The rise of social media as well as new platforms to publish and share your articles on have opened up endless exciting new avenues for content creators.
Whether you’re tapping into the huge global reach of a network like Facebook, or you’ve successfully been labeled a news publisher by Google (allowing your content to load at lightning speed), these tools give you access to a far greater audience than you could amass or handle by yourself.
Making The Most Of It
There are very good reasons why Google and Facebook form a key part of a digital publisher’s distribution strategy.
Google is the most powerful and wide-reaching search engine in the world, and learning to understand its complex algorithms can be a gateway or a barrier to vastly greater reach.
Meanwhile, CTRs on Facebook posts are extremely high. The company has done an excellent job of figuring out how to display and weave in third party links to encourage engagement, by tailoring these details to users’ behavior and tastes. They’re also masters of targeting the right audiences with the right pieces of content. Facebook’s technology has been optimized to ensure that content is viewed by the the audiences that are most likely to engage with it.
This kind of in-depth research and UX design is only possible with huge, dedicated teams of engineers and data scientists, putting it well out the reach of most organizations. By using the platform to market their articles, however, publishers can benefit from these sophisticated tools.
By making all of this available to ordinary publishers, these channels potentially save you huge amounts of time and money, while giving you the opportunity to figure out precisely what about your content works, and what doesn’t.
I say “opportunity”, because publishing on Google or Facebook is only the first step. You might have vastly increased numbers of people reading your content, but what do you do with all those people? How do you figure out whether the audience you’re getting is actually helping you meet your KPIs? And if they’re not, how do you make the adjustments that will improve your performance? These are things that neither Facebook nor Google will do for you: you have to take back control.
Stuck In The Dark
While Facebook and Google both offer their own versions of real-time analytics, neither can give you a complete picture of all your campaigns, in one place, where you can easily compare results. Nor is there a simple way to cross-reference how much you spend on placing the content with the revenue generated from ads on that content. You need this in order to determine whether or not the readers directed from here help meet your ROI goals.
What’s more, as your campaigns get bigger and more multifaceted, deciphering all the bulked-together data provided by, say, Facebook analytics gets tougher, too. How do you distinguish between traffic from multiple GEOs or devices? How do you quickly and easily drill down to these specific details and act on your insights fast enough to make the most of them?
To get true value out of the system, you have to be smart – and you need a failsafe way of bringing together all of this data from multiple campaigns in a way that really works for you.
Taking Back Control
All the raw materials and analytics are there. What’s missing is data on how much those users are really worth to you.
What you need here is your own platform. One that allows you to collate data from all your campaigns, across all the channels you use, in one location. One that shows you at a glance how much you’re spending on placing each piece of content, as well as precisely where in the world, and on what kind of device this is performing the best. One that can attribute revenue to a specific piece of content to help you assess ROI.
It’s crucial that the platform you use is able to compile data from Google, Facebook and every other distribution network you use in one, easy-to-view space. One that can tell you the user value of audiences drawn from each type of GEO and device, as well as the external site, and calculate the actual ROI of each campaign for you.
These are things that Google and Facebook can’t do. By seizing the reins on this yourself, you make the most of what both platforms have to offer while simultaneously taking back control.