Are Influencers Key to Your Content Marketing Strategy?

As a marketer, your main goal is to effectively communicate a message to your customers that will build brand loyalty and help grow your business. In today’s challenging content marketing world however, you can’t just throw facts at your customers and expect them to convert.

In fact, studies have shown that using a narrative, one that works off data and emotions, is significantly more effective in engaging a listener than data alone. The study revealed that people remember information when it is weaved into narratives up to 22 times more than facts alone.

The value humans place on narrative is made clear in the importance we give to storytellers. Authors, actors, directors—people who spin narratives for a living—are some of the most famous people in the world and why the world has seen such an enormous rise in influencer-focused content strategies. 

“Everyone is a publisher now,” Steve Oriola, CEO of Julius Influencer Marketing says. “Anyone with a phone can publish content. Your job is to cut through the noise that’s out there by finding and tailoring your message to your audience and designing it for a specific channel.” 

People Trust People Before Brands

So just how do we do that when 42% of consumers don’t know which companies to trust? Influencers. Human beings are predisposed to trust and since half of them don’t always trust you the brand, they are going to rely on the advice of another human before anything else. 

According to Sharablee and Fullscreen’s 2019 Influence by the Numbers report, more than a third of participants (37%) claimed they’d be more likely to trust a brand after seeing an influencer promote it. Likewise, almost 40% said they’d be more likely to trust what an influencer says about a brand than what the brand says about itself.

This means influencer generated content can and should be used as a tool to extend your content marketing program.

“Influencers are talented storytellers that know how to cultivate audiences in a useful way,” Oriola says. “They use intimacy at scale to drive trust and people follow advice and counsel of influencers.” 

According to Oriola, here are four reasons your company should be using an influencer in their content marketing strategy. 

1. They’re Predictable:

By using an influencer, your company can determine the timing, quality and reporting of the influencer. Since you are paying them for this content, you are also able to approve the content before it goes live.

2. Content is Scalable: 

Creating content is expensive which is why it’s great to have an influencer do it for you. Their content is low cost, high quality and can reach a high volume of people. 

3. Content is Targetable: 

Influencers already have a curated audience so you can use their goals to align with yours. Even better is that the performance of the content is trackable each time. 

4. Influencers Provide a Fast Ramp to Growth: 

Since influencers are ready content creators with a tuned in audience and established credibility, your brand will have a leg up in building loyalty by using their platforms. 

While it may be great to work with an influencer that has well over 2 million followers, it’s engagement that you really want from their content. Oriola says relatability is two times more important than popularity when looking for an influencer. 

In addition, your brand’s ability to create a successful campaign with the influencer will largely depend on the strength of the influencer relationships you develop and how you enlist their assistance in your content initiatives.

You want to make sure you choose an influencer that you can see working with long term. Not only are they trusted more than most brands, they are also 2.6 times less expensive than creating content in house. In fact, many brands are startling to hire influencers directly to their team as a part of their content strategy which can be a win-win for all parties. 

However, don’t consider hiring an influencer after watching just one of their videos on Instagram. Thoroughly go through their content, observe their tone of voice and intent. 

Not interested in the celebrity route? There are likely established micro-influencers in your industry – including your employees – whose endorsement of your brand’s value can be more relevant and impactful than a room full of hired celebrities.

At the end of the day, make sure the person you choose is someone you trust completely your brand with. That’s a big decision.

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