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CM 2015: An Interview With Michael Stelzner, CEO & Founder, Social Media Examiner

In the February issue of Chief Content Officer magazine, we asked the top experts in content marketing:

Content 2015: Where are we headed in the next three years?
Tech 2015: What technologies will change the field?
Company 2015: Which companies ‘get it’?
Personal 2015: How will each of us change as marketers?

We were surprised by how many marketers mentioned the need for more and better tools that help companies build scale across their content marketing programs.

You can find the CCO magazine article here , but we wanted to share our full-length interview with Michael Stelzner. Enjoy!

CM 2015

Companies of all sizes are realizing they must become the publisher in order to rapidly growth their business. We are going to see a lot of businesses begin to launch their own content platforms and become the center of their industry.

For example, Social Media Examiner has become the center of the social media world by regularly publishing high-value content. Businesses are going to become the centers of their industries by publishing content. And they are going to decouple the brand from their content. Big brands will recognize the need to develop these platforms that are independent from their brand. The goal is to own the platform so that you don’t have to be reliant on anyone else.

We’re going to see smart companies become online magazines, embrace competitors and essentially build a massive publishing infrastructure on the Internet. A great example is Proctor & Gamble with their Man of the House site. There aren’t too many out there right now.

Tech 2015

For businesses that have any kind of product that they sell in a physical venue, you cannot underestimate mobile. We’re going to see content delivered up in the geo-physical space, allowing people to get relevant content when they are in a particular spot. The concept is called augmented reality and it allows you to turn on the camera in your phone and, using geo-location, receive content based on where your camera is pointing. For example, “Three blocks down the road, you can get the Nikes you’re looking for.” It’s a really cool technology and it’s incredibly relevant for location-based businesses. You might be standing outside Starbucks and a coupon comes up for Peet’s across the street.

I’m also anticipating big changes for social in the years ahead. Social media has made it possible for people, including strangers, to connect online. In the next three years, we’re going to see social applied to the physical realm. I would not be surprised if tools the major four (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) will develop tools that allow people to connect physically and spontaneously around the world. What kind of impact will that have on content? You have to think outside box. People at a concert, for example, could decide to get together spontaneously based on an interest—and could create spontaneous content and video related to that moment. That’s the next step in social: make social truly social, as a physical connection.

Self 2015

Marketers need to realize it’s not about the sale and rethink our motivations for doing things. Instead of spurring people to buy or get into a lead funnel, marketers need to spur people to become evangelists for their company, community, and products. It’s just as valuable to have people that never buy, as it is to have customers. If you can empower an evangelist, that person can reach people you can never reach. Only a subset of your audience will become customers, but many may become evangelists.