Elon Musk has turned Twitter into a dumpster fire, with changes to how posts are viewed, moderated or verified, leaving people frustrated and choosing to leave the platform or reduce their presence on it. If your entire livelihood and business model was built with Twitter as its base, you’d be sweating and really angry.
Musk is making the business case for me: you need owned content, places where you can share content and connect with your audience without being subjected to the whims of social media megalomaniacs and their changing algorithms.
Owned content is posted in spaces you control completely.
If you’ve been writing on social media because it felt like less work, or because the “experts” told you that it’s a waste of time to create a blog because no one will read it, the chaos on Twitter or the regular changes to the Instagram algorithm is proving them wrong.
Think of it as the difference between hosting a party, where you can set the mood, the playlist, and the menu, versus when you attend a party and have no idea what has been planned, if you’ll be able to speak to everyone, or when the host will turn off the lights and kick you out.
If you’ve been focusing mostly on social, focusing on creating owned content spaces might be the right next step in your marketing strategy.
What exactly is owned content?
Having owned content means you have complete control and could switch to a different platform or vendor with zero disruption to your sales workflow or ability to communicate with your audience.
This could be your website, a newsletter or possibly even a podcast. (Podcasts are tricky because while you can switch tech or podcast producers seamlessly, it’s a little more difficult to know who your audience is unless you are able to convert your listeners to email subscribers.)
Why is social media making owned content a priority?
Social media always has had a shorter shelf life than blog content. According to research from Scott Graffius, the half-life of social media content (or how long it takes a post to achieve half of the total engagement) can range from as low as 1.75 hours for an Instagram post to as much as 24 hours for a LinkedIn post. With the ongoing algorithm changes happening in social, it makes it difficult to predict the reach you’ll get from a post, reel, story, or tweet. (Do we still call them tweets? Xs??)
With owned content, you have complete control—how often you post or send an email, and using content marketing tactics to influence views or open/click rate is up to you. If you don’t have a lot of website traffic or newsletter subscribers, you’ll need to do more to get it into the hands of your ideal audience. But again, that’s within your control to do.
How can you rapidly build your owned content “moat”? Play with these 5 accelerators.
1) Choose one primary content home base and one social media “echo.”
Some of my clients are burning out from content creation because they are trying to share content everywhere and their message becomes scattered, diluted, or hidden.
They also don’t have one place showcase all of their best ideas, solutions, and accomplishments to prospects. Their testimonials are hidden in an Instagram carousel (where most of their clients don’t see them), or they shared a case study in a post in LinkedIn that quickly becomes lost in the volume of other posts.
Even if your website traffic isn’t high, regularly updating your website with client stories or new authority-building content can become the consistent place to point your prospects during the sales process.
If you love Instagram or TikTok, you can keep sharing content in these spaces. But if the time and effort is keeping you from having good content to share with your sales prospects, you might want to rethink the amount of time you’re spending on it.
2) Focus on the content you need for your sales workflow.
Instead of working on the content you see others producing (the lure of social media is terrible for this), think about the content you’d love to have on hand to fill the gaps in your sales workflow.
Don’t have enough leads coming in? Publish a guest article on a high traffic website in your space, or pitch to be a guest on a podcast (where you can later turn the transcript into a series of blog articles). Figure out how to share current offers with your email newsletter audience. Or write a killer blog article, PDF it, and use it to reconnect with past prospects or clients.
Don’t have enough leads converting to sales? This is where having a well-researched article or set of case studies can help. These don’t need to be lengthy pieces but having content to share as your leads move through your sales process—-where they are understanding, evaluating, and deciding whether or not to purchase your offer—can help tip them over from prospects to clients.
3) Think of Your Home Base As A Syndicated Magazine.
You have full control of your writing home base. You are the bullpen (for ideas), the writer, the editor-in-chief AND the publisher. You need to think about your blog and newsletter (yes, I’m saying and because eventually, you need to figure out how to do both consistently) with the gravitas it deserves, and provide it with the polish of a finished product.
Don’t let that keep you from starting. (That’s what held me back for ages.) Instead, use it to set a high bar and keep going.
When I was planning the launch of my newsletter Body of Work, it was important to me that I named it—-I wanted to picture it as a regular column on a site like The Atlantic or Fast Company. I’m using ConvertKit for now to host it, but over time if CK’s founder Nathan Berry goes all “Elon-y” and changes the features I use, I can move my list to another platform and keep going without a blip.
4) Become a content repurposing pro.
This article started out as a post on LinkedIn. But that’s never enough for me—-I like to find at least 2 other purposes for a content piece. I do a lot of repurposing work for clients too, where we’ll start with a long-form article (at least 2500 words in length) and use it as the basis to create a blog series, set of LinkedIn posts, or possibly create a PDF to share during their sales process.
Keep track of your best-performing social media posts and spend one of your morning writing blocks adding some additional content or context to expand it into an article for your site. You already know it is content others have enjoyed, which means it’s worth your time to expand it into an article to collect on your site.
5) Use AI to simplify content creation.
AI can be great for repurposing your content—asking ChatGPT or Perplexity.ai to turn one longer article into blog articles, social posts, or a newsletter opener.
It’s worth it to take the time needed to build out the longer pieces because you’ll be able to pull in your unique experiences or perspectives (AI won’t be able to do that part for you).
Take back control from the social media overlords! Using owned content in your marketing strategy might create the consistency in your marketing visibility strategy you need to build new growth momentum.
Need help building your owned content platform? Book a call to talk about how.