There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the term “content marketing.” One of them is the belief that content deployment should be carried out with same approach you would use with a traditional mixed-media campaign.
Although social deployment and content media are indeed entangled in the same marketing fabric – they are not the same thing.
Social deployment is the selection of social media channels based on your goals and objectives, along with the scheduling and the selection of media type.
Content marketing is how your goals and objectives translate into various media types that will most likely engage your customer audience. This content can take countless forms, such as pictures, video, infographics, white papers, podcasting, etc.
Think of social deployment as freight trains delivering coal. Trains on different tracks deliver coal to the good people in different locations. The coal is your content. The tracks carrying the trains represent deployment.
There is a popular myth that winning at social marketing means deploying against all popular channels. Nothing could be further from the truth. Without making too many assumptions about your business model and the future direction of your product or service, let’s presume you and the key players in your marketing team have a grasp of the following:
- A precise understanding of your brand and how it differentiates against the competition
- The same rich understanding of all products and services within the brand
- An understanding of both short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the business
- A firm understanding of your audience demographic, and a tertiary understanding of their geographic location
- Something that is seen as a major plus would be a persona development of “the perfect customer” — within that vision include a rich understanding of their social propensities
Once you have the meat on these bones, the appropriate social media channels will be more evident. That is of course unless the campaign would call for a one-channel approach. For example, a photo campaign would be best suited to Instagram, and YouTube is the place for a collection of webisodic video content.
As stated above, this is where you select the appropriate media type as it pertains to progressive messaging, creative campaign, or conversational engagement type. You need to develop content that your audience will not only respond to, but will have virality. Additionally, the new-media marketer needs to think about the volume of available content based on the timing of the campaign.
Take for instance a live event; it’s not just enough to be tweeting about “what’s happening.” That content needs to play in concert with photography, videos, and inspiring your audience to participate within the channels to in a way that creates the perception of spontaneity. Prior to this event, you may have done two to three weeks of pre-teasing using e-mails, Tweets and Facebook posts. Perhaps you peppered in some short-form video to build excitement among your attendees. All of these elements are going to make up your “pre, during and post” campaign strategy.
So where do we go from here?
Well as many of you may know from my blog at JusticeMitchell.com, I have been an integrated marketing professional for more than 20 years. Within that time I have surrounded myself with an amazing array of eclectic talents and experiences that range from absolute failures to epic advertising for some of the world’s largest brands. It is indeed my hope that in the following articles I will educate you on all of the facets of both traditional, interactive and other marketing techniques. The goal is for your social media business to not only grow, but flourish inside your overall marketing objectives!
If you have specific questions about content marketing, social media or integrated marketing, please feel free to leave your questions in the comment area. But fair warning: Your questions might make a great article :)