Concerns of Auto-Pilot Mode of Scheduling, Digital Automation, and Digital Ad Buys


The time is now! Telling rich stories has become ever more important in the world of organic storytelling. It is providing a much needed balance to digital content marketing efforts inside agencies and inside organizations. With more and more access to digital marketing tools and automation, the temptation is to put more thrust behind reach rather than substance.

We are finding more and more groups and willing to jump the digital ad buys quickly and begin to ignore the far reaching sustainable efforts of organic storytelling they have built. It is easy now…to create budgets with digital advertising dollars and completely ignore the organic portion of the social/digital space. With the announcement of that Hootsuite has added Instagram into their distribution dashboard, they are claiming “Love”.


We know what is coming down the pipe, Instagram is about to open up the digital ad network so medium to small brands will have the same access as large brands like McDonalds, Taco Bell, and many others.

Hmm…this concerns me not only from a tactical position but also a longterm strategic position. Here are a few thoughts:

  1. This begins the process of moving Instagram from a community based platform where imagery is curated and shared upon inspiration…to a platform where content marketing broadens the strokes for brands and brand marketers to leverage content specifically for metric based engagement.
  2. There is a simple puristic value in exploring IG though the eyes of the curator, when inspiration matches delivery…so now will delivery happen when metrics say they happen or when rich content is being exchanged. If so….where will we as social media lovers find the balance as social media marketers…specifically where we enjoy the organic nature of connecting with content.
  3. This is further allowing content “marketers” to just focus on digital communication only through a marketing lens and forget the idea of being part of a larger digital/social community.

So here is my challenge to the larger digital/social media community. How can we challenge ourselves to grow our organic business strategies and services just as much as we grow our digital advertising business vertical(s)? Also…are we really prepared from a community management position when we are hitting people with our ads and marketing and they start talking back with the unwanted fussing?

We must tells stories of people and not brands!
It goes back to one simple concept, we must seek and tell stories from inside our organizations. We must tells stories of people and not brands. People want to know their story is so important that it will be told, which then ignites their communities to watch, read, and share.

We have to remember what it means to use our listening ears, and tell stories that has layers. It is more than just sharing a picture of an important date or event, but what makes that important date so meaningful. We have to remember what it means to bring a tribe of followers together and provide them the tools to share these stories, thus igniting a more meaningful engaged audience.

We have to understand that CTR will increase as a richer, more targeted community is engaging content; content they choose to see versus content content marketers are speculating they want to see/read/watch.

We have to also understand that “reach” is only about the number of people that “will” see this content…with the hopes that the target audience will exceed a 2.5% CTR on social media and digital ad buys. Guess what, how about boosting well crafted content that is already seeing increase in organic traffic, thus allowing the curated content to meet the needs of the audience. This agile method of boosting content (already seeing engagement) allows the content marketer to spread content that is already providing already above average results.

We need to stop the auto-pilot mode of just stacking our social media distribution/aggregation tools like we are stacking the dying 6pm newscast. We need to act more like community managers and less like content marketers, ultimately staying in-tune with the community…providing rich stories and content that brings people to action.

Here is the caveat:
Potentially, I know I will be talking out the other-side of my mouth when we talk with our partners about potential ad buys for well curated content and digital marketing initiatives offers. I even get the fact that our clients are reading this right now. But it does not mean I will resist the notion of punching the clock…I firmly believe in well curated content that provides rich stories, and then putting money behind the initiative and potentially automating the distribution *ONLY* if the stories are powerful and ethical.