There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the term “content marketing.” One belief is that content deployment should be carried out with the same approach you would use with a traditional mixed-media campaign.

  1. Understand the short and long-term goals of your marketing

  2. Decide what content best delivers these goals

  3. Deliver the right content on the right channel property

If you draw it up like that, marketing seems trivial. Although social deployment and content media are entangled in the same marketing fabric, they are not the same.

Social deployment: is the selection of multi-touch (typically socially driven) channels based on your goals and objectives, along with the scheduling and the choice of media type and messaging specific to the touchpoint. Deployment by its very nature is the act of (in this case) time of day, geographical considerations, content calendars, demographic and more.

Content marketing: is how your communication 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. Moreover, the right content for the right channel.

Think of social deployment as freight trains delivering coal. Trains on different tracks provide coal to the good people in other locations. The coal is your content. The tracks carrying the trains represent deployment.

When Diving Deeper: a popular myth is 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

  • 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.

  • A firm understanding of your audience demographic and a tertiary understanding of their geographic location. And to be clear, this is “audience” and not persona, nor buying behavior. I know, I know, “lions and tigers, and bears – oy vey!”

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 might be best suited to Instagram, and YouTube is the place for a collection of webisodic video content. It seems logical until you consider that your demographic is driven by short-form content like stories and TikTok vignettes, now the landscape of your strategy needs to change.

Content Strategy

As stated above, this is where you select the appropriate media type as it pertains to the progressive messaging, creative campaign, or conversational engagement type. You need to develop content that your audience will respond to and (if the stars align) 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 work with photography, videos, and inspiring your audience to participate within the channels in a way that creates the perception of spontaneity. Before 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 will make up your “pre, during, and post” campaign strategy.

Content & Social Engagement:

Yes, you put content into your social media. But not all content is suitable for all social channels.

For instance:

  • Video – offer-driven or story-driven?

  • Imagery – in brand? Or is the visual meant to create further dialog?

  • Copy – are you creating statements, questions, or an open forum?

Why the necessary granularity?

“I just need more content for my social media channels!” – this statement doesn’t seem abstract or unwarranted.

So whether you are a brand looking to improve your social and content messaging or an agency extending services, it’s fair to say you should know what you are getting involved with.