When your industry trends change at the speed of the internet (like social content and influencer marketing) there’s no such thing as over-strategizing.

2020 was a weird year for social content marketing. But what didn’t change is the way people use social media. 91% of millennials trust Influencer recommendations as much as they trust friends and family, and similarly, 91% of companies feel that influencer marketing is effective.

Companies are using influencer marketing more every year, with 84% of companies reporting they plan to work with social media celebrities in 2021.

It’s clear that social media marketing is just as essential to brands as ever before.

In 2021 social content strategy needs to be holistic. With a fully realized and rounded out approach to your social content strategy, you’ll read a wider audience, from even more angles and bring your audience across platforms with you.

Read on to learn how to best merge your organic social media strategy with your influencer marketing strategy to create a holistic social content strategy in 2021.


To create a successful content strategy you need to focus less on the or and more on the and. This means ignoring the age-old argument of which is more effective, organic, or paid social content, and focusing instead on how to merge the two to meet your social content strategy needs.

When you combine the powers of the two sides of this social content strategy coin you have the opportunity to reap the benefits of both. Let’s review the benefits of organic and paid social content strategy that will enable you to create a more comprehensive approach to your content strategy in 2021.


An organic social content strategy is any content strategy that utilizes free content. “Free” content means social media pictures or video posts and shareable memes or stories that are posted natively to an individual or brand’s account. The primary goal of an organic strategy is to spread awareness of your brand without breaking your marketing budget.

It’s true that we have seen a steady rise in paid social content strategies (especially influencer marketing), but we’ve also seen a rise in organic strategies due to an increase in user engagement with brands. After all, an organic social content strategy won’t work unless you have active followers who regularly engage with and share your posts.

 Social Content Strategy in 2021

Source: @tylerjmccall on Instagram

Instagram influencer Tyler McCall teaches businesses how to improve their social media presence on Instagram. He urges social media managers not to focus on follower growth alone— “if you can’t sell to the followers you already have, getting more followers won’t fix your problem.” Preach, Tyler. It’s about creating high-quality content that resonates with your followers (which is better measured by engagement, not strictly growth.)

These days, organic social content strategies are less of targeted missions and more of the backbone for your brand’s social media presence. This organic strategy should serve as the jumping-off point for the rest of your more involved social media marketing campaigns, leveraging your engaged audience from the day-to-day content.


  • The chance to connect with followers on a more personal level
  • Opportunities to nurture connections with your customers
  • Better establishing your brand voice
  • Creating entertaining content designed to be shared
  • A way to organically grow your follower count
  • The ability to continuously engage with your customers, prospective customers, and followers
  • Analyzing audience analytics as well as content performance for marketing or sales purposes
  • Reaching new customers through widely spread sharable content
  • A creative way to provide customer support
  • Creative ways to establish or grow your brand’s personality in order to reach customers in a new way
  • Engage with existing customers to enhance their brand loyalty
  • Complete control over the messaging, engagement, posting schedule
  • A platform for product or company updates


Of course, it wouldn’t be the whole truth if I didn’t also include the downside of utilizing an organic social content strategy. Primarily, with the recent onset of ranking algorithms on all major social media platforms, it is more difficult than ever before to have organic content be seen. Enter: paid social content.


Paid social content strategies AKA social media advertising can include both paid advertisements and sponsored or promoted content. It encompasses any instance when an organization pays a platform or influencer to share their content. Instead of utilizing primarily organic content, paid social content has the power to reach a wider audience and new potential customers.

Typically, paid social content strategies incorporate a mix of advertisements, “boosted” posts, sponsored ads, and influencer marketing. While influencer marketing is a partnership between a brand and influencer, paid social content strategies are the ways that brands and social media platforms connect as a whole.

  • The ability to increase brand awareness by reaching new audiences
  • Attracting new followers through sponsored posts
  • Widely promoting new products, sales, and events
  • The opportunity to generate new leads
  • A higher conversion rate
  • More targeted ads to attract new demographics
  • Increased brand awareness
  • The opportunity to gain new insights through ad analysis and reporting


As you move forward with crafting an optimized hybrid social content strategy, there are some trends to keep your eye out for. Incorporate these insights into your upcoming organic and paid social content strategies, and you will be able to increase brand awareness and conversions for your organization, all through the power of social media.


Earlier in 2020 Instagram heard the calls to be more SEO friendly and answered by revamping their search feature. Since then, in addition to searching hashtags, you can also search any keyword you like and be led to a feed of relevant posts and user profiles. This is a game-changer in terms of organic post visibility.

Due to this feature, marketers can now apply their same SEO and keyword knowledge that they already have and apply it to their social media copy. It doesn’t take an entire marketing strategy overhaul to capitalize on this search feature upgrade. Instead, it serves as a user and marketer-friendly way to grow brand awareness and increase visibility. A little more keyword research and social media caption makeover will go a long way.


We’re in the golden age of social content marketing, and therefore the average user can spot a branded post from a mile away. Instead of creating social content that blends into the feed, take 2021 as an opportunity to embrace your creative marketing side and experiment with all the post options that various social media platforms have to offer, like:

  • Instagram reels— these 15 or 30-second videos are the future of Instagram marketing, and thanks to the new UI update they are going to stay front and center on our Insta feeds for the foreseeable future.
  • GIFs— to add some movement to a static feed, incorporate eye-catching GIFs in your next social content campaign.
  • Collages— they were everywhere, they disappeared, and now they’re back. Collages are a fresh way to add some personality to your shared content, and their inherently over-stimulating nature encourages users to pause and take a closer look at your brand.
  • Text— it might seem counterintuitive, to use text as a way to spice up your content, but trust me. An aesthetically popping quote card or vivid blurb is just as enticing of a CTA as a super-involved video or photo series. (Note: Remember that Facebook has limitations on text in ads, review these guidelines on each social platform before creating your images.)
  • UGC— user-generated content is a key social content strategy tool for brands looking to even further humanize their brand because nothing screams “humanizing” more than content created by your true blue customers.

2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone, including social media marketing teams. Advertisers and influencers alike had to navigate the tricky world of producing branded content during a global pandemic. The transition back to normalcy in 2021 will bring its own challenges. Before you take any big social content swings this year, take a moment to check out how your industry competition is adjusting to the transition.

Competitor analysis is nothing new, and it is as necessary now as ever before. Use this competitor analysis to pick out what is working and what isn’t working for your competition. Either you’ll walk away inspired to avoid what they have created or inspired to beat it.


Influencer marketing has come a long way from one-off sponsored posts. Now, brands are partnering with influencers for longer-term campaigns, adding them to their social media or marketing teams for a period of months to years.


For an advanced social content strategy, consider planning a series of conversations, tips, or videos from an influencer to become a part of your content library for sharing, resharing, and repurposing. This creates a connection between your audience and the influencer that can set the stage for a larger promotion in the future and creates a trusted source for your followers.

As a bonus, when your brand is closely linked with an influencer, that influencer’s page then becomes a source for followers to keep your brand top of mind, even if they aren’t posting about you. That’s the power of suggestion for ya!


While it may sound counterintuitive, the best influencer marketing campaigns also include a paid social component. Supporting Influencer created content with paid social spend, where the promotion comes from the Influencer handle directly vs the brand handle, allows for further targeting, engagement, and reach for influencer content. Leverage targeting and push your followers to the influencer campaign to help it gain traction.

Whatever way you look at it, creating a successful social content strategy is all about innovation. As long as you keep publishing engaging content that is true to your brand you will continue to rise through the ranks of social media marketing. And if you need a hand, our team at RhythmInfluence is here and ready to help amplify your brand voice.

Back to Blog