November 20, 2014
The digital age has revolutionized business. In particular, marketing has had to adapt and evolve as technology has become more advanced. All marketers must become “plugged-in” – it’s no longer restricted to sales on the shop floor. Modern content marketing must involve writing articles, posting on social media networks, and reaching consumers worldwide.
The pace and volume of digital marketing and information is constantly growing, and all businesses must keep up with the latest techniques to ensure that their company stays competitive. Churning out more and more content to as many digital platforms as possible is one strategy. However, this simply follows the old-fashioned paradigm of advertising and does not always have efficient and effective results. Different approaches are needed, and as ever, they must always focus on the needs of the customer.
Rather than blasting consumers with advertisements, companies are now realizing the importance of engaging with their target audience and providing them with things that they need and want. Today, one of the most powerful ways of interacting with consumers is by collaborating with digital influencers.
Who and What are Digital Influencers?
Influencers are individuals or companies with a digital presence – that is, they have key audiences on enormous social media networks, blogs, and video-on-demand services. These influencers engage with their audiences regularly and consequently build up a following. Instead of advertising content, influencers act in a very different way: they communicate directly with millions of individual consumers and are capable of posing direct questions, engaging in conversations, and associating with specific groups of the public. They are more than sales people: they are individuals who are trusted and understood by their their followers.
How Can Influencers Affect Content Marketing Strategy?
Most marketing strategies attract their consumers by offering products or services that the consumer needs. However, by this point, they’re already competing with every other business with similar products and services. Influencers are capable of engaging with consumers before they have a need, or before they start searching for a particular product or brand. Influencers simply act as another consumer and are capable of showcasing their perspective, needs and demands to an audience with similar wants.
How Do You Find Your Own Influencer?
If you’re looking for your own influencer to give your marketing strategy a kick-start, you need to be aware of the followers you’re trying to attract and engage with. Social media networks such as Twitter are capable of analyzing Twitter users to assess who is influential. This involves looking at the number of followers of these influencers, and also how often their followers interact with them, such as retweeting their posts. For brands, this data can be tapped into using tools such as Twitalyzer, and provide valuable insight into who follows who, and who listens to who. Other tools such as ClearVoice will help you find digital influencers with specific opinions and articles about your subject. Alternatively, sites such as Buzzsumo will help you find influencers who are already involved with a particular topic or market area. Overall, finding the right influencer depends on what sort of help you’re looking for.
Which Influencer is Right for You?
First of all, an influencer has to have enough of a following with an engaged audience. If they have this, they’ll be able to spread the word about your product or service. But, this isn’t the only thing you’ll need to check. You also need to discover why this individual is influential. Finding an influencer with the right background and expertise is essential if you want to create any useful and successful relationship.
Influencers with the ability to increase your traffic will, of course, benefit your business. However, ideally you want to find an influencer who can become your partner and provide you with invaluable opinions and advice about their followers and your target audience.
When Do You Need to Find an Influencer?
Once you decide you need to give your content marketing strategy a boost, or gain more traffic through your website, it’s time to find an influencer. You’ll need to search for different influencers and then get to know them, first by following them, and then by reaching out to them. Pitching your project to them will be an important starting point if you want to get them on board. Keep in mind which goals you want to achieve, and what sort of help you’re looking for. Make everything personable, and try to build a solid relationship with someone who understands your needs.
How Do You Work with an Influencer?
Since you’re the one with specific goals and objectives, you’ll need to decide how you want your influencer to help you. Providing your influencer with instructions and information about your business will help both of you understand and optimize how things should progress. Finding a balance is essential; you’ve found an influencer because they have a following and are influential.
Consequently, listening to them and allowing them to share and exert their expertise is essential for this relationship to work. It’s important that you both stay on the same page and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship, and always keep in touch.
An influencer can act as a vital life support for any business, and can help you expand and reach new audiences. Finding the right influencer is imperative, and setting clear goals is vital. By including influencers in your content marketing strategy (and engaging them at every step of the process) you’ll find yourself with an invaluable partner.
Katrina Manning is part of the Content Marketing team at RankExperts. Her writing and editing services have been in demand for the last six years, and she has contributed to a variety of websites and publications. She enjoys covering SEO strategies, tech, business and lifestyle.