September 6, 2016
You’re Not Alone. Influencers May Your Silver Bullet.
Marketers today have a lot on their plates. They face an ever-growing landscape of channels to connect with their community and each channel poses it’s own content demands. Plus there’s the time it takes to properly engage with audiences on those channels. If you’re feeling the squeeze from all of this social pressure, you’re not alone. 54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers cite creating enough content for their marketing efforts as a top priority for their marketing initiatives.
Creating quality content for social channels and managing the conversation happening around that content could be a full-time job. But few marketers have this as their sole task. So, where can marketers turn to supplement their content creation needs?
Power of Visual Content
46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. This is in part due to the value and impact of visual content. From hieroglyphics to emojis, humans have always communicated with visuals. The reality is that people have historically needed images as a form of communication that builds social intimacy. This is especially true in our modern world, where much of our communication takes place exclusively in virtual ‘communities’ that have replaced face-to-face communication (Ayres, 2016). Without images, we would have lots of trouble sharing thoughts and feelings with one another. The goal of marketing is to strike an emotional chord, to gain the attention, emotion and ultimately the trust of your audience. Visuals are valuable to marketers because of the speed at which they elicit a human response. There are a million examples of how the image has been employed by marketers over the years: billboards, posters, mailers, newspaper ads and glossy photo shoots. In fact, it’s hokey and quaint (even bizarre) to think of a day when the marketing message was not accompanied by a high-impact visual.
Savvy marketers are leveraging captivating visuals and photography to connect with their audience. In fact, when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. On top of that when these visuals are produced by their peers it increases the value and receptiveness of the content. This user-generated content has been found to be more memorable and influential especially when it comes to the ever-elusive millennial audience. Marketers are looking for engaging content and user-generated visual content is exactly what they need. But how do you get your hands on it?
Producing Enough Content
Many marketers are turning to trusted influencers, not only for sharing branded content to their large audiences but also for their content production needs. Influencers serve as their personal branded content creators. This content may be passed directly to the brand for use on their social channels or website. Repurposing this influencer content is much easier than attempting to create the content yourself and more relatable than stock photos or catalogue-style shoots.
We’ve seen influencers share amazing content for some of the top brands. And we’ve written about the benefits of tapping creators to promote your brand many times before. But in addition to amplification gained by sharing, the content itself is also valuable for brand use. You gain the value of an influencer’s personal style and creativity, plus the peace of mind that you’re choosing content that will resonate because it has already been validated by the influencer’s audience. This test can also help with deciding where to use certain pieces of content. If you know @thebalancedblonde’s post performed well with fitness-focused millennial females, then include her photo in your next product announcement to that audience. Influencers are effective because of the trust and respect they’ve built with their audience, you can tap that trust and respect by leveraging the content they create.
There are important legal and ethical things to account for when deciding to use influencer content for your next program. Any post created by a content creator needs to be shared with full attribution. This isn’t just a safe idea, it’s a smart idea. It helps build community and collaboration between you and your content creators as well as drawing the influencer’s credibility even closer to your brand. And most importantly, you need to make sure you have permission to re-share that content.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community