I recently attended Social Media Marketing World, so my head is aflood with all kinds of great information. Judging by author and social media expert Mark Schaefer’s  session, “The Future of Social Media: What Businesses Need to Know ,” information is the name of the game for the foreseeable future.
In his session, I was floored to hear that by 2020, data will increase 600%, 75% of which will be created by consumers, not companies. We’re consuming 7x the content we did a hundred years ago. But man! How can we possibly handle more without getting what Schaefer calls “content shock?” How can companies even hope to make a splash in that high volume of data?
The Secret to Standing Out
Schaefer says the secret is:
“You don’t have to be the best. Just be first and awesome.”
He went on to talk about how brands can shock and awe their audiences:
- Find an unsaturated niche.
- Build an aggressive strategy based on keywords.
- Never stop.
In other words, it’s the constant diligence of producing content and being on social media that will effectively help your brand swim upstream. Or at least, that’s what I took away.
Schaefer also talked about finding influencers who can also help you get your audience’s attention (as did John Jantsch in another session). He calls it “borrowing a bigger pipeline,” which essentially means finding those people who are talking about your industry (or even your products) and connecting with them to have a bigger impact.
He suggested using a tool like Appinions , which identifies influencers in a given market and helps you measure your own influence online.
Don’t Sweat the Big Content
In an era where it seems blog posts are getting longer and longer, Schaefer contradicted this trend by saying not to worry about producing big chunks of content and instead focus on atomizing your content.
Tools like infographics and Vine  make it not only easy to create smaller, more manageable bites (not bytes) of data, but also make content more appealing to consume.
“RITE”ing Great Content
Schaefer closed his presentation by giving advice that doesn’t just apply in the future as it relates to content marketing, but also right now. He said that content should be:
“Power comes from content that moves.”
It’s not enough to simply put content on your site. It’s got to do its job in attracting your audience and engaging them.
Given that I am a content marketer, this presentation hit home. It’s daunting to consider how much more content we’ll have online in the next few years, but getting a handle on it now will help us continue to engage readers for our brands.
He inspired me to consider how I can inject fun into my content marketing, as he said being entertaining is definitely a must-have in terms of great content. Not every blog post or whitepaper has to be serious and educational.
I’ll be rethinking every article and aiming for his requirements of being “RITE.”
Flood  Photo via Shutterstock