The biggest benefit of working with influencers is that they can help you create more authentic content about your brand. In fact, two separate studies by Linqia and TapInfluence have both shown that influencer marketing is best for more authentic content creation and storytelling for brands. This shows that it might be time you start implementing influencer marketing into your content strategy to improve its effectiveness.
It may be a bit challenging to do this especially if you haven’t worked with influencers before. Here is a comprehensive guide that will give you the step-by-step process of creating a successful content strategy that involves influencer marketing:
Step 1: Define Your Goal
Understanding what goal you wish to achieve will help you understand what kind of content you need to create. It will also help you understand the kind of influencers you should be working with. So your content strategy should begin by defining a goal. What do you wish to achieve through the strategy?
Do you want more people to view and share your content? Do you want more people to learn about your brand? Maybe you want to use content to engage your target audience. Or maybe you want to create compelling content that will incite a desire to buy your products. Make a note of all the goals that are important to you in order of importance.
Defining your goals will also help you understand what kind of metrics and performance indicators you should use to measure the effectiveness of your content strategy. For example, if engagement is your ultimate goal, you’ll want to look at the number of likes and comments the content is able to generate.
Step 2: Understand What Type Of Content You Need
In a regular influencer marketing campaign, finding an influencer to work with would normally come first. But since this post is a focus on content strategy with influencer marketing infused into it, determining the type of content you need comes before finding influencers for your campaign.
Once you understand the type of content you plan on creating with influencers, you should be able to have a clearer idea of which influencers you should work with.
Here are some of the most popular types of content you can create with influencers:
#1: Collaborative Branded Content
Influencers can add value to your branded content and increase its impact on your target audience. You can collaborate with them to create an entertaining and engaging branded content that will awe your fans and intrigue the influencers’ followers.
It’s a well-known fact that influencers are creative individuals with an expertise in certain fields. Make the most of their creativity and have them brainstorm ideas for your branded content. They would know exactly how to entertain your target audience and send a message that resonates with them. You could then feature the influencers in the content and have them tell a unique and captivating story through it.
An excellent example is how Tommy Hilfiger partnered with social media star, Cameron Dallas to create a branded video. The influencer has 13.5 million Twitter followers, helping the brand make a huge impact. The brand’s video tweet received more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 retweets.
Works for: Expanding reach, improving engagement, building trust with a new audience
#2: Review Content
Influencers are generally considered as experts in their respective fields. So, recommendations and opinions coming from them are normally trusted by the people who follow them. A study by gen.video even found that influencers have become the most trusted sources for shopping among social media users.
Having influencers create honest and detailed review content about your product or service could be an excellent way to win over your target audience. They can share their genuine experience with your brand and mention all the pros and cons to make it even more trustworthy.
According to the gen.video study, 84% of shoppers feel that it’s important to learn about other people’s experiences before they buy a product. So reviews by influencers will not only help you win the trust of your target audience but also convince them to buy from you.
ORIGIN PC, for instance, sponsored Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips to review and demonstrate their product. The YouTuber has 4.5 million subscribers and has extensive knowledge in technology-related topics. He shared a video in which he gave an honest and detailed review about the brand’s product, garnering more than a million views. The video also received 30,000 likes and 2,000+ comments.
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Works for: Raising brand awareness, building trust with a new audience, driving conversions
Another type of content that’s highly effective in winning trust and influencing purchase decision is a tutorial or demo content, preferably in video format. Tutorials and demos can showcase your product in action and incite a desire in the audience to try out the product.
This can work effectively according to an Ask Your Target Market survey, which found that 76% of respondents were more likely to buy something after they’ve seen it in use. And according to an Experticity survey, 94% of respondents in the study consider influencers to be more knowledgeable than regular people. In addition to this, 92% of respondents also felt that influencers are better than regular people at explaining how a product works or how a product can be used.
So you can create a content strategy involving influencers who create how-to videos or demonstrate how your products work or can be used. This is exactly what Segway did when they worked with influencers like Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy. Lewis created a video in which he demonstrated how the new Segway miniPRO works.
Video Embed Code: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/rl5fQKHhQBY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Works for: Raising brand awareness, building trust with a new audience, driving conversions
#4: Influencer Takeover Content
Brands can also enrich their social media content and drive more engagement by having influencers take over their social media accounts. In this type of campaign, you select an influencer to work with on a particular day. You will then provide the influencer with access to your social media account. They will create posts on your behalf based on a particular theme.
