4 Ways to Weave Threads into Your Content Marketing
By Alfie Staples, global insights manager at Awin
Meta unleased its top-secret project on the 5th July, the social media bomb known as Threads. So, what will Threads impact be on content marketing?
The Twitter Killer (as some are calling it) has gathered an impressive 100m users at the time of writing. While it isn’t the first competitor Twitter has faced (BlueSky and Mastodon are often cited as ‘Twitter alternatives’) Threads presents itself as a true alternative for content creators who never found a home on Twitter.
Even with its current limitations, such as needing approval from the EU, or the inability to tailor your feed to your following lists, marketers should ignore Threads at their own peril. It’s time to start thinking about how to interweave Threads into your wider content marketing strategy.
1. Two birds, one stone: incorporate your Twitter and Instagram strategies into Threads
Built by Instagram, Threads offers diverse creator functionality with a very a very a similar overall look-and-feel.
The close tie between Instagram and Threads is clear from the moment you first interact with the app; anyone with an Instagram account was invited to share their profile information directly into Threads when it launched.
And yet, Threads feels, looks and acts like Twitter. Differences between these apps are microscopic, rather than readily apparent. (In fact, the apps are so similar, that when Threads was first launched, Elon Musk threatened to sue, arguing that Meta had unlawfully misappropriated trade secrets and other intellectual property.)
Lucky for content strategists, they also behave in a similar way. Rather than reach the overwhelming conclusion Threads is another thing to add to your never-ending content marketing strategy to-do list, you should think of it as linked to the social strategy you already have in place.
Delving into Threads content capabilities, the most noticeable difference between it and Twitter is the text length of posts: 500 characters, as opposed to Twitter’s standard 280. In addition, video content is longer than both Twitter and Instagram; on Threads you can upload a video of up to five minutes long.
All that said, there are a few on-the-surface limitations that marketers should be aware of. Threads is limited in key features like hashtag support, trending topics, direct messaging and the ability for the end user to only filter content from people they follow. Making Threads somewhat impersonal, without the ability for users to get the content they need. It’s very likely that these features will be added in the future given Meta’s existing capabilities on Facebook and Instagram.
So, let’s not dwell on Threads lack of features, but focus on its future content opportunities instead.
2. Identify content opportunities, then connect these through threads.
With 79% more characters than Twitter per post, Threads is Meta’s first stab into the world of micro-blogging. In the history of content marketing, we’ve seen a general move away from lengthy blogs, towards shorter articles and, finally, to content creators. Now, Threads signals a move towards high-quality content again. Great news for product marketers wanting to gain consumer trust in a sea of ads.
Longer mediums won’t suit every consumer, with its seamless integration with Instagram it is likely that consumers will be split into two packs: those who are content with a singular posts versus those who require more detailed reviews from Threads. The best of both worlds.
Following from that, Threads longer video functionality means creators can experiment with new content forms. It offers editorials, creators and influencers greater diversity in their content, with the ability to showcase the product longer than is currently available. Try on hauls, short vlogs or quick reviews to name a few could become useful tools in partnership marketing, allowing for greater storytelling and building consumer and brand synergy.
I’ve not mentioned TikTok in this current conversation despite it having a total video content time of 10-minutes and for good reason. TikTok is a fickle medium for marketing managers. Yes, posts have the capacity to generate millions of views, but it lags behind in basic functionality for partners; you can’t link out from a TikTok posts, for example, but can using Instagram. Instagram is far from perfect, but it has an existing linking capability that could be utilized within Threads, possibly revolutionizing content creation for the future.
Threads intention to be an interoperable app, make it most exciting for content marketers. This will allow for new types of connections that are simply not possible on most social apps today.
They’re looking to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub, utilizing support from Mastodon and WordPress. This is something that Twitter has struggled with, even against its competitor Mastodon.
Nonetheless, the mention of WordPress should ring alarm bells for more experienced marketing managers. Whilst longer content formats may feel archaic in modern marketing terms, Threads interconnectivity and ability to seamlessly link platforms could spell a resurgence for blogging.
3. Build a content strategy around Threads
Awin’s expert teams can help support with connecting advertisers with new and existing opportunities. Nonetheless, there should be a few things to consider:
– Do we currently have budget to fully embrace Threads?
– Can I remove focus from existing social media’s in pursuit of the new?
– As a brand, how can we best leverage data to best understand Threads?
4. Approach Threads with a sense of optimism
While we’re all in the early stages of figuring out what sinks or swims on this new platform and iterating our Threads strategy, it’s important to keep a positive outlook. Here are my top tips for using Threads;
– Be ready to experiment: Threads may look and feel like Twitter, but ultimately it is still a brand new social media platform and with that comes lots of opportunities as well as challenges. What is certain is that nobody has mastered it, so don’t be afraid to try something bold!
– Be prepared to fail: Like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook before it, it took a long time for people to work out what works and what doesn’t, so failure is inevitable.
– Listen to partners: Publishers have already started utilizing Threads and understand their audience best on Instagram and Twitter. While it will take time for Threads to stand alone from Twitter, content creators will have a niche understanding of what is and isn’t working on each platform, so listen to them.
It’s too early tell if Threads will tightly tie itself together with the world of content, or unravel at the seams, what is likely is its impact will be lasting. For Threads to stand the test of time, it must be fully embraced by the world of content creators. With its more diverse array of creative opportunities, publishers and advertisers must be open to experimentation, and to not be afraid to take a leap of faith into the unknown.
Credit: The Drum