Should Facebook and Google Be Paying for your Content?

Man with money over mouth
 

For years YouTube has been rewarding publishers for great content their users engage with and enjoy. Companies like Google and Facebook have amassed fortunes off of your free content. Some creaters are rewarded with likes, comments, and even sponsors, while most publishers are never compensated.

Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, went on a rant on his Marketing Companion podcast saying, advertising companies like Google and Facebook are killing great content and investigative journalism. “Great writing and investigative reporting is important, and all these publishers are dying a slow death 100% because of Facebook and Google”. He went on to say, “They’re taking our content, they’re displaying it for free, and there’s no compensation…” Mark continued to express his frustration about how there is no longer an incentive for writing great content.

The BBC reported that Australia is introducing a new bill forcing Facebook and Google to pay news outlets for featuring their journalism. In light of this news, Facebook said it would prevent Australian users from sharing news stories. Google started a conditioning ad campaign to garner public support, saying search would be “dramatically worse”. 

There’s already an ongoing bargaining process between major media outlets, Google and Facebook. But what about your everyday independent publisher? What makes a blogger any different from a YouTube vlogger? You can monetize your blog with ads, but the challenge is to get users to leave the comfort of Facebook or Google to engage with content on your WordPress blog.

Algorithms are designed to keep users engaging with content hosted on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

As the owner of Agency Prolific, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago, I encourage clients to embrace a social media strategy that doesn’t force users off the platform. In other words, if a user engages with you on Instagram, don’t force them to your website, keep the conversation on Instagram. This removes friction and is a much smoother path to a conversion. In addition, algorithms are more favorable to users who keep people on their platforms.

In the good old days, Google led users offsite to the best content after a search. With new tools like Discover and “featured content”, Google’s hope is to keep users on their platform longer so they can serve evermore ads. 

So if they’re getting paid off your content, shouldn’t you too? They’re already doing this with YouTube channels. Will Australia’s bill spark a new conversation here in the U.S.? Should only the big guys be getting paid for their content? Should everyone who builds the house share in its reward?

 
 
 

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