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Where Does Blogging Fit in a Zero-Click World?

Social media rewards and promotes content that keeps users on their platforms; they are businesses and we (the users) are their product. They make money the more people they can get scrolling their feeds, and they actively lose money when someone clicks away to an outside link — like a blog post.

So where does blogging fit in a zero-click world? How do we promote our blogs or other long form content when our distribution and promotion channels actively dissuade us from linking to it?

IS BLOGGING DEAD (again)?

The answer is not to stop blogging or producing other long-form content.

Surveys and polls tell us that long-form content is still one of the greatest influencers of buying decisions. Blogs work to convert leads to buyers.

The answer is to change how we promote our long-form content.

Give the channels what they want: zero-click content

If channels want zero-click content (and they absolutely do), then we as marketers would be wise to give them what they want.

In other words, share the best parts of your content in a format that’s native to the channel you’re on: a Twitter thread, a video or audio clip, a 200-word LinkedIn post. Then give them the opportunity to click through to the full piece of content in a link in the comments, for example.

But if you’ve been in this game for more than a minute, that may feel incredibly counter-intuitive. We were taught to write clickbait posts that opened a gap of curiosity so that people felt compelled to click to get the rest of the story. And that does work — but only if you’re paying for exposure.

If the algorithm of the channel hides your post because it contains a link, even the best clickbait won’t overcome it.

Examples of great zero-click content:

Who’s doing this?  All kinds of smart content creators and marketers.

Glennon Doyle, host of the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast does this weekly by sharing a video clip from that week’s podcast episode recording. It’s usually only a minute or two long, and shares one of the biggest AHA moments from the episode.

Does it work?

Well, I like Glennon and I follow her, but I had literally NEVER listened to an episode of her podcast — until last week, when she shared this clip:

I watched that clip, felt it like a punch to my solar plexus, and immediately went and listened to the episode.

Another great example of zero-click content is Twitter threads. If you ask me, Twitter threads are the new blogging, and Cory Doctrow is one of the masters. He writes an interesting Twitter thread daily, but/and the second tweet in the thread is always a link to an “essay formatted” version — or, you guessed it, a blog post.

Here’s an example of a recent thread:

And the corresponding blog post lives here.

Because a) Cory is well known for his thoughtful Twitter thread essays and b) because the first tweet is formatted to make you want to read the rest of the thread, he gets around the potential negative of sharing a link in his second tweet, and many many of his followers retweet the entire thread — including the link to his blog and newsletter.

These are both Twitter examples, but you can find examples like this on any channel. Twitch streamers and podcasters share the best clips of their full broadcast on YouTube. People summarize a blog post or article in a 200-word LinkedIn post. People create Reels or TikToks as teasers for longer content.

I’ve used these strategies myself lately.

For example, when I was promoting the launch of our Ace Stone, Marketing Detective podcast, I created Reels to promote the episodes.

And a couple of weeks ago, I actually shared the entire text of a recent blog post across three Facebook posts. They were, by far, some of my most engaged-with content in recent months. Here’s the first one:

I did the same thing, with the same text, 200-words or so at a time on LinkedIn and it was shared by people I don’t even know.

Did this end up driving clicks to my blog? It did, yes. But that’s not the point.

The point is whether or not people actually saw and read the content — and they absolutely did. It’s a lot harder to track than visits to a website, it’s true, but in this age of the Internet, we marketers have to let go of what is measurable in favor of what demonstrably works.

How to create your own zero-click content

What’s interesting is that creating zero-click content still works within my Power Platform framework: create a piece of long-form content on your Power Platform, then repurpose, chop up, and distribute it across your other channels.

The only key difference is that we’re not trying to be coy with the supporting content: go ahead and give away the punchline, the value, the key concept.

And if you earn people’s attention, I promise they will click to consume the long-form version.

For your zero-click content, try:

  • a text post with the bullet points of your longer piece
  • a Twitter thread (with bullet points or the full text of your piece)
  • create 30-second to 2-minute video or audio clips from your longer piece
  • craft a 200-word post for LinkedIn (or Facebook, or Instagram)
  • write a short email that encapsulates your points from your longer piece

Then, put the link to your long-form content somewhere the platforms won’t penalize: in the first comment on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn; in your bio on Instagram or TikTok; in a Tweet that’s part of a longer thread on Twitter; etc.

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