This is going to sound weird coming from the Social Media Director of a global communications agency, but if you consider Social Media Marketing to be the ‘be-all-and-end-all’ of developing and maintaining online relationships with your customers, it’s time to have a re-think.
See, times have changed, platforms have fragmented and evolved; people have quite literally moved on. This is not to say they’re not interacting on social anymore – quite the opposite is true, especially regionally here in the Middle East – but people are using social in different ways. Platforms have changed to reward good content and penalize poor content by simply not showing it. Opportunities abound in social analytics as it informs content and outreach approaches, producing actionable insights with potential to impact business across the board.
So what is content marketing and why are we talking about this now?
Let me just get this out of the way and state that content marketing is not new, we just need to pull it back into focus and place it in a digital marketing context. Content marketing is the art + science of developing digital content that informs, entertains and influences, in order to reach and engage your audience.
Critical to content marketing is social media and search, as they inform the three S’s that govern content marketing efforts:
- Searchability: Ensure your content is visible and that it can easily be found online. With 85% of clicks today coming from organic search; and search engines indexing social media, it pays to have well-networked content
- Shareability: Is your content reaching its intended audience? Is it relevant? Also make sure it’s presented in a format that can be easily shared. Optimize that site and PR release for social!
- Snackability: The stats coming out regarding audience attention spans today are astounding; just last week the MENA Facebook team mentioned to us that Newsfeed content has only two seconds to capture interest. So, make it snappy.
The further we’ve gone down the road with social media, the more ensconced we’ve become in SEO, PR, branded content, analytics. Analytics disciplines such as social media monitoring is informing SEO, SEO is informing content strategy, content strategy is informing channel planning and influencer outreach which is in turn impacting SEO. A Social Media strategy therefore is a critical – yet tactical – spoke within an overarching Content Marketing strategy.
So, to all you social media gurus out there, whilst you’re not out of a job just yet, it’s time to upskill and collaborate. Storytellers and SEO geeks, now is your time. Enjoy every minute of it!