The Changing Role Of The Social Content Marketer
What does this mean for brands, and, more importantly, what does it look like?
With many of us finally starting to get a handle on social media and how to maximize its use, marketing has once again been turned on its head. The role of the social-media marketer is changing to focus less on day-to-day channel management and more on content strategy, creation, and promotion. What does this mean for brands, and, more importantly, what does it look like?
Not too long ago, social media was a bright shiny object that no one knew what to do with. As brands began experimenting, they realized it was here to stay. Formalized departments were created, and brands began to manage engagement and plan and schedule social content. Today, social is still on the move, and its role within the organization continues to evolve.
As social matures, we are starting to see organizations more readily accept and embrace it. Brands that originally pushed it under the umbrella of digital marketing are now realizing a social strategy done well can have a positive impact on their customer base. Originally, social media was at the top of the marketing funnel; it worked well as a means to get people interested. Today, social is not just driving awareness, but it is actually pulling people deeper into the brand. Sure, customers will continue to engage across their journeys with brands, but engagement is no longer limited to a single stage in the process. Instead, it is taking place at many different phases throughout the customer journey.
Building The Customer Experience vs. Managing Channels
Advancements in technology are taking place at the same time consumers and their expectations are shifting dramatically. Today’s consumers, no longer satisfied with just learning about brands, want a personalized experience. They expect brands to know who they are, what they want, and, in some cases, help them understand why they want it. The bottom line? The expectation for a seamless, personalized experience is starting to drive how organizations set themselves up to manage these new realities.
Unfortunately, most organizations are not designed to effectively manage a seamless, personalized customer experience. Departments often function in silos—the email team creates and sends out emails; a website team handles analytics, conversions, and page views; and even the social-media team is focused on driving top-of-funnel engagement. However, if these teams aren’t talking to each other, you do not have a personalized experience.
The good news is that brands are realizing the channel-up approach is no longer working. It is a better strategy to place campaigns and content with the right message first. This way, channels are identified based on customers—where they are in the journey and how they are engaging with the brand. A planned shift needs to take place where brands move toward building the customer experience versus simply managing channels.
Content Marketing Or Social Media?
Is there a difference between content marketing and social media? Are the roles blending together? While no one knows for sure, we are starting to see some changes. Where siloed channels were once creating their own content, content is now being pulled to the center and pushed out as needed across channels for a more unified message. The result has been reduced redundancy, reduced cost, and more brand consistency across channels. Smart brands are realizing that none of this can be achieved if content marketing is sitting by itself, operating separately.
While there are still customizations that need to take place, for the most part, content marketing is starting to build more into overall workflow. Teams that create content for a campaign make it available to both social and email teams, who then use images and assets that reinforce and support campaign messaging.
Looking To The Future: Driving Customized Content
What does the future look like for social-media marketing? We are likely to see social data and measurement used and considered across marketing more so than in the past. When we talk about measurement, we are talking about the ability to tie social activity to the rest of marketing while understanding its unique impact. This means pulling data from different sources and viewing it side by side to understand events and how to optimize strategy using those insights.
Tools in the social space will make the process easier, giving brands more actionable insight to help drive content out to their customer bases. Understanding the user, while identifying triggers for success for each piece of content and mapping those two together, will build a better experience for the customer. Easier said than done. However, having a content team and strategy that is centralized across marketing—and helping each team within the department communicate—is key. Viewing the customer holistically and matching data to strategy will help brands optimize customer experience more effectively.