Content Marketing’s Paperboy Comparison

Mark Masters
Managing Director of Bournemouth based creative marketing company, The ID Group. Helping to position businesses as the authority in their industry and providing advice, opinion and guidance for brands to be the 'go to' choice.
Mark Masters
Mark Masters
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Design and content marketing Bournemouth The ID Group

The role social media plays in the progress of your content marketing is similar to that of the role of a paperboy.

Yes, it’s another article with a metaphor.

Your Website Is Your Primary Source

Your website represents your key platform of information and the main source of content. The role that the channels you use form the distribution of information where the link should predominantly come back to the primary source. This is where the full story is and role to engage with your audience.

This is similar to the job I had as a kid, when delivering newspapers on a freezing winter morning or where many of us can make an easier link from playing Paperboy on the Commodore 64 (or taking it a few years down the line, a Gameboy).

The Link With Playing (Or Being A) Paperboy

The bag where all the newspapers are packed tight within represents the principal source of information, the streets of houses either

represents those who have subscribed to receive the newspapers or those who are to ignore. The movement from each house includes the preference of media consumption for each house.

Lets take a look at this in a content marketing context. Your main website where all information is located and measured is the base for all information. When we move into the realms of social media (including LinkedIn), this represents the distributor of short links that should always make reference back to the origin of the content . Social media should never be used as the primary source of information where key content is originated.

Social Media Fits The Context, Not Being The Main Message

More substantial material such as blog articles, video, ebooks and guides all form part of the main source, but whilst social media is integral to the success of content marketing it’s main aim is to fit into the context of the main message, as opposed to being the main message.

To sum up the metaphor, the bag of newspapers represents the main source of information (your website), the houses on the street receiving the newspapers on a regular basis are the people who follow you on the various social media platforms and the type of newspaper received is the platform that each person subscribes to. Have a look at the graphic at the top of this article that explains.

Whilst this may be a time for reflection to the days of playing Paperboy when the idea for Grand Theft Auto was in another world, sometimes taking things back to what we played for hours on end is still with us in a content marketing context. 


  1. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing it yaar,

    Very good reminder too.

    These myths are really harming content syndication. I like the issue that content syndication is a onetime buying into and overlook about it.

    May people are thinking like this. But in practical it desires normal supervision and tracking.
    Sagar Rai recently posted…10 Effective Ways How To Improve WordPress Blog Security?My Profile

  2. I dont think Social media is that goood.. Never ever has any good success with them ever…
    I love being natural and prefer organic traffic always.
    SAJID recently posted…WhatsApp for PC Free DownloadMy Profile

  3. Hello Mr. Masters,

    The metaphor is nice and suggestive. The site / blog is the main source of content and the headquarters of the business. This is where the “goods” are. Social media platforms are the distribution network.

    The fundamental function of all social media platforms (apart from socializing) is distribution.

    Generally speaking, the twentieth century showed that distribution is more powerful than production. The greatest manufacturing company is nothing without a distribution network that will make the produced goods available. Actually, when you control distribution, you control everything.

    You can produce content directly in social media without a site or blog. However, in this case, you own nothing and the control on your “goods” is weak at best. You do not own a business, they own it. When the fatal day comes and your account is closed you lose everything and you have to start from scratch.
    This is the fate of all those who do not understand the fundamental functions of social media and of blogs.

    Have a wonderful day
    silviu recently posted…Blog Commenting Results. Case Study 1My Profile

    • Hi Silviu,

      Really like what you mention about when you control distribution you control everything. This is why more and more companies are now starting to have control and effectively becoming the media themselves.

      Thanks for your comment and totally agree with what you say,



  4. Hi Mark!

    Interesting write. Paperboy and the relationship with social media? What a way to build readership and making me clicking the title!

    Keep it up!
    Reginald recently posted…How To Display Related Posts Without A Plugin In Genesis FrameworkMy Profile

  5. Hi Mark, it is a nice post. I agree with you. Our websites are like the factory where products are and social media sites stands out as places where we showcase the products.
    Anetta Bursh recently posted…Download Candy Crush Saga for PC And Play It for FreeMy Profile

  6. Your simple – self explanatory metaphor was all enough to explain the relationship between our business’ and social media.
    Great share :)
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  7. You are indeed correct in this post, I liked it!
    Enstine Muki recently posted…Subway Surfers for PC Free Download (Windows 7/XP/8 Computer)My Profile

  8. Great article. Good to see someone kickin’ it oldschool. :) I am in need of some social media exposure that’s equivalent to what I used to see the “serious paper routes” do. They had those vans filled with paperboys that get let out in your neighborhood to quickly go thru the whole neighborhood to deliver news or get new subscriptions. Then, within an hour or so, they would hop back in the van and move on to another neighborhood. Covered lots of ground and very effective.
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  9. Just the image of PaperBoy has brought images of nostalgia
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  10. Hey Mark,
    Great content and I really like it specially the image you used. Yes, social media sites are really very important as it helps in promoting our blog and also drives traffic to our blog. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Sudipto recently posted…Best Android Phone Under 5000My Profile

  11. Social media optimization is the easiest way to drive more traffic but I prefer SEO. Thanks for sharing
    Sreeraj M Ajay recently posted…Top 10 Highest Paying CPC/PPC Ad NetworksMy Profile

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