With a crazy workload and the impact of some exciting news (details to follow soon), I have been a little slack on the blog post front recently. With a renewed scope to the project I am working on with Joe, announced over the weekend, and fuelled by too much coffee already this morning, I thought it would be good to start the week off with getting a blog post penned and added to the site. Let’s see if I can keep the momentum going…Becks and Love ShackAt the recent Love Shack event held by the digital marketing agency, Hurricane, delegates were asked to answer one of three questions associated with social media. All answers were filmed with a view to creating a digital scrapbook of the evening.Rather than volunteer early on in the evening, I stupidly waited until the party was in full swing to answer my questions to camera. Classic case of schoolboy error, if ever there was one!Powered by a couple of the free Becks being served that evening and blinded by the floodlight like flash beaming at me, I gave a fairly bumbling explanation of why content is important in social media. I am waiting for the videos to be released on the Hurricane website to see the full extent of the bumblingness, but in light of Social Media Toolkit being evolving into Social Content, I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts on the subject on the blog. The video may, or may not depending on how embarrassing it is, be added at a later date 😉Content and Social MediaContent is arguably one of the most crucial elements in this era of ‘New Marketing’ which sees the classic interruption orientated techniques of traditional marketing being replaced by engagement practices based on listening and adding value to your prospects/customers.The creation of content, tailored to the individual stages of the sales cycle, which aims to help people make more informed buying decisions and make them better at doing what they do, is the key aim with this approach.These pull, rather than push, orientated techniques help cut through the noise of the plethora of marketing messages being shouted at your customers and helps build an affinity with your brand or product.The Social-Content project will go into significantly more detail about why content is important and the types of content that can be created to help you better engage with your customer base. For the purpose of this blog post, though, the focus is on the question raised at the Love Shack party – ‘What role does content play in social media?’Bait and a VehicleWith regard to social media, content can act as a great way to generate attention and interest in both your brand and social media properties. Either via search or an initial interruption based campaign (the only exception in the world of new marketing), great content that adds value can be used to gain permission from your prospects and customers to engage with them in the future. This permission could be in the form of friending you on Facebook, following on Twitter or subscribing to an RSS feed.Gaining this initial permission is one of the most significant components of new/content marketing and is, as many have no doubt already commented, a core part of any successful marketing initiative, new or old.With the ‘Reach’ element of the campaign achieved, social media can be used to generate more cost effective ‘Frequency’ compared with buying traditional media.With permission in place, social media, in the form of a status update, tweet or blog post can be used as a vehicle to share additional content with your audience. Each of these updates aims to achieve the frequency objectives of an organisations ongoing awareness and lead generation activities.Not only is achieving the frequency objectives associated with an awareness campaign, for example, arguably more cost effective and efficient using content that is shared via social media, it is expected and therefore will have more traction than an advert.Content, permission and social media really are a great combination. Unlike a couple of Becks on an empty stomach! Note to self for next time…