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The Best Ways To Use Social Media in Content Marketing

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The Best Ways To Use Social Media in Content Marketing

More than half the world’s population (58.4%) uses social media. And, on any given day, people spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes on the platforms, according to research by Global WebIndex referenced by Smart Insights.

Given all those people and all that time, there’s no chance brands would ignore social media. And the experts presenting at Content Marketing World 2022 (mostly) agree they shouldn’t.

But, while the experts give a resounding yes to participating in social media, their explanations of how best to use these platforms speak volumes.

Explore these reasoned and nuanced approaches to social media to reinforce (or justify altering) your social media strategies.

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Build your brand

It’s important to recognize social media as the brand-building tool it is rather than regard it solely as a revenue-generating channel.

It can be both, but not recognizing the relationship-building power leads many companies to understaff and underinvest in it. That leads to tepid results, which leads to less investment, and so on. Setting KPIs appropriately and using the networks properly can help. – Jacqueline Baxter, senior digital strategist, DX, Sitecore

Communicate strategically

Social media is just a communication channel. There are no obligatory channels for any form of marketing (including content marketing). There are just channels better or worse suited to support your communication strategy. It all depends on your strategy. (Check out Apple’s social profiles!)

In content marketing, owned media are better-suited channels over social media or “rented land” because they allow for direct relationships with the audience, first-party data, and control over the communication. But still, social media – depending on the strategy – might be useful.

Strategy absence often induces the need to be everywhere to calm the fear of missing out: “I am not sure about strategy; therefore, I am not able to defend the decision of not using the channel.” If you cannot clearly answer why your brand should or should not be on a given social media, that’s most likely a strategy formulation problem. – Igor Bielobadek, digital marketing senior manager, Deloitte

If you can’t clearly answer why your brand should or should not be on a given #SocialMedia channel, that’s most likely a strategy formulation problem, says @igorbielo via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Develop fans

Yes, to social media for brands as long as they have the mindset of being in the market of making evangelists, not sales. But most (brands) can’t get out of their own way enough to achieve that.” – Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

Invest with care for B2B and B2C

Social media has much less influence on the buying decisions in B2B than people realize. It probably also has much more influence on buying decisions in consumer categories than people realize. – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Join the conversations

Should brands still be involved in the daily conversation around popular culture? Ten thousand “heck yesses” and “hell yeahs,” please.

I used the term “newsjacking” in 2012 and wrote a book about it, so this topic is close to my heart. It’s important for brands to first know what’s going on. Then, they must engage with their fans in a natural way on the most appropriate channels.

I want to engage with certain brands and not others, so I get that cultural relevance’ is mission-critical. But every brand should at least have one channel where they engage in a public dialog with fans. Do it and do it well. Find out what’s working and do more of that. – Jon Burkhart, founder, TBC Global Limited

Every brand should engage with fans on at least one #SocialMedia channel, says @jonburkhart via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Prep a strategy and crisis plan

Brands need to have a solid social media strategy and crisis communication plan. Not all brands need to be on social media, and brands don’t need to post or comment on everything.

I see a lot of “national day” posts from brands trying to shoehorn into a trending hashtag. On International Women’s Day 2022, two women created a bot that replied to brands’ #InternationalWomensDay posts with publicly available gender pay disparity details. Many brands scrambled to react to the bot, causing more damage.

Posts need to align with the brand, not with what’s trending. – Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio marketing, DataRobot 

Choose the right ones

It’s essential to partner with the right social media networks for the right reasons to reach the right audiences. – Michael Bordieri, senior content solutions consultant, LinkedIn

Join us at Content Marketing World 2022 for new ideas to drive your business, fuel your inspiration, and speed up your career. Register today and use promo code BLOG100 to save $100.

Create brand connections

Individuals regularly change companies (as they change jobs), which impacts the content they create and post. When the audience is connected to the brand, they are more likely to stay connected when the person behind the keyboard changes. – Ruth Carter, evil genius, Geek Law Firm

Make it personal

The people behind the brand should undoubtedly be on social media. Social media is about building a personal relationship with the people you follow (and those who follow you). It’s almost impossible to build a relationship with a brand.

So, should brands be on social media? Only if you treat the brand’s social channel like a receptionist that points you to the right people behind the brand.” – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Treat your brand’s #Social channels as the receptionist that points your audience to the people behind the brand, says @DrewDavisHere via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Be seen (strategically)

An absence on social media is noticeably suspicious. Brands should be strategic about where and how they engage. Social media is still a top channel to build and strengthen a community. – Jacquie Chakirelis, chief digital strategy officer, Quest Digital/ Great Lakes Publishing

Get discovered

Brands should absolutely be on social media from a listing standpoint. If someone is searching for your brand on social media, you want to appear legitimate by having your business data up to date. – Jane Marie Barnes, account manager, GPO

Brands should be on #SocialMedia from a listing standpoint to appear legitimate to searchers, says @the_mktg_jmb via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Do it for search

While I’m no social media pro, I view social media as important for two reasons: Google and links. From an organic search perspective, a brand’s social media posts still show up in traditional search results. Google crawls those sites like it does any other. Link to your blog and other on-site content from your social media accounts to increase the number of backlinks (one of Google’s many ranking factors). – Haley Collins, director of operations and content, GPO

