Last week Michael Brenner, Senior Director at SAP and founder of Business2Community, released the blog “Will Content Marketing Kill Social Media?” If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to take the time to do so. It is a well-written piece on how content marketing is changing the B2B marketing landscape. There is a flood of comments on the post and some really great dialogue.
So will content marketing kill social media?
Here’s my take – No.
Social media won’t be killed by content marketing. I think the two really go hand in hand. To me, content marketing is all about providing relevant, consistent and valuable content for your target audiences to support and educate them. Simply put. Content marketing is present through the entire buying and sales cycle. It is in the form of videos, infographics, articles, and newsletters throughout the early stages and case studies, interactive demos, whitepapers, and data sheets help guide buyers through the later stages of the process. And to me, social media is a channel that companies can use in order to better communicate and engage with their prospects and customers. And content can be a great way to engage with a community. It gives B2B companies the opportunity to show some personality and have a little fun while doing so.
Ardath Albee chimed in and brought an excellent point to the table:
Instead of ‘content marketing will destroy social media’ how about ‘noise and selfishness will destroy social media?'”
I’d like to echo her sentiment. While social media can be an effective channel for communication, it should be left at just that. Lay off the purely self-serving posts and try to always add value rather than simply broadcasting. A great way to monitor your social outposts would be to apply Andrew Davis’s 4-1-1 rule (for every one self-serving tweet/post/update, share four new pieces of content and one re-share).
Now, what about editorial and advertising?
Brenner also asked a few questions about editorial and advertising. In general, I think the lines are really blurred for two reasons:
- It is clear that editorial has changed because of the growing popularity of social media and content marketing. Since we are bombarded with thousands of promotional messages day in and day out, it is clear to see why companies and brands are experimenting with new media in order to reach a target audience. We even practice this at OpenView and I know that our portfolio companies do as well. We specifically target certain print and online publications to republish our content to extend our reach and boost awareness. One site that I have been monitoring in particular has seemingly changed to only sponsored guest content, and I imagine it is a way to earn the ever-fading advertising dollar. And it makes sense, for better or for worse.
- On one hand, there is an influx of content marketing in marketplace, and many companies and brands are viewing themselves as publishers now. So the traditional publishers now have a new set of competitors that they may have never really expected.
So, let me know what you think!