Julie Gauthier: Don’t get lost in the noise by being everywhere and nowhere at the same time

Julie Gauthier and three other thought leaders will be speaking at the next Uncharted Minds, The New Wave: Unlock the Power of Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest Marketing, Wednesday, April 20, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PDT) San Francisco. Click here or use the code ‘insider’ for 50% off tickets to the event.

Q. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your background.

A. Hi, everyone! My name is Julie and I grew up in France. Three years ago, after I got my master’s degree in consulting and strategy, I moved to the US to run marketing for a procurement software startup. I put in place the inbound marketing strategy there and for our content marketing needs, we started working with Scoop.it. After a few months, the CEO of Scoop.it offered me a job there and I’ve been running their marketing for about a year now.

Q. With this new wave of social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest now at scale, how do you as a marketer or your customers, take advantage of them?

A. There are so many emerging platforms, it’s possible to get lost in the noise by being everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

If we keep in mind the overall business objectives of social media marketing, which can be brand awareness, traffic, engagement or even leads — then it becomes clear that the means to get there is not to be on every single platform, but to be where your audience can hear you out. Which is why it’s not recommended to be completely absent from a platform where your audience could be.

Our customers and our team usually pick one or two strategic platforms where their personas are the most active and build a specific strategy for that platform. In order to plan all of that and maintain a presence on the other platforms all at the same time, we leverage content marketing automation. Our technology helps us know what content to share when, and automate the repetitive tasks of social media scheduling.

Q. Can you give an example of a social media campaign that you did?

A. We always include social media as part of a broader content marketing campaign. Whether it’s an evergreen piece of content, an upcoming partner webinar or an eBook, we always have a distribution campaign with a social media component, but we also include email marketing, influencer outreach, employee advocacy and online monitoring. Doing a purely social media campaign without thinking about the other tactics and the overall impact you want to have is like cooking a desert. It might be delicious, but it’s not a well-balanced meal.

Q. All three platforms now offer paid marketing or advertising products. Do you have any insights into what’s working well for regarding paid social marketing?

A. We tried and failed on paid. Even if we had great content to deliver our audience, we were reaching very top of the funnel leads that were not ready to consume the type of content we had to offer. On the other side, we grew our audience by 250% on organic and search traffic in a year, so we then decided to put our money in creating even better content to help our personas grow and we will probably try and scale it with paid later this year.

Q. What advice do you have for marketers who are limited only to organic marketing on these platforms?

A. I have two pieces of advice to give to marketers like myself who are not investing in paid promotion on social:

The first one is to always focus on creating a meaningful experience for your audience and to add value or address their pain point or questions.

The second is to curate content. Discover content trending in your area and then develop a directory that links to it. You then provide your own analysis and ideas about the topic as part of the larger content piece. There are four benefits to this:

1. It allows you to always talk about the topics trending on your domain

2. It helps you publish content faster, saving you time to either publish more or distribute better

3. It adds 3rd party validation to your argument. You saying something is one thing, but you saying something and using a quote from an influencer to back up your argument is much stronger.

4. By curating content, you get to reach out to influencers in your domain saying “hey, I like what you said about this topic and I have things to say too”.

Q. With the social media landscape changing so fast, what are your thoughts on social channel strategy? Do marketers need to be on every platform? Should they pick one or two and double down where they have success? What’s your advice?

A. It depends on your business goals. If you’re aiming at brand awareness, having a presence on every social platform where your audience goes is very important. If you goals are to get traffic and leads, then better to focus on the one or two platforms where your audience is the most active and really try and add value with your content, not just by promoting your brand.