Larry Kim tried to warn you.
The founder and CTO of Mobile Monkey said on Inc. that Google+ will die. Kim also repeated on his own blog that the rumors are true. He said Google is breaking its Streams and Photos into standalone products, and Bradley Horowitz will manage them when he made the announcement on, fittingly, Google+.
Is It True?
Kim said while Horowitz didn’t mention Google+ by name in his post, the writing is on the wall. Kim said these two products make up much of the Google+ network user experience, and their separation spells the end of Google’s foray into social (at least on its end).
If people had paid attention to Kim from the get go, this wouldn’t come as a surprise. There’s no doubt if you’re reading this for the first time, it is a big one. As is the case with Internet marketing, some will remain in denial and say it won’t happen. Even when it does, some still won’t believe it. That’s a topic for another day.
Kim talks about what Google could do with the social network, such as using it for advertising only. As Kim said, if it seems ludicrous, that’s the beauty of Google.
But what about you and other content marketers who use Google+? How does this affect what you do?
The loss of Google+ means next to nothing for content marketers. If anything, it gives you more time to focus on the content you create as opposed to sharing it.
If what you write is high quality, people will still find it. If your sole strategy for content marketing is Google+, you’re in trouble and need to re-evaluate your approach. In fact, someone should have done that long ago. The failed experiment with Authorship should have been your first hint.
That brings to light the question everyone in Internet and content marketing asks but cannot come to a consensus. It is the most hotly debated topic in both industries.
Is the most important aspect of content the quality or sharing?
Quality vs. Sharing
Both have arguments to support their claims but one gets ignored like a red-headed stepchild.
Where you fall in the debate is subjective and based on what you believe is the most important (or what you’re good at).
The people who say sharing the content is the most crucial in turn say the quality doesn’t really matter. If you know how to share and get people to click on your content, you’re golden. If it looks cool, has awesome GIFs and memes, people will eat it up.
What if those people you draw to your content read it and the story is pure trash? It’s loaded with grammatical errors, dropped words and reads like someone can’t put two words together? It reads as if it was created in five minutes and they can tell.
How does that market or re-market to potential customers?
Isn’t that the point of this?
You have one shot to win someone’s business, so you best make sure you nail it the first time. It doesn’t matter how many clicks or page views a story gets if you can’t convert those clicks or page views into profit and revenue.
Far too often, people in Internet and content marketing get blinded my nonsense. They are so caught up in how many people view their content they lose sight of what really matters. If you get one million page views but only 1 percent convert to revenue, how does that help?
It would serve your company or your clients better to have a higher conversion rate.
This leads to another common issue for marketers – impatience. They want it all and they want it right now. Whatever is the easiest and fastest way to get results, they want it. If they have to be patient and put in the time, effort and work, they want no part of it.
That’s why so many content marketers push the “sharing your content is the most important” nonsense. All you have to do is throw a story together, add some funny GIFs or memes, throw it up on Outbrain, Stumble Upon, Reddit (if you have the karma to do so) and every other site you can and watch the page views flow to you.
The companies that do it right are patient, take pride in what they create and realize that getting results that drive profits and revenues takes time. They know getting proven and consistent results requires a lot of stress and hard work.
The numbers for clicks and page views by themselves are empty and mean nothing, and until more content marketers come to that realization, this debate rages on.
That’s not to say you don’t want those numbers, but unless they drive your business, why does it matter? If you have a high bounce rate and people leave your site without a purchase, how do those one million page views help the bottom line?
Aim for the Right Mix
Instead of quality OR sharing, use a combination of both. Be bold. Don’t follow the line at chow time.
Why does it have to be one or the other?
Put the time into creating great content, and then put in the time to share it. Until the quality is there, hold off on sharing it. When you get people to your blog, you want to keep them there. When you share it, you build the reputation and credibility of your company or client. If the quality of the content is consistent, people will begin to trust you and seek you out.
Over time, people will just flock to your blog like deer in the rut. That’s when you create the subscription list and monetize your blog. The only way to get to that point is to have high-quality content and create it at a consistent clip.
Remain patient, do it the right way and you will see clicks, page views, profit and revenue all come to you in droves. The only way to get there is to focus on the quality of your content. Put the time in to make it as great as it can be. Take pride in what you do and people will see that. If you take pride in what you create, those people will eventually take pride in it as well.
How could you expect people to give you their business if you don’t take pride in what you create?
Far too often companies view clients and customers as dollar bills. Customer service no longer matters. The quality of the content or products does not matter. All they care about is money and how to get more of it (in the easiest and fastest way possible).
Prove to people that you care. Prove to people that they aren’t just dollar bills you put into your bank account. If you put in the time, and do so consistently, people will reward you for it by giving you their business. They want to give you their money; you just have to make sure you don’t screw that up.
That’s where people and companies fail. When you see their business model and research what matters, it’s not hard to figure out why.
Instead of emphasizing either great content or sharing, do both.
Produce that consistent, high-quality content and the rest will fall into place. As hard as it is, remain patient and fight the urge to take the easy way out. It’s difficult work and it takes time, but it’s worth it in the end.
Twitter Gets Better
You can still use LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and, the best, Inbound to share your content. But content marketers need to keep an eye on Twitter.
In early February, it was reported by Bloomberg that Twitter struck a deal with Google that makes tweets from its 294 million users instantly searchable.
The deal expands Twitter’s reach beyond just Bing and Yahoo! As Mashable said, this is more significant given Twitter commands 75 percent of the web search market and is the No. 1 most-trafficked website globally.
This move gives Twitter wider distribution than Facebook, but also helps Google. Prior to 2011, Google did index tweets, and then launched Google+ to compete against Twitter (yet another sign the writing is on the wall).
This means your tweets will instantly appear in Google searches (that means more potential eyeballs on your content). That means you need to make sure your tweets are on point and relevant. The last thing you want is a tweet that makes you look bad or takes away potential leads when they appear in a Google search as soon as you tweet.
That’s just the start.
Will hashtags play a role in this?
Will Tweets influence your rankings?
Will Twitter and Google work out an additional agreement where links become followed? As of now, Twitter re-directs you to the site and the Google Bot can’t trace them (as is the case with LinkedIn).
Either way, this deal is more proof that content marketers shouldn’t spend much time on Facebook (unless you just want empty clicks that bounce right away). It means content marketers should spend a little more time on Twitter given the potential reach you will have with this new deal. Given the unknowns of this, you may want to spend more time on the social network.
This also puts the final nail in the coffin of Google+. If you have paid attention, this isn’t a surprise.
The bigger development is that Internet and content marketers need to focus on both the quality and sharing of what they create – not one or the other.