Social media marketing has been getting a shakeup in recent years. First, with the perpetual decline in organic reach and more recently, the algorithmic penalization of outbound links in posts. As a result of the latter, marketers have pivoted their social media strategies to prioritize zero-click content. So...what is zero-click content and how does it work? In this post, I'll dive into everything you need to know about zero-click content, so you can successfully integrate it into your own social media strategy.
What is Zero-Click Content?
Zero-click social media content refers to content that can be consumed within the platform itself, without the need to click a link that takes users off the platform.
Some examples of zero-click content include:
Carousel Posts: Series of images with text overlays, often used for tutorials, listicles, or visual storytelling.
Native Videos: Short-form videos directly uploaded to social platforms (e.g., TikToks, Reels, YouTube Shorts).
Interactive Polls and Surveys: Interactive formats that collect user feedback and keep them on the platform.
What’s Behind the Zero-Click Content Trend?
Simply put: Platforms have been de-valuing posts with outbound links by giving them less reach. Platforms are doing this for 3 key reasons:
1. Improve the User Experience
By suppressing outbound links, social channels can keep users engaged within their platform for longer periods. When users can consume content without being redirected to external websites, it makes for a more seamless and engaging experience.
2. Retain Users Retaining users is critical for social media platforms to sustain and grow their user base. By minimizing outbound links, platforms can create an environment where users feel compelled to stay, interact, and explore the diverse range of content available, ultimately increasing user retention rates. 3. Protect Advertising Revenue
Social media platforms heavily rely on advertising revenue. Suppressing outbound links helps in maintaining control over the user experience and preventing potential revenue leakage. When users stay on the platform, they are more likely to be exposed to ads. More ad impressions and clicks = more money for the platform. By limiting the prominence of outbound links, platforms can protect their advertising revenue streams, ensuring advertisers receive optimal visibility and engagement.
Suppressing outbound links doesn't just protect ad revenue - it can help grow it too. If you want to share outbound links to a social platform, you will have to invest in advertising because platforms severely limit the organic reach of posts containing outbound links.
Is Zero-Click a Bad Thing?
In our opinion, it's a good thing. It forces marketers to get more strategic when it comes to social media. Instead of simply sharing links to blog posts or press releases, marketers will be challenged to create zero-click posts that communicate messages in a creative and engaging way.
For quite some time marketers have forgotten the "social" aspect of social media. Zero-click encourages the creation of content that users genuinely want to engage with, all within the confines of the platform itself.
How to Get Started with Zero-Click Content
Zero-click content is all about engaging your audience. To engage your audience, your content should provide them with one of the following value points: entertainment, education, resources, or information. Keep this in mind as we cover the 3 step process for getting started with zero-click content.
Step 1: Establish Topic Clusters You'll need to have a good understanding of the topics that your audience is passionate about. Try to create clusters of sub-topics stemming from the root topics that you've established. These clusters will give you all the ammo you need to start creating your content.
💡 Tip: SEMRush & AnswerThePublic are helpful tools for identifying sub-topics based on common keywords and queries.
Step 2: Determine Your Resources
Be sure to consider your resources to determine what content you can realistically deliver to your audience on a consistent basis. If you do not have the resources to deliver content such as videos or infographics, you should leave them out of your content mix until you do.
Step 3: Ideate
This is the fun part! Now that you have your topic clusters and resources in a row, you can begin to color in your content calendar with concrete ideas. The easiest way to come up with zero-click content ideas is by considering the topic and value point of a post and determining the best way to communicate it to your audience.
Here are some examples to get your creative gears turning:
Instead of sharing a link to a blog post, create a carousel post that highlights the key takeaways from your blog post on its own.
Instead of linking to a press release, create a graphic image promoting the announcement with a notable quote from the release.
Need to explore a topic in detail? No need to create an exhausting blog post. Produce a short explainer video instead.
Ready to Give Zero-Click Content a Chance?
Navigating the world of zero-click content without the instant thrill of tracking ROI might seem a bit scary for us marketers. But hey, there's a silver lining – giving your audience the absolute best insights and quick info. Prioritize their experience, save them time, and trust me, it's a game-changer.
Remember transitioning to zero-click content is not a bad thing, it's a nudge to do better!