The Role of Influencer Marketing for Your Content Strategy
By now, most marketers and businesses are aware of influencer marketing—the strategy of marketing around a specific group which usually consists of celebrities, bloggers, or industry consultants who can influence your buyer’s decision.
We see examples of influencer marketing when we're scrolling through our social media feed and come upon a post from a celebrity raving about the newest weight loss tea, or yoga mat, or perhaps the post itself is tagged #sponsored. This relatively new marketing concept has grown wildly more popular, and as additional social channels are created and technology continues to advance, influencer marketing has moved to the forefront of a business's content marketing strategy.
Although 94% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is a very effective campaign strategy, a further 78% of marketers feel determining the ROI and success of this tactic is also one of their top challenges. Although there may be some risks—additional budget, time, resources—when it comes to influencer marketing, the rewards may outweigh these risks. No matter where you are in your content strategy journey, influencers can help take your business to the next level. How?
Influencers help to keep your content relevant. Influencers spend every day interacting and engaging with their audiences, so they understand the market as well as—or even better than—anyone else. Their awareness can help provide businesses and brands with additional audience insights.
Your content can cut through the clutter. We are all inundated with content daily. However, if audiences receive content or see a post from someone they admire and follow, your customers are more likely to read the message since they feel they have a personal relationship with the influencer.
Your customers trust other customers. The connection between an influencer and their audience is built upon trust and transparency; hence, a recommendation from a trusted influencer tends to be three to 10 times more likely to convert. Taking the time to discover the benefits of, and how to nurture influencer relationships can be persuasive for your brand and can help move more prospects down your buyers' journey.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Build Your Business Brand Authority, Awareness and Reach
Leveraging influencer marketing can help a brand increase not only their authority but also boost brand awareness and reach. When influencers engage with branded influencer content on social media platforms from someone they trust, your brand can grow its authority. Content that is shared across mediums then picked up and shared by influencers, increases in power. Also, as influencers have a large or specific following, it is much easier for brands to tap into new markets which are otherwise not so easy to capture. Businesses and brands through influencer marketing gain more significant exposure to potential customers; all of whom trust the recommendations of influencers. In fact, nearly 75% of people look to social media and online for advice or product recommendations before committing to a purchase. Through influencer marketing, your brand, product, and/or service is put in front of new customers or those who are relevant to your brand/product given their interests.
Build Trust to Convert
When a customer trusts and believes in your brand, you frame your user content to be more engaging and effective. The same goes for influencers. By cause of belief in your product and/or service, they can develop compelling stories, thus reinforcing trust in you and your brand when customers scroll your content.
Give your ROI a Boost
Leveraging influencer marketing can give businesses and brands a considerable boost on their content strategy and marketing ROI. According to the Marketers Survey Report 2017 conducted by Bloglovin, 53% of companies practice influencer marketing to increases sales. Furthermore, businesses have been known to earn $6.85 for every $1.00 invested in influencer marketing campaigns.
More influencer traffic combined with more backlinks means boosting your SEO. Reaching influencers who have a higher Domain Authority (DA) can have a considerable impact on search rankings.
Utilizing Influencers for Your Content Strategy
One of the compelling benefits of influencer marketing is the creation and delivery of more authentic content about your brand, product, and/or service. Two separate studies by Linqia and TapInfluence have both shown that influencer marketing is best for more authentic content creation and storytelling for brands. If you are thinking of integrating influencer marketing into your content strategy, we have outlined a mini step-guide to get started.
Step 1: Define Your Goal
Like all marketing strategies, we start with goals. Understanding what your goals are, and what you want to achieve, will help to shape they type of content you will create, as well as determine the kind of influencers with who you should collaborate. Your goals will also help you to outline your KPIs for measuring the effectiveness of influence marketing as part of your content strategy.
Step 2: Understand What Type of Content You Need
Before engaging with or sourcing your influencers, marketers need to determine the type of content required, which will also give you a clearer picture of which influencers—and which channels—you should use for your marketing efforts. Below are just a few of the more popular types of content you can create with influencers:
Collaborative Branded Content - Work with influencers to brainstorm, strategize, and create entertaining and engaging branded content for your channels. As they have built their status with your audience, they will have a better sense of what ideas will be more impactful. This style of content is useful for expanding your reach, improving engagement, and building trust with a new audience.
Review Content - Work with influencers to create honest and detailed reviews about your business product, and/or service to help build trust. A recent study by gen.video found that influencers have now become the most trusted source for shopping among social channel users. In fact, according to the gen.video study, 84% of shoppers feel it’s important to learn about other people’s experiences before they buy a product. This style of content is useful for raising brand awareness, building trust, and driving conversions.
Tutorials and Demos - Work with influencers to create tutorial and demo videos to showcase your product/service and help further trust. This style of content is effective in raising brand awareness, building trust, and driving conversions.
Influencer Takeover Content - Work with influencers to have them take over your business's social media accounts. An influencer can create content on your behalf and provide fresh content, all of which is geared towards your audience in a way that may resonate more. This style of content works for attracting a new audience, growing your following, and driving engagement.
Influencer Interviews - Work with influencers by interviewing them. This style of content works for driving web traffic, engaging your web visitors, and attracting a new audience.
Repurposed Influencer Content - Work with influencers to repurpose their content for your brand. Once an influencer creates content for you and shares it with their audience, you can collect the content they create and utilize it in some way to enrich your website or social media content. This style of content works for growing your following and driving engagement.
Step 3: Source the Best Influencers
Now that you have your goals and styles of content, you have a good idea of which influencers with who you should engage. When approaching influencers, keep in mind that:
They should focus on a related industry or niche of your industry.
They should be able to drive higher levels of engagement.
They should have experience in creating the style of content outlined in your strategy.
There are many tools online businesses can use to search and find influencers such as Grin, BuzzSumo, and Influence.co, for example.
Not quite 'influenced' to start to incorporate influencer marketing into your content strategy, or you don’t know where to start? CMSC Media can help with our Content Journey as a Service (CJaaS); taking your digital content assets on a strategic campaign.