You may recall the recent Instagram fiasco, where a change in their Terms of Service implied that by using the service, you were granting them right for any unspecified future use of your photos. There was (and still is) a massive outcry over this that shook the internet, eventually pushing Instagram to reverse their decision.
The bigger picture here is content management. There’s some truth to the idea that content is king, but what happens when all of your content belongs to third party platforms? Are you sacrificing the right to rank?
With the New Year around the corner, it’s a good time to talk about your content management plans for the new year and set a plan to take control, and get the most from, each piece of content.
The first step is to do a content audit/inventory. Lots of times, people don’t even know what they have until they sit down and figure it all out. Make a list of articles, photos, videos, web assets (domains, etc). Identify what’s being used, where it’s being hosted (your site or social media channels), audit your backlinks, run a site: search in Google. The idea is to identify all of your content, to see what you own and what’s owned by others.
Once you know what you have, talk to a content marketer. If you have a web person, ask them about content marketing (if you are your web person, then figure out what you know). A good content marketer is the web equal to a general contractor, they should be familiar with most strategies, enough to develop, manage and market content on and off your site. If you, or your web person needs to bring in a consultant to help shape things up, then do so.
If you plan on doing it yourself, here’s the sort of stuff you should be doing.
Limit sharing on third party platforms.
YouTube is great if you want the extra eyeballs, but not so much for helping build rankings and visibility (this post gives several reasons why you may not want to host your videos on YouTube). For obvious reasons, sites like Instagram aren’t always the best venue for your photos.
Publish yourself first.
You have to take care of yourself first. Make sure that all of your content is published on properties you own first. Give it a good amount of time, a week or so, to build up some rankings before you give control to a third party That’s not to suggest that Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter et al. aren’t good choices for syndication, but they should always be that – syndicates, not primaries.
Limit sharing options on your website.
Some social media “experts” can be a bit overzealous about social media sharing, but there’s wisdom in the idea that having too many social sharing buttons can actually make your site less social (and evidence which suggests people don’t use them anyway). If sharing is a conversion goal – it needs to be meted out carefully, not loaded on every page.
Better content management = better visibility
Managing your content more effectively will lead to better visibility in search engines, more rankings in SERPs and ultimately, more traffic and sales.