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City Connections: IIT Stuart Students at Chicago Social Media Week - Part 4

Brittany TaoSeveral IIT Stuart undergraduate and graduate students attended Social Media Week Chicago this past September, a week-long series of events that takes place in cities around the world featuring experts, iconic brands, and leading thinkers sharing their ideas and inspiration. Thank you to Sixuan "Brittany" Tao, a student in IIT Stuart’s M.S. Marketing Analytics and Communication program, for sharing her experiences and insights from the week.

I had the pleasure of participating in several events at Social Media Week where experts shared their experiences in the rapidly evolving world of social media and content marketing. Seemingly everywhere you look, there are content marketing tips, tricks, and hacks. Now with consumers constantly bombarded with news and content via an ever-changing and expanding array of media and social platforms, brands have been pressed into a “content arms race” that have them posting to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. They even use automated content creation and creation platforms to feed the beast and stay atop of search rankings. But how much is this activity actually serving a brand’s business goals? Or engaging consumers?

Nowadays marketers are spending more time and energy reducing every conversation, article, and photo to a piece of data, all in an effort to maximize their ROI and deliver the most eyeballs at the lowest price -- instead of creating content that solves problems, brings benefits, and adds value, or creates deeper relationships with customers.

Most social media experts agree that content marketing gives us the opportunity to rethink marketing. Just stop trying to game the system and optimize every piece of content, instead think about how to best optimize the relationships with customers.

For me the biggest takeaway from Social Media Week Chicago 2013 is that content should be beneficial to customers, reflective of the brand, and optimized for Google, in that order.

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