Branded Content vs Content Brand
Certainly brands should move away from creating content, just to create content. I don't know if that means identifying as a content brand as much as it means brands should take a committed focus to connected dots between content assets with logical progressions from one piece to the next. A widowed piece of content serves almost no purpose.
Your favourite content generation/marketing tools
The most useful tools I use are Microsoft Word, Kapost, Adobe products, and email. That's just for content creation. Our marketing team also uses marketing automation software, a variety of analytics tool sets, and media buy technology.
#1 Social media channel for content marketing
LinkedIn, IMHO. LinkedIn is where business decisions are made. And as business decision makers continue to rise as budget spenders and as leaders on the IT decision boards, LinkedIn will continue to grow as the channel that supports that content.
Long detailed vs short snackable content
The consumer. The consumer always wins. Is the consumer hungry for something big and meaty? Then the turkey wins. Is the consumer hungry for something snackable? Then the turkey sandwich wins.
The future of the Content-SEO pair
This is an interesting one. Google, Bing, and other search algorithms are constantly trying to rectify misuse of the internet and gray hat practices of SEO marketing. I often wonder if content marketing will turn from white to gray. I guess its fate depends on the integrity of content marketers.
If we, as an industry of content marketer, commit to doing our jobs with authenticity, honesty, and with a genuine interest in serving the consumer first and then the brand, we could avoid being put under the castration of a search engine update that changes the way we work. However, if our industry becomes saturated with marketers who want to trick the system, our industry is put in grave risk.
Content marketers need to understand that as brands become publishers, marketers take on an added role of representing the publication. In that sense, we must stand together with journalistic principles of ethics and standards.