Social Media Platforms VS. Content Marketing Softwares

7 minute read

Upland Admin

The many platforms, social and beyond, with specific focuses and functions. Photo credit: Business Insider

Note: This is part of an ongoing series called the Kapost Customer Success Log where we share stories and best practices around Kapost.

I get a lot of great questions from our customers. Some are around best practices and strategy. Others focus on features and functions. But at the top of the list is, “What tools complement Kapost?”

Let’s back up a bit. Kapost is a content marketing software. We’re an end-to-end platform where a marketing team can manage and formalize content strategy, process, creation, publication, and analysis in a single hub. Kapost is where our customers build their content campaigns, organize all elements of those campaigns, and execute those campaigns. We are wide-ranged in our feature set and continually strive to make our customers successful at content marketing.

That said, I recognize there are things Kapost does not do (and does not necessarily plan to do). They aren’t holes, but rather areas where the market is already strong. This is where complementary tools come in–and what this post is all about.

One of the most important distinctions to make is the difference between reactive social media and social media planned around specific marketing campaigns and initiatives. Both are important for fostering thought leadership and trust, but one falls under the realm of social media platforms while the other should be managed through content marketing software. As this is a common question, I want to dispel the difference while keeping in mind there are some overlapping functions between the two.

Content Marketing Software:

Content Marketing Software focuses on thought leadership content, which is typically long-form content that needs to be managed and tracked through collaboration processes and approvals across multiple departments. More and more B2B companies are emphasizing content and putting more marketing budget toward content marketing, but B2C also has a growing amount of areas to provide thought leadership on their products. I often see these long-form content pieces (we call them content pillars) broken down into many smaller pieces of content reflecting the theme of that pillar. These large and small pieces are then strategically distributed through a content marketing software as part of a content campaign.

Content types include: White papers, original videos, infographics, industry specific blog posts, webinars and marketing automation campaigns like emails or landing pages. Then, of course, you turn your content into short-form content pieces and promote your content through this platform to social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

The feature set includes: Planning, workflow, editorial calendar planning, content strategy (like Kapost’s persona and buying stage functionality), management of large campaigns, publishing out that content and how your content performs. With the integration of marketing automation tools, the large ROI focus is on number of leads generated by the content you’re creating.

Basic premise for using these tools: The companies using content marketing software are carving out a niche and becoming a thought leader in their space. They’re engaging their organization to contribute content to their marketing efforts (e.g. sales, support, services – they talk to customers all day, get their ideas and conversations out there), they’re becoming publishers by using content marketing best practices to drive traffic, leads, and revenue. These companies are striving to create trust and expertise in their industry, and are doing so through compelling and unique content. The content marketing platform becomes a tool for planning and management, no matter the type of content you’re pushing out through Kapost.

Examples of companies in this realm: Intel, Cisco, AT&T, Plex Systems, and American Express.

Content marketing softwares: The likes of Kapost, Compendium, and Skyword all provide the above-mentioned platform and functionality, to varying degrees. We believe in our cause and also want to be a resource for our customers regardless if they’re a Kapost customer or not.

Social Media Platforms:

Social Media Platforms encompass short, small bites of content that focus on building a community and being active in their choice social channels. Instead of the long-form thought leadership content described above, high volumes of reactive social engagement and social listening should happen in social media platforms. This includes monitoring all mentions and comments on social channels, then responding in real-time. Consider M&M’s creating thought leadership content on their candy products (not as common, they’re doing shorter social conversations, discussing snack options, potentially recipes, etc.), versus someone like AT&T creating IT thought leadership content on their niche but expert blog, Networking Exchange Blog.

Content types include: Tweets, Google+, Facebook posts, LinkedIn groups, Instagram, and Pinterest. Inherently, these are social channels that include very little text, they’re often around 140-300 characters, they’re often visual in nature and are sent out with high frequency, essentially every day.

The feature set includes: These social platforms have some overlap with planning, approvals, and an editorial calendar but there’s less around long-form content management, and more about being able to send out a high volume of social content, then respond via listening tools to that content (usually in real-time via someone like a community manager) and then dive deep into social analytics.

And here’s the big difference: social listening and social analytics. Kapost is not a listening tool. You don’t respond to tweets or Facebook comments from within Kapost, and diving into Facebook insights or social engagement isn’t the focus of our analytics. We tell you how content is shared socially as related to larger campaign initiatives and content campaigns, whereas other tools provide in-depth metrics and real-time management of community-building and reactive social engagement.

Basic premise for using these tools: These companies are actively engaging in a social, online community through social platforms. They want to increase their follower count, increase sharing and responses on these social channels and have less ability to track ROI and leads, per social media engagement. They have engaged communities on their choice channels and want to keep them active and connected. There’s often the likes of contests, giveaways, polls, and more on these tools. It becomes a hub for all things social media.

Examples of companies in this realm: Kraft, KitchenAid, Fruit of the Loom and Budweiser.

Social media platforms: The likes of Sprinklr, Radian6, HootSuite and TweetDeck are the most commonly used tools we see Kapost customers using, alongside their Kapost content marketing platform. They can use these social tools for the listening and responding aspect of social (because you can push social through Kapost) and then use the in-depth social analytics in these tools, as well. Customers often use the Kapost analytics in comparison as they provide an interesting view, that may be unique to the social platform.

In Conclusion:

The biggest differences between the use-cases for content marketing softwares and social media platforms can be found in the length and the purpose of the content organizations are creating. Long-form, thought leadership pieces and promotions organized by campaigns and marketing initiatives fall under the realm of content marketing softwares, while social media platforms specialize in community-building, social listening, and real-time interactions.

I hope this breakdown helps to clarify the need for a social media platform vs. content marketing software, and why the two complement each other so well.

Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts on this matter!

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