The Algorithm Is Working Against You

If you’ve been in digital ministry for more than 30 days, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of working against social media platform algorithms that control what content gets seen and what gets buried. At times, it can seem like the algorithm is working against you. You’re not wrong.

Before we dive into what needs to be done to make sure that our content gets delivered to our persona, let’s make sure we understand what these algorithms are and how they work.

Imagine you’re a magician at a kids’ party, and you have a magic hat full of tricks. The kids at the party are like the people on social media, and your magic tricks are your posts and ads.

Now, there’s a special rule at this party: you can only show a few tricks to each kid. This rule is like the social media algorithm. It decides which kids (people on social media) get to see which of your tricks (your posts or ads).

The algorithm watches what each kid likes. If a kid laughs a lot at a card trick, it lets you show them more card tricks. If they like tricks with a rabbit, they see more rabbit tricks. This is like the algorithm showing people more of what they interact with, like, or comment on.

Your goal as the magician (digital marketer) is to make sure your tricks (posts and ads) are so fun and interesting that the kids (people on social media) want to see more.

The better your tricks, the more the algorithm will show them to the kids at the party (your audience on social media). As a digital marketer, you’re trying to make your social media posts and ads as fun and interesting as possible, so the social media algorithm shows them to more people!

Problems arise when we try to show content to people who aren’t interested in what we have to say or present. This is the biggest challenge with displaying Christian content to a non-Christian audience – the algorithm doesn’t have any data that tells it our persona will care about our posts, ads, or content. So, the question is: how do we get our content through?

A good rule of thumb is that good content gets seen, shared, and delivered.

Here are some tips for helping your good content be seen by those you are trying to reach.

  1. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest updates and trends. Follow industry blogs, attend webinars, and join professional groups where such changes are frequently discussed.

  2. Focus on Quality Content: Regardless of algorithm changes, high-quality, relevant, and valuable content consistently performs well. Prioritize creating content that genuinely addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.

  3. Diversify Your Channels: Don’t rely too heavily on a single platform or marketing method. A diverse digital marketing strategy can help mitigate the impact of changes in any one channel.

  4. Understand User Intent: Align your content and SEO strategies with user intent. Understanding why and how your audience searches for information can help you create content that resonates and remains effective despite algorithm changes.

  5. Optimize for Mobile: With the increasing use of mobile devices for internet access, ensure your website and content are mobile-friendly, as this is often a key factor in search engine rankings.

  6. Leverage Data Analytics: Regularly analyze your website’s performance data to understand how changes are impacting your traffic and engagement. This can help you make more informed decisions.

  7. Engage Your Audience: Platforms tend to favor content that generates engagement. Encourage interactions through comments, shares, and other forms of engagement.

  8. Build a Solid Backlink Profile: Quality backlinks from reputable sites can boost your site’s authority and ranking, providing some insulation against algorithm shifts.

  9. Optimize for Voice Search: As voice search becomes more popular, optimizing for conversational keywords and phrases can be beneficial.

  10. Be Agile and Ready to Pivot: Be prepared to quickly adjust your strategy in response to algorithm changes. Flexibility and responsiveness are key.

  11. Focus on User Experience (UX): Improving website speed, navigation, and overall user experience can positively impact your site’s ranking.

It may feel like these platforms are working against you. If we understand what social media platforms are trying to accomplish, and how decisions are made within the platform, your team can use the algorithm to your advantage. Stay informed and keep learning. We’re here to help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and tactics for your digital ministry campaigns.

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Guest Post by Media Impact International (MII)

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