When I created a blog in 2008, the advice I heard from successful online entrepreneurs was to create a home base where you would post your most valuable content. Then, use social media as the spokes or outposts promoting that content and connecting with others in your niche.
Today things have changed.
Mitch Joel recently named it for me.
Content Marketing has changed. @mitchjoel makes an astute analogy:
2008: Hub (website) + Spokes (social media)
2018: Hub (website) + Hub (social media)
Call me old school but I still can’t shake the Hub + Spokes mentality. https://t.co/imlDEypj4Q
— Jared Dees (@jareddees) December 14, 2017
He pointed out a major shift in the way people think about content marketing today:
2008: Hub (Website/Blog) + Spokes (Social Media)
2018: Hub (Website/Blog) + Hub (Social Media)
His reasoning is simple. People do not spend as much time reading blogs and visiting websites as they used to. Rather than reading an individual author’s blog, they find their writing on Medium.com or LinkedIn Pulse and read the articles there. These companies want to keep their users on their websites and apps as long as possible. They do not have incentive to send people to other websites.
This is why influencers and brands are building platforms on hubs outside of their owned websites and blogs. They build these platforms not spokes extending from the hub of their websites but as hubs in themselves.
Look at the following platforms. In each case people discover, subscribe, and consume the majority of content natively rather than a separate website:
Text: Medium.com, LinkedIn, Quora, Tumblr, Twitter
Audio: iTunes, Soundcloud, Overcast (and other podcast apps)
Video: YouTube, Facebook Watch, Snapchat
Image: Instagram, Snapchat
Two Exceptions to the Hub + Hub Strategy
I can think of two exceptions to this strategy.
If your strategy is to create content for people to discover through search (rather than social media), then building a targeted website and blog hub still makes sense.
Notice how I did not include Pinterest in the platforms above? That is because Pinterest still works well as an extension of an SEO strategy. Great images and well-written descriptions with the right keywords can still work well as the spokes to your content hub.
2) Email Marketing
One thing hasn’t changed in the last ten years of content marketing. Email is still essential. Instead of competing with the many other content creators in a social media hub, you compete with other contacts in a person’s email account. Sure, things have become more difficult with the automatic sorting by Gmail and Yahoo, but connecting with someone via email is still an essential strategy.