PR pros and social media marketers often advise brand managers to identify as publishers and content curators.

We continually insist that our clients should feed the digital beast—or it will surely feed on them.

We’ve emphasized the value of content creation and SEO, talked about the value of converting content to conversation and discussed how content conveys innovative thinking. We’ve reminded brand managers that although content is king, context is queen.

More and more, we encourage putting a strategy behind what you create and share instead of just filling search engines with photos, videos and links that don’t propel your business forward.

Many marketers understand the importance of choosing a primary platform for engaging with your target audience. Instead of trying to reach everyone on every platform, it’s better to have a clear, strategic and robust presence on just a few relevant platforms.

At this year’s Digiday Retail Summit, attendees shared their insights on which channels were their most successful platforms for sharing content. For some, it was Snapchat or Instagram; for others, it was a native blog or on Tumblr.

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Here are summaries of their thoughts:

Nina Alexander Hurst, vice president of customer experience at Baublebar:

Instagram. We have a team of stylists posting photos of every item before it goes live on the site, and then we use those photos for the product pages. Then we can say to a customer, here’s this product photo, it’s not on a model, the stylist wore it here, it went with this outfit, and this is why we think you would like this product. It puts a face to our team and gives us personality in an industry where a customer is expecting a call center. Instagram has been really great for that level of service, as well as building out the personalities for our stylists. We also generally try to be where our customers are, for instance, if a customer sends out a request for a wedding look and says she’s putting ideas together on Pinterest, we’ll respond with our recommendations with a Pinterest board.

Kira Clayborne, senior manager of digital media at Church’s Chicken:

Facebook. There have been amazing ad-type-expansions that have helped our different digital integrations flourish. Particularly, around our mobile app, video and with canvas ad exploration.

Ethelbert Williams, chief marketing officer at InstaNatural:

Personally, I’ll be first to confess that my team is learning our way to developing the right strategy, content and engagement approaches around social. I recognize the importance of social interactive content in our consumer experience — allowing consumers to discover, try and sometimes purchase in our category. We need to do better here and are putting stronger capabilities in place to win in the future as social [media] is an important channel for engaging consumers and opportunity to bring to life our branded content and storytelling.

Kelly Goldston, vice president of marketing at Eloquii :

At Eloquii, we’re seeing great success with branded content on our new editorial hub, Style & Substance. Customers love seeing our lookbooks, blog posts and stories about real customers, and the proof is in the metrics: visitors who engage with Style & Substance spend twice as long on site as those who don’t.

Whether you are engaging directly with influential users and customers on Instagram or crafting articles through your own newsroom, sharing relevant and useful content that connects with your customers and converts calls to action should be at the heart of every post.

Jennifer Jones-Mitchell has worked in traditional and digital PR since the mid-‘90s. She has blogged about PR and social media marketing since 2007. A version of this story first appeared on her blog.

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