on [insert platform here]?”, the question we should be asking instead is: “What channels and methods should I use to have this content accessed by the most relevant people?”
In other words: Don’t plan out your content for specific media platforms. But do choose the right media platforms and strategies to work for your content!