Corporate homepages aren’t going extinct, but they are being replaced by social media networks as a way for companies to reach consumers.
"Social networks have taken the place of the homepage [for companies]," RebelMouse founder and CEO Paul Berry said at the PR Council’s Critical Issues Forum on Thursday. "The homepage is dead; that is not where you will find growth. And now that Facebook has Instant Articles, article pages are going too."
At the event, which was held in Rockefeller Plaza’s Rainbow Room in New York, Berry compared the shifting trend to Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ finding that the earth revolves around the sun, and not vice versa.
Copernicus was pressured to publish his findings by other mathematicians, but he held back because he thought people would "go insane" at the news, explained Berry.
"So obviously [this marketing trend] is not to that extent impacting humanity, but the idea that articles will now be distributed completely is on that scale impacting media and publishing," said Berry. "People are still making websites and expecting traffic to be driven to it, but it actually has to be through distribution platforms; it is a cultural movement."
Nestle is one brand that has recently made the ambitious move to consolidate its websites for the Nescafe brand, hosting the main Nescafe website on Tumblr.
Other soundbites from the event
Berry: "When you get a CMO on stage, they will say privacy, trust, and being genuine are the top three things. But the moment you put your logo in a campaign, you know you are violating trust, privacy, and being genuine."
Berry: "Turn your slogans into editorial thesis to combat ad blocking."
Matt Bean, SVP, editorial innovation, Time Inc.: "The only word people are sick of saying more than native advertising is Millennial. You can spend endless hours talking about the definition of native advertising, but the truth is it is a different thing for every brand and every audience."
Richard Pattinson, SVP, content marketing, BBC Worldwide: "The most impactful content is content you love and spend time on. That is what really works."
Adam Aston, editorial director, T Brand Studios, The New York Times: "Content is best when it can reach an audience without Facebook having to boost it, without us having to force-feed it to people."