The new study from TrackMaven called The Content Marketing Paradox may be frustrating for content marketing professionals that have tried hard to ‘do social’ as part of their content strategy. Despite record-breaking amounts of new content created during 2015, the report shows that engagement fell across four of the five social networks they tracked (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn). Their analysis of 50 million pieces of content and 75.7 billion interactions from 22 thousand brands shows that while brand content production increased by 35 percent, content engagement dropped by 17 percent. Twitter was the only network that saw a modest increase in engagement and that could be linked to the fact that brands pumped 60 percent more content onto that platform in 140 character spurts.
The report notes that paid social is seeing better engagement, particularly on Facebook. In fact, all of these networks are looking to generate more advertising revenue and are adjusting their algorithms to focus on it. This makes it even harder for brands to get earned media value from social posts because their posts are never appearing in newsfeeds with all of those paid posts showing up.
Furthermore, social-mobile consumption is up hugely, with adult Americans increasing their mobile consumption from less than an hour to 2.8 hours a day in just five years. Since 88 percent of that time is spent in apps rather than the browser, marketers need to optimize for that experience or risk their content being lost in the shuffle.
Both of these issues present challenges for brands looking for organic growth on social media. TrackMaven notes the key way to combat this loss is to embrace the format of the social network, “Platform-specific content is a marketer’s firepower against both headwinds (monetization and mobile).” Content marketers mobilized on producing more content in 2015 but will they be able to keep up with the optimal word counts and dimensions, pictures vs. photos, animated gifs and hashtag/tag etiquette of each platform? Even if you pay-to-play to increase engagement, it won’t help with the challenge of configuring content to work on each social network.
Influencer Marketing Can Help
Enter Influencer Marketing. When brands align their content efforts with those of likeminded social media creators, they gain the benefit of working with someone who has a rich understanding of the platforms where they post content. Remember that social media influencers know what kind of content works on their platform of choice because they have already built an audience in the space, marketed their own output effectively as well as learned the right cadence for direct engagement with their fans and followers. If they have a true affinity for your brand, influencers can incorporate product messages into their content in a way that is authentic to their persona and delivers them in a way that will resonate in the medium.
Working with influencers can also reduce the stress on content teams trying to create unique material for all channels by giving them the chance to collaborate with social media creators that are experts on Vine, YouTube, Snapchat, etc. Let’s not forget the added bonus of getting a sounding board from someone who loves your product and can also help you understand how your brand messages will be received on the platform. Furthermore, by scaling your efforts with a cross-section of influencers on different platforms, you can ensure your product messages can reach your audiences wherever they can be found.
There’s no magic formula to get the engagement you seek but bringing influencers into your content strategy can give you a fighting chance against the headwinds that TrackMaven outlines in this report.
Figure Source: TrackMaven