You may be hearing a lot about influencer marketing lately. You are probably well aware of who influencers are, and how much power they wield in the digital space.
Influencers impact the opinions and decisions of other people through their quality content and influential personalities. They are experts in their fields and enjoy authority and respect among a large number of followers. You can find influencers from all walks of life. But in this post, we are referring to those who are ruling the internet marketing world.
Marketers have realized how influencer marketing can increase the effectiveness of their content marketing strategies. Out of 81% marketers who are already using influencer content on major communication channels, 51% find it more effective than branded content.
In fact, influencer marketing and content marketing work hand in hand. Content that does not have the power to influence people will not work; just as there is no way to interact and influence people without content.
How Can Influencers Impact Your Content?
Influencers act as mediators who can promote your content to a wider audience in a much more effective manner. Let’s see how:
Influencer Content is More Relevant and Compelling and Encourages an Action
Influencers are more connected to their audience a and have loyal followers who consider their recommendations in their purchase decisions.
Influencer-Generated Content is More Credible
Influencers are thought leaders in their industries and they have gained this respect and authority after many years of hard work and research. The content created by them is not just informative and credible but is also backed by true examples of their own.
People trust these leaders and thus follow them. Influencers too respect their audience’s interests and try to add value to every piece of content that they create. This makes the content more authentic and reliable.
Influencer Content Generates Greater Engagement
Again, since influencers have niche followers and a targeted audience, they tend to foster higher engagement rates. Content shared by an influencer is liked, shared, and commented on by followers much more than that of an average user.
People are always interested in the lives of influential personalities, be it celebrities, social media stars or industry experts. They take part in major debates and discussion forums that feature these influencers. That’s why brands who collaborate with influencers get higher engagement rates for their posts.
How Can Brands Use Influencer Marketing to Boost Their Content?
You have already seen above how influencers can impact your content visibility and distribution. Now let’s see how you can leverage influencer marketing to amplify your content marketing strategy.
Here are some tips to give you a kickstart:
Identify Top Online Influencers
The first and most important step is finding relevant influencers who have a similar target audience as yours and who can align with your content strategy. Once you find them, you need to enter into a mutually beneficial relationship. Your influencers should understand your brand’s goals and be able to convey your brand message correctly to the target audience.
There are a number of influencer marketing platforms like Grin that can help you find the right influencers in your industry. With the help of these platforms, you can manage your influencer marketing campaign and measure its impact on your branding goals.
Develop Enduring Relationships
Marketers often get bogged down with metrics like traffic, the number of likes, and engagement rate in their influencer campaigns. What they tend to ignore our relationships.
A brilliant Instagram post with thousands of likes and shares wouldn’t stay for long. But a true relationship with influencers formed on the basis of mutual benefit and trust will last longer.
Value your relationships and respect your influencers. Avoid sounding transactional to the influencer. Collaborate in such a manner that adds value to their image and authority in their niche. Mention them in your articles. Invite them to company events and new launches. Offer free gifts and services. The influencers will definitely return the favour with their brand loyalty.
Create Unique Brand Content
Influencers are always hunting for unique content to keep their audiences engaged and entertained. So create fresh and high-quality content that speaks for itself. Let your brand voice be heard through your compelling content.
Influencers will further add authenticity to it by sharing and linking to your branded content. This will skyrocket your content’s visibility and generate greater traffic to your site through backlinks.
Involve Influencers in Your Content Creation
Simply asking influencers to share your content will not give you the desired results. Involve them in creating content and take their suggestions on what topics would work with the audience in your industry. Since influencers are quite active on social media, they can provide valuable market insights on which platforms have better engagement potential.
Seek Positive Endorsements and Reviews
Send a draft of your blog and social media posts to influencers for an expert quote/opinion. Recommendations and reviews from influencers add value to your content. As emphasized before, it adds the much-needed authenticity and credibility that draws consumers’ attention to your brand.
Conduct Influencer Interviews
Use videos, live streaming, or blog posts to feature influencer interviews. This will attract the influencer’s followers to your content while providing valuable insights to your existing audience. Select those influencers who your audience is interested in and whose stories are in great demand.
H&M, a garment brand often hosts interviews with influencers in the fashion and lifestyle segment. Check out, for example, their recent interview with Lainy Hedaya, a fashion blogger, who has 8,000 followers on Twitter and 158,000 on Instagram.
Let Influencers Take Over Your Social Media
Takeovers are a popular trick to drive more engagement for your brand. You can allow influencers to take over your social media accounts and post on your company’s behalf for an agreed period of time.
Influencers create and share fresh content on your social media pages, driving higher levels of engagement and bringing new followers.
Write for Each Other and Share Each Other’s Posts
Promoting each other is a great influencer marketing tactic to amplify the reach and impact of your content. You can do this by guest posting on influencers’ sites to promote your content. Alternatively, you can invite influencers to contribute posts, ebooks, guides and recorded podcasts and videos on your website.
This way, you get value-added content and higher levels of engagement from the influencer’s audience. The influencers benefit by getting a new platform to display their expertise and knowledge. And the audience enjoys enriched information and tips. It’s a win-win situation for all.
A proven example is that of Yoga Journal. It works in collaboration with influencers to produce a valuable online resource, contributed by yoga leaders across the globe.
Over to You
Focus on the above influencer marketing tactics to get the most from your content marketing campaigns. Align with the right influencers who are perfect for your niche and who are capable of driving higher levels of engagement. And work towards building long-lasting influencer relationships. Soon you will witness amazing results for your content marketing efforts.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin’s software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.