Navigating the World of Social Media Marketing with Katie Sharp
Social media content marketing is a dynamic space and one of the most exciting ones to be in today. With various channels like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, etc., only growing in popularity and numbers, these are the places to be if brands are looking to expand their presence and visibility toward their audiences.
Katie Sharp, Director of Social Content and Culture Marketing at Skillshare, talks to Anirudh Singla, Founder & CEO at Pepper Content, about this and more.
1. What got you into content marketing, and how's your journey evolved in the content space over the last couple of years?
I have worked in various parts of the marketing world, but primarily in social marketing for the last seven to eight years in multiple capacities. I've mostly looked at and thought of content marketing from a social lens, and what's exciting about social is that it always keeps you on your toes. It is so dynamic, but at the same time, the content can be played and experimented with and just explored at large.
I also started thinking about editorial content and how social media amplifies editorial and video content. Part of what has also drawn me to social content marketing is explicitly thinking about how consumers and users engage off-platform and how you can cultivate an engaging and interested community that can benefit your site, brand, or company in the long term.
Social is an entry point to longer-term content initiatives. When we talk about different types of content, marketing is always where you need to focus your efforts first and then decide what you will do from there. I work at Skillshare as the Director of Content and Culture Marketing. I focus primarily on our organic social content and more extensive brand marketing, initiatives, and campaigns.
2. How do you go about structuring content teams?
It all depends on the project or the initiative you're working on. It also depends on your internal team structure and what you need to outsource. If we want to try a new content initiative, it may require us to bring in an agency, freelancer, or someone who might not technically be in-house, to work on it. And then from there, if it is a successful effort or exploration, we find ways to do more of that or embed it more into more extensive marketing efforts and potentially bring on new full-time members or increase the scope of an agency.
I've found agencies and freelancers can be really wonderful on specific projects or brand marketing launches if we're also experimenting with a couple of different formats for a campaign.
3. What do you think about the quality vs. quantity debate? How do you split these content types with virtual teams or freelancer networks that you might have built?
I'm a big proponent of quality. But I am also aware of the need for the sheer amount of quantity you require for a new campaign to work. What I’ve found to be successful is working with your in-house team to build a vision. If a campaign does need an X number of posts, we rope in an agency or a set of freelancers to work on it and create quality content.
So there is a lot of great work that can happen when you build a really strong, qualitative piece in-house and then bring on various resources to carry that out in terms of quantity.
4. Have you seen how budgets are allocated to content marketing programs?
I place value on delivering quality content and cultivating off-platform audiences while also investing in what our audiences mean in the long term. You never want to sacrifice the quality of what you're doing. It may mean output decreases slightly, or you're not operating at the same number of posts you did before or the same number of initiatives. But make sure that you're maximizing and using your spending in a smart way to make interesting, compelling content that gets people to understand your mission and what you want to achieve.
Given everything that's going on, there are still consumers, users, and creators who will be consuming content and looking for things that stand out. In the social platform world, people can get tired of formulaic or repetitive things. So ensure that at the end of the day, depending on whatever is going on at a brand or a company, storytelling is always at the crux.
5. What would a Salesforce-like platform for content marketing look like in your case?
When I think of a dream program, it would be something that pulls from various social platforms or pulls data; it can include scheduling tools; it can also take a piece of copy and determine which content stands out and can be used on different platforms. Hero pieces of content can be cut, formatted, and distributed in the right way. I think a huge thing with social is also tracking approvals. We can include easier ways of working with creators, or licenses. Overall, it should make social publishing and tracking feel creative and not formulaic.
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