Consider the platform

You can’t lump all the platforms together and call it social media. Each platform has its own intricacies, algorithm, and audience. Look at what you’re trying to achieve, where the audience you want hangs out, and then reach them in a way they want to be reached. A Twitter ad on TikTok ain’t gonna work at all. – Meg Coffey, managing director, Coffey & Tea

Tailor to the channel

Social media is important as long as the posts align with the purpose, voice, and audience of the individual channels. Too often, brands post the same content on LinkedIn as they do on Instagram. And the formal, business-like text appropriate for the former has all the appeal of someone’s parent descending the stairs to the basement rec room to join in the fun on the latter. – Diane di Costanzo, chief content officer, Foundry 360, Dotdash Meredith

Create separate strategies

Focus on the platforms where your audience is – it’s not about being everywhere. Create content that respects each platform individually. There is no such thing as a catch-all social media strategy anymore. You need a TikTok strategy, a Twitter strategy, a Facebook strategy, and so on. – Amy Woods, founder and CEO, Content 10x

There’s no such thing as a catch-all #SocialMedia strategy anymore, says @content10x via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Be where your buyers are

Your social media strategy should follow your buyer. For B2B technical companies, research shows YouTube, LinkedIn, and GitHub are go-to sources for information on technology trends, how-to information, and networking. At the same time, few engineers and technical buyers look to Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for information.

As social channels continue to morph, marketers should stay on top of buyer behavior and constantly evaluate performance. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Appreciate this caveat

Nearly all brands should be on social media, but only if they can effectively maintain their presence at a level that’s agreed on throughout the organization. For some, it’s a placeholder; for others, it is a constant aggressive campaign and community management vehicle. Starting the latter but not maintaining it is the main thing to avoid. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse

Be human

Brands must be authentic, human, emotional, and even vulnerable. Social media is a great way to humanize your brand and engage in a two-way dialogue that builds trust and relationships.

Social media is also an essential communication channel for brands championing the social issues they care about, contributing to a dialog that improves their communities. – Mark Emond, president, Demand Spring

Tell stories

Brands should still be on social media, but people don’t connect with brands. They connect with stories and with people. The brand must tell stories that resonate, not just focus on their products. – Tim Schmoyer, founder/CEO, Video Creators

Be picky and think PR, too

Brands should absolutely be present and active on social media. The mistake is trying to be active on every social media platform. That can be overwhelming and unnecessary. Where is your audience spending time? Answer that question first, then make every effort to be active there. And by “active,” I don’t mean simply posting. Engage with your followers. Answer questions. Participate in discussions.

Also, if a brand wants to do a PR push, I always suggest making sure their social media presence is up to date. Reporters check that out when considering a company to include in a piece. If they find you haven’t posted or engaged in six months (or longer), that’s a signal there may not be much happening with your brand.

Also, for media relations purposes, brands should be active on Twitter. They can follow journalists and media outlets they’re interested in – and if those media outlets cover them, they can share the coverage and tag the publication and the journalist. – Michelle Garrett, consultant, Garrett Public Relations

For #PR and media relations, follow relevant journalists and media outlets on @Twitter, says @PRisUs via @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Help franchisees

Quality social media posts can breed loyalty and trust within your customer base. Plus, as a franchise brand, it gives local franchise owners the opportunity to localize the message for their audience. – Brittany Graff, senior director of marketing, Painting with a Twist

Publish on one, listen to all

Social media channels are still critical for a range of content marketing needs, including content distribution, community engagement, and competitive insights. However, not every brand has the resources or need to invest in every social media channel.

Focus on posting on one or two primary channels for your audience and conduct social listening across all channels to capture insights your customers share. A social media audit is a smart way to learn how you perform on any specific channel and set a strategy to achieve your goals. – Erika Heald, founder, lead consultant, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

Post on the one or two primary #SocialMedia channels your audience uses the most. But listen across all channels, says @SFerika via @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Do it better

I’d love to see more brands own conversations that matter, not mired in metrics of product nonsense. If you’re a company that knows people are nervous about the recession and change, talk about uncertainty and what that means. Talk about it openly, honestly, with humor.” – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Make it drive time

Promote your content on social media and drive viewers to the published content on your site. Also, engage directly with their consumers on social media, monitoring its channels and reacting to user questions and concerns. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

Connect with customers

Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can provide better customer service and can create a community for the audience. – Katie Tweedy, associate director of content marketing and SEO, Collective Measures

Proceed deliberately and evaluate regularly

We’ll leave this discussion with this concluding thought shared by Nancy Harhut, CCO, HBT Marketing: “If a brand once enjoyed success on social but now finds that their constituents have moved on, it may be time for the brand to do so, too.”

The takeaway from all this great advice is simple: Stay on social media if your audience falls into the 58% of the world’s population who are there.

But being there is not enough. Your brand better have a strategy that considers all the roles social media plays in your organization.

MORE ADVICE FROM CMWORLD 2022 SPEAKERS:

Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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State of Content Marketing in 2023

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “innehållsmarknadsföring” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

Det är din historia. Berätta väl.

Få Roberts syn på nyheter från innehållsmarknadsföring på bara fem minuter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Se tidigare avsnitt eller läs de lätt redigerade utskrifterna.

Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckovisa CMI-e-postmeddelanden för att få Rose-Colored Glasses i din inkorg varje vecka. 

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Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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27 bästa om oss och om mig Sidexempel [+mallar]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

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MarTechs marknadsföringsexperter att följa

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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Om författaren

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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