Social media is outranking traditional paid channels of advertising when it comes to marketing methods. In a recent survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, nearly 2/3 of marketers are now spending up to 35% of their budget building their own media channels across sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest.

Content marketing employs branded marketing content across all social media channels and platforms to deliver conversation, attention, engaging relationships and consumer value for a business. It also helps companies to organically grow the reach of their brand by engaging, educating and entertaining audiences. Furthermore, daily user generated content posted to social networks helps a company build trust with its potential customers and increase engagement and also transactions. Ninety-two percent of consumers stated that they trusted earned media more than advertising and eighty-one percent said a friend’s positive comments on a particular brand influenced their purchasing decisions.

When a brand curates content that customers share to their own sites, the business can heighten interaction and increase brand trust tenfold. Consumers are no longer clicking on paid media. Instead, they want to feel like part of a community. With fresh UGC shared via a content curation platform, a brand can instantly create an engaging storytelling experience for their fans and make its content marketing strategy more dynamic. When users decide to share this social media content with their friends, more people learn about the brand and new relationships are formed.

Businesses shift away their budgets from paid media and concentrate on creating value content (owned media) to be shared on social networks by their fans, visitors and customers to boost reach through earned media. A content aggregation hub where it is easy to find selected and filtered user generated content combined with their editorial stuff supports that strategy for business in an efficient way. Remember, word of mouth (or tweet) is the best kind of recommendation.