Ladies and gentlemen, today we're going to talk about the New York Times Innovation Report - and the bearing it has on content marketing.
Published a few months ago, the staggering 97-page paper details print media's struggle - in particular, the struggle of the New York Times - to remain relevant on the modern web as the way we consume and engage with content continues to shift and evolve.
If you'd like, you can read the whole document here.
You don't really need to, though. The insights and revelations contained in the report shouldn't prove entirely groundbreaking to anyone who's been paying a great deal of attention to content creation strategies over the past few years. After all, it's really just telling us what we already know - the way in which we discover content has undergone a fundamental change, and any content marketers who fail to address or understand this change are destined for failure.
It's a change that's as tightly bound up in the core of the social network as it is with content aggregation sites.
"Pull media has been quickly replaced by push media, as the Times report makes clear in so many words," explains Zachary M. Seward of Quartz. "Information - status updates, photos of your friends, videos of Solange, and sometimes even news articles come at you; they find you. And media that don't are hardly found at all."
What that means is that if you aren't actively fostering discovery amongst your readers, it doesn't really matter how great your content is. You need to actively submit your pieces to whatever social media accounts you maintain, you need to register your website on content and news aggregation networks, you need an RSS feed; basically, you need to promote your stuff wherever and whenever you can. If you don't, then people simply aren't going to be paying it any mind, and everything you pour your heart and soul into will just wind up getting lost in all the noise made by everyone who is trying to be heard.
That, more than anything, is why aggregators are such a vital component of one's success in content marketing. Sites like Reddit and Digg are fast becoming the primary means by which many users access and consume content online. If you ignore them, then you're essentially cutting yourself off from a huge source of readership - and your traffic will inevitably suffer for it.
The Internet has changed many things about our society - but chief among these is the manner in which we consume content. As social networks and aggregate sites gain more and more prominence, publishers and home-pages become increasingly less relevant.Taken together, all of this can only mean one thing:
If your businesses content marketing strategy is to meet with even the barest degree of success, you can't just wait for your content to be discovered - you have to make people find it.
Image credit: TFlanagan-WMF