December is upon us, so marketers are awaiting 2010 sales reports and thinking ahead to 2011 marketing strategies. Brands will reach out to consumers on a number of emerging platforms next year, and content marketing will need to be a universal part of brands’ marketing strategies if they want to catch clicks on myriad social channels.

In an eMarketer report published today, CEO Geoff Ramsey explains that quality content must now go beyond website information and extend across social marketing initiatives. He references data indicating that nearly three-quarters of American businesses with a social media strategy use content in their campaigns. Seventy-three percent of companies with social strategies offer original branded content, raising the competitive stakes for social content.

“Social content” goes beyond the marketing messages offered on traditional sites such as Facebook and Twitter, extending to video platforms and social search developments. With consumers increasingly turning to online video streams, Brafton has reported that YouTube now rewards businesses for optimizing branded content with its Topics on Search feature.

Simultaneously, as the new year approaches, Brafton has reported that businesses now have the option to claim listings in Google Places to maximize Google Places search traffic or respond to reviews on the revamped, which serves as a social recommendation platform. Quality content – even text used to describe promotions – should be SEO-conscious and intriguing. As Brafton has reported, the daily-deal social site Groupon says good writing is the secret to its $400 million success.

As marketers try to decide which content may have the best impact on social sites, they should consider that CNN says social sites dominate online news sharing. Plus, as Brafton reported, the study showed that consumers favor brands they associate with news content.