Magazine article CRM Magazine

Social Media Leads Content Marketing: Quickly Digested Forms of Content Distribution Win out over In-Depth Methods

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Social Media Leads Content Marketing: Quickly Digested Forms of Content Distribution Win out over In-Depth Methods

Article excerpt

Social media is "where brands want to go and play," says Ryan Skinner, Forrester Research's senior analyst for content marketing.

For the second year in a row, social media was the most widely used tactic by content marketers, according to data from the Content Marketing Institute. The majority (88 percent) of marketing professionals use social media, a 4 percent rise from last year.

As brands hit saturation points with some social networks, they're also revisiting their content strategies. Early in the social media game, "there was a lack of direction," Skinner remembers. "There are only so many times a brand can ask you what you had for breakfast."

Extending the analogy, Skinner says that the new model is presenting consumers with research about what people eat for breakfast and announcing a campaign to change those habits. Brands are adding value, not noise, to the conversation.

Use of infographics, for example, increased 7 percent from 2012 to 2013, with 40 percent of marketers currently using graphically presented findings. A large part of their appeal is that they only ask consumers to digest one image, and they often spread virally through social media.

Marketing tactics that are not as speedy, including ebooks, books, podcasts, and Webinars, experienced drop-offs in use. Even the number-two tactic, articles on company Web sites, dipped from 84 percent to 78 percent.

Instagram, which didn't even have paid advertising until recently, is now a popular venue for brands. In September, two months before the mobile photo-sharing company sold ads on its app, brands accounted for 40 percent of the most-shared Instagram videos, according to data from Unruly. "Brands can make valuable and engaging content," Skinner says.

Kraft Recipes, which posts cooking tips that "help people feed their families and be more nutritious," Skinner says, is an example of "content that helps people live their lives better. …

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