A Digital Marketing Spending Survey by Gartner found that investments in content creation and social marketing totaled 21% of digital marketing budgets. Drawing on this study, Jake Sorofman, Gartner’s Research Director, discusses what differentiates content in the age of the social web.

– It’s human: it speaks with a conversational voice, from one human being to another. Thought isn’t hidden behind stilted corporate speak, chest-thumping claims and pompous language.
– It’s neutral: perhaps not wholly objective, but it holds fire on the hard sell in favor of issues-centric storytelling that supports a brand’s point of view without always making the brand the hero.
– It’s simple: attention spans aren’t what they used to be and competition for that limited attention has reached a fever pitch.
– It’s visual: It’s also easier to consume when you’re already up to your eyeballs in dense text.
– It’s curated: you don’t have to create all of your own content. Leverage happens when you organize and annotate third-party content that helps tell your story or sell your point of view.
– It’s conversational: communities talk back to sustain the dialogue in the form of comments, reviews, ratings and new content of their own that defends or argues against your point of view.
– It’s organic: it’s published fast, often in response to unpredictable moments.

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