This can work very effectively as influencers will be creating content on your behalf and providing your audience with fresh content. The influencer will also share the news about the takeover with their followers, bringing plenty of them to your social media account. This will not only drive high levels of engagement on your social media page but could help you earn new followers.
The Discovery Channel does a great job of this, partnering with influential content creators related to travel and nature. They recently had travel influencer, Ben Mikha take over their Instagram and share a breathtaking photo of a particular destination. He told a little back story about the attraction and shared his experience.
Works for: Attracting a new audience, growing your social media following, driving engagement
#5: Influencer Interviews
Another excellent way to enrich your content strategy is by conducting influencer interviews. The interview can be in any kind of format – whether it’s video, live stream, or blog post. Upfluence’s Nicolas Miachon has even predicted that influencer live streaming will become a lot more popular, according to this expert roundup by Influencer Marketing Hub. The goal is to draw in the influencer’s audience to your brand’s content while providing your existing audience with valuable content.
You should take care to choose influencers whose input and stories your audience would love to hear. The influencer can then share the news of the interview with their followers once it’s published. This will drive visitors to your website, engage them, and hopefully get them to further share the content.
For example, global clothing brand H&M regularly conducts interviews with influencers in the fashion and style landscape. One of their more recent interviews was with fashion blogger Lainy Hedaya, who has close to 8,000 Twitter followers and 158,000 Instagram followers.
Works for: Driving website traffic, engaging website visitors, attracting a new audience
#6: Repurposed Influencer Content
Brands can also improve their content strategy by including a plan to curate content created by influencers for their brand and repurposing it for their audience. After influencers create content for you and share 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.
There are several ways to do this. A simple reposting/retweeting of the influencer’s content could work well enough for some brands. Some may even display influencer-created content on relevant product pages. But you can also go one step further and display the tutorial videos and review videos created by influencers on relevant product pages.
Memebox does a great job of this, sharing review videos and tutorials created by influencers on their product pages. They have even shared content created by beauty vloggers like Lucy Moon, who has 300,000+ subscribers and Jamie Paige, who has 341,000 subscribers.
Works for: Adding credibility to your brand/product, driving conversions
Step 3: Find The Right Influencers
Now that you have a clear idea what types of content you want to create with influencers, it’s time to find influencers to work with. Before approaching influencers for your campaign, you should take the time to clearly define what the ideal influencer looks like to you.
In this case, it would largely depend on whether or not the influencer will be able to help you create the type of content you need.
The ideal influencer for your content strategy should look a bit like this:
- They should specialize in a field related or similar to your industry
- They should be able to drive high levels of engagement through their content
- They should have some experience in creating the types of content you need
So what you need to do is find influencers in the relevant niche, examine their engagement rate, and then look through their content to see if they meet all your requirements. As for the tools to conduct your initial search here are a few options:
- Grin – Grin lets you run an in-depth search of their influencer network to find highly relevant influencers for your brand. You can filter the results based on location, social network, and engagement rate. The tool provides you with necessary information such as the content they create and their contact info. You’ll also be able to track your campaign and easily measure your ROI from the platform.
- BuzzSumo – BuzzSumo lets you find influencers using relevant keywords and discover their various stats such as Twitter follower count, page authority, domain authority, retweet and reply ratios, etc. You can also filter the results by type of influencers – from bloggers and journalists to regular people.
- Influence.co – If you’re leaning towards Instagram influencers, Influence.co’s influencer search tool is an excellent option. You can conduct a search for influencers in a relevant category and filter the results based on location and follower count.
Select any of the influencer profiles that you wish to view and gain access to information such as engagement rate, reach, and posts they’ve created for other brands. This is very useful as it can help you understand just how effectively the influencer can help in promoting your brand through their content.
If the influencer search tool you’re using doesn’t give you clear details of the influencer’s average engagement rate, you can also use tools like the Influence Calculator from Muundy. You just need to enter some information like the number of followers and the number of likes and comments for three posts. The tool then calculates the influencer’s engagement rate on your behalf. The higher the engagement rates the better.
Once you’ve shortlisted influencers who are relevant to you and have high engagement rates, you can go through the content they have created in the past. See if they’ve been able to create authentic content while promoting a brand at the same time. And make sure the influencers you decide to work with have been involved in creating content similar to the ones you need for your content strategy.
These are the three crucial steps you need to take to create a successful content strategy with influencer marketing. It’s important that you start with a goal and then decide on which types of content can help you achieve that goal. You can then begin your search for influencers who will be perfect for the campaign and help you create the exact types of content you need.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com
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