Content marketers are always in search of the best way to leverage content. Whether it’s a compelling blog post or fascinating video, the ultimate goal is to have your content reach the largest audience possible. While personalizing content is certainly one aspect of this process, trust can be cemented by having your message echoed by someone who already has that reach. This is where influencer marketing comes in.
Influencer marketing uses content created in collaboration with subject matter experts and industry authorities who are known as “influencers.” While the idea of influencers isn’t anything particularly new and innovative, their role in the digital marketing landscape has grown significantly in recent years.
Influencers are people who have already established credibility and, more importantly, their audience’s trust within a particular industry. For example, regardless of your opinion on the Kardashian clan, their influence on social media is simply undeniable. Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the family, has a whopping 117 million Instagram followers and her loyal audience goes into a frenzy every time she decides to drop another lipstick shade. She makes an estimated $1 million per sponsored post via Instagram and is the highest-paid celebrity influencer on the platform.
While Jenner is a pretty high-level example of an influencer’s reach, there’s a reason companies turn to them. Whatever industry your company is part of, and whether you are doing B2B marketing or B2C, there is significant value in teaming up with an influencer to create content. Their ability to relay information to their audience is invaluable and if they truly believe in your product or service — the partnership can also be quite lucrative.
Why Do You Need Influencers?
Outside of being dominant forces in their respective fields, people often forget this one simple fact about influencers that makes them so valuable — they’re human.
While a company can do its best to get an actionable response from a potential customer, nobody can do it quite like another human being. This is how influencer content can receive a level of trust that a brand or company simply cannot. Putting a face to the messaging might sound basic in premise, but it works. Instead of consuming the message of a brand that you know is trying to sell you on a product or service, you’re following advice from an influencer you already trust as a person.
From a content perspective, influencers are able to unpack a brand’s marketing mandate in a way that highlights the features their audience cares about. Influencers also bring a much-needed outsider perspective that is built off of a strong relationship with their followers, comparable to that of a friend’s recommendation. They are seen more as peers than paid sponsors. In a marketing climate that has become oversaturated with inauthentic celebrity endorsements, influencers bring a level of relatability and sincerity to a product or service.
Finding Your Influencer Fit
Building great influencer content means more than just focusing on a follower count — it means finding an influencer within your niche that has strong engagement.
Sephora’s “Beauty Insider” campaign is a great example of that influencer engagement in practice. The beauty brand teams up with vloggers and bloggers within the community to give authentic reviews of products they sell. The vloggers and bloggers are often given early access to products and share their experience of using said products with their audience. The fact that Sephora even opens themselves up for such honest assessments of their products makes consumers view them as a trustworthy brand.
The idea here is that Sephora is building conversations with customers through these influencers. Not only does it build brand awareness, but it also gives the brand itself a better idea of what the audience is looking for. In this sense, influencer content acts as something of a mediator between the brand and customer.
While an influencer isn’t someone you’re hiring to be a full-time member of your staff, you’re still working with them to help push your product or service. How you actually do that can differ depending on your influencer content campaign, but the important thing to remember is that it’s a collaborative effort. This is why it’s important that their morals and values are compatible with yours as a company.
Creating Content with Your Influencer
The first step in creating content with an influencer is determining what your goal is. Is it finding exposure through a new audience? Is it introducing a new product or service to an audience already familiar with your brand? Is it personalizing your brand to establish more loyalty and trust?
Once you are able to identify your goal, then you can decide what kind of content you want to create. Understand the audience you want to reach and what type of content vessel would be the most powerful in getting your message across. For example, supermodel Karlie Kloss was part of a Wix video marketing campaign explaining how easy it is to build websites using the platform.
Remember that the influencer also needs to have some degree of creative control over the content. This is important because they understand their audience’s needs better than anyone else. That’s not to say you have to completely hand over the reins, but it’s an opportunity for true collaboration as opposed to handing them a script much like a spokesperson. This kind of collaboration will create a more authentic impact and help your content convert.
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