It’s not often that I have to get biblical here, but this is one of those times!
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. Matthew 7:24
In August, Blab shut down. A great multi-feed platform with a ton of promise… it just went kapoof. The entire story is shared by founder Shaan Puri on Medium. He points to the massive growth, followed by not-so-positive retention.
Here’s my personal message to Shaan… I tested blab and loved the platform, but I couldn’t risk growing my audience on an experiment. While you speak to retention as a problem, I believe it was a result of not having a long-term strategy to keep the platform alive – even at the content producers’ expense.
YouTuber Philip DeFranco has almost 5 million subscribers and over a billion and a half views on YouTube. He’s spent years fine-tuning his craft and has turned his vlog into a good living. Recently, however, he received notice that the site would no longer attempt to monetize his videos since some of the content violates its advertising policy. Ouch.
Amazing Facebook evangelist Mari Smith recently published that Facebook has released new Branded Content standards – a dizzying 40+ page manual. From Mari, what exactly is Branded Content?
Facebook defines Branded Content as any post on your Page that features any third party product, brand or sponsor.
- Promotions such as sweepstakes, giveaways or contents that feature a third party product, brand or sponsor
- Product placements
- Ads for third party products, brands or sponsors
- Images or video that include the sponsor’s logos
Mari goes on… if you are promoting a product or company or anything for a third party (via a blue checkmark verified page), it has to be disclosed using Facebook’s handshake tool. The good part is that the third party sponsor can also benefit, access metrics, and share and boost the post.
It’s Not Your Audience
We utilized Blab, occasionally publish YouTube videos, and use Facebook all the time to promote our content. However, my rock is here on our site, on our host, on our email platform. I love social media and video and the power it has to echo and amplify the content we promote, but I will never build a dependency on it within our monetization strategy.
Why? Because it’s not your audience, it’s theirs. Blab owned the audience. YouTube owns their audience. And Facebook owns its audience. At any time, that sand you’ve planted your monetization strategy can shift and shift fast. We’ve seen it happen with companies who had a huge dependence on search – the algorithms shifted dramatically and they lost their butts.
Our goal is always to use these platforms to drive visitors back to our site where they can register, ask for help, or click through to a sponsor. We own the audience here and we cherish the trust they put in us to continue to provide them value without abusing them.
Build your house on a rock.