The recent Facebook partnership with major publishing brands signals yet another shift in mainstream media.
What the heck is going on in this crazy media world?
POWER TO THE PEOPLE: The old buzz phrase “Content is King” may still remain as a credo, but consumers make kings. Consumers can be deemed “Individual Distribution Channels” these days. Regular Joes now decide how they want to interact with and share content through commentary, Facebook likes and shares as well as Tweets and re-Tweets on Twitter.
HOME PAGE BOUND FOR EXTINCTION? Maybe this idea feels a bit dramatic. All brands require a destination and not everyone sources their information through social media. People STILL come to the home page. BUT…mobile-responsive sites mean that home pages render differently across platforms. That certainly impacts all the little goodies stashed there. It could impact video plays – particularly auto-starts – but what it really impacts is advertising.
SPONSORSHIP LEARNS AGAIN: Just when sponsors and media buyers seemed comfortable in their digital skins, along trotted mobile-responsive home pages…and side door traffic. All the whiz-bang sponsorship packages that builds brand-awareness and sponsor dollars transforms and loses impact on the mobile platform. As traffic continues to shift in this direction can your business adapt and work with sponsors to deliver the value and audience they seek?
SIDE DOORS NEED WELCOME MATS: Facebook, Twitter, Search, other social sharing as well as mobile traffic and third-party linking deals mean more and more traffic comes through the “side door” bypassing the home page. How is your site prepared to keep those one-and-done customers? How do you get them to engage for several more pages?
REDESIGN REVOLUTION: Sites continue to evolve into mobile-responsive and even big, bold, tablet-friendly layouts. So much effort and thought is placed on a site’s home page. Every organization must now assume that every page is a home page. A simple story page must now showcase a site’s additional offerings AND satisfy sponsorship needs.
MONITORING TRAFFIC: Two traffic trends can create mirages: Home page numbers, which aggregate nicely, are dropping while mobile numbers are increasing. Does your site offer the same URL’s for desktop and mobile? Can you quantify how single-page entries are performing? Are you watching a sub-directory such as “news” grow in aggregate vs. your home page? And are referrals still strong? If so, who’s driving them?
APPETITE FOR APPS: Does your company have a heavy app strategy? Does the app drive page views and traffic to your traditional site or is it merely providing a convenient app-based version of your site? If it’s the former, are you cannibalizing your own audience and if so, does your organization have an app-based monetization and cost-coverage plan?
The internet consistently evolves and sets course for uncharted waters. All of us face new challenges that will alter the media landscape considerable in the next five years.