Online content marketing: showdown between Facebook and Google for quality contents


Online content marketing? It is a matter of contents. After spelling the end of more than one traditional or late-convert-to-digital publishers, Google and Facebook have decisively hanged their approach toward content makers. The first search engine and the first social media in the world are not anymore just simple content aggregators, but “environment” where the user is continuously solicited to come back thanks to the presence of quality contents selected by the search engine or the social network through software and solutions increasingly sophisticated. On this aspect, the ability of a company to pass its messages through the creation and production of quality contents is the base for success (and failure) of its online content marketing strategy.

The time factor in online content marketing strategies

What does identify, from the search engine and social network perspective, a “quality” content? Despite the differences in origin and function, Google and Facebook algorithms are based on partially coincidental factors to determine what the best content between two similar results is: read time, presence of links to external sources, number of interactions on social media. Between the most important factors, one stands out: measuring of time spent by the users reading it: longer articles usually have longer read time, and can host a bigger density of keywords.

Facebook and Google are based on similar parameters
to evaluate the relevance of a content

The length of a content is a measure (amost) infallible of its relevance: a logical conclusion if you think that not all publisher are able to write an article 3,000 strokes long and it is not guaranteed to get the attention of the reader from the first words of a text and keep it intact until the end. In the same way, the presence of videos and images allow to increase the average time and the number of pieces of information   that the reader has to consume before moving on to another content.

It is redundant to say that the skills required by the executors of an online content marketing strategy are much more crossed than before: from the ability to give value to the corporate messages and values inside non explicitly self-referential contents, that define one who is a professional of the RP field, it is necessary to add a dash of journalistic sensibility, key to identify those that are and will be the most interesting subjects for the public, up to the ability of producing multimedia content and direct the web traffic from social medias and search engines to the editorial properties of the company.
What changes for the online content marketing with the new Instant Articles and the AMPs

This April, Facebook will open the function “Instant Articles” to all publishers – from publishers to companies active in the online content marketing field – after a the testing phase that involved only some selected publishing groups. “Instant Articles” is the Facebook function designed to optimize the contents’ uploading time on the platform: the users will be able to see an article online without having to wait for it to upload.
A decision, this of liberalizing the use of the “Instant Articles”, that preceded of a few days the launch of “Accelerated Mobile Pages”, a Google program aimed at accelerating the uploading time of contents for those who search them by mobile. In this case too, the function is at the moment designed for a few publishing companies, but it is not written that in the future it will not be opened to all web publishers and companies with active online content marketing strategies.

The solutions available to publishers
will be soon available to companies too

For publishers and companies that decide to invest in an online content marketing strategy, Google and Facebook have been since quite a time the first source of traffic. The competition between the two hi-tech giants to gain the biggest possible figure of users has reached a turning point: in August 2015 for the first time Facebook surpassed Google as the first traffic source, according to a analysis based on the websites of more than 400 American publishers. The creation of quality contents, that are perceived as such not just by the users but also by the algorithms of the search engine and the social network is thus a crucial premise not only from a reputational point of view, but also to maximize the efficiency of an online content marketing strategy and increase in time traffic volumes toward one’s own websites and online properties.