5 roles influencers play in content marketing

It’s not enough to just create engaging content; marketers must partner with outside opinion leaders in order to make a content strategy successful. 


The terms “influencer marketing” and “content marketing” frequently overlap.

In a 2014 survey of more than 600 marketing and PR professionals, 57 percent deemed it to be “highly strategic” to achieve influencer involvement in the content creation and amplification process.

Marketers and communicators understand they must create great content that’s shareable, yet they’re far from using it to ensure a campaign’s success.

Content is still king, and influencers are superheroes capable of raising a brand’s content strategy to the next level. Influencers can boost credibility and extend your content’s reach into new communities, as well as being essential partners in generating content.

Though an influencer may serve a wide variety of functions within the scope of your company’s content strategy, here are five key roles influencers may take on:

Inspirer

Beyond their visibility and the relative size of their community, the prime attribute for an influencer is to be a true expert in a particular subject.

An influencer is capable of grasping all the factors surrounding and affecting your target audiences and can offer thoughtful responses to concerns.

As a brand manager, you must know how to identify and listen to those influencers who have achieved credibility within a community. The content they share is an ideal observatory for detecting market trends, understanding consumers’ real interests and inspiring a brand’s content strategy.

Collaborator

A co-branded e-book, webinar collaboration, series of video-interviews or a joint event can be crucial in laying the foundation for a stable relationship with opinion leaders online. Including influencers in these kinds of activities can convert them into your brand’s best proponents.

Our study found 44 percent of marketing and communication professionals are already working directly with influencers to co-create content; 64 percent said including influencers in content creation is a steppingstone to broadening their content’s exposure.

You might be thinking, “How am I supposed to get a well-known influencer within my industry to collaborate in creating my content?”

Ask him or her directly. Many influencers are more than willing to participate in content creation, although in some cases it may be just a simple quote. The key is to propose ways to collaborate that provides them a means to broaden the exposure of their own knowledge and expertise without requiring them to promote or endorse your products.

Leading star

Everyone has an ego when the time comes to interact and enhance our public image online.

Go-Gulf, a leading research firm, found that 68 percent of people share online to let others know what they are doing and what interests them. Influencers seek to promote their specific expertise and build their personal brand.

It may even be worthwhile to create new or derivative content inspired by an influencer’s original content and experience.

Amplifier

Broadening the scope of content’s exposure is often the first role that pops into people’s minds when involving influencers in content strategy.

Many brand managers have made major mistakes in seeking the attention of influencers who have the largest number of followers, fans or readers. This is a grave error for two basic reasons:

  1. Even though he or she may be wildly popular, an influencer will get a valid echo only in those themes in which they have achieved credibility and trust.
  2. It is worthless to push your brand’s content toward an audience that’s not aligned with your target audience. It doesn’t benefit you, and it could trigger needless costs as it generates low-quality sales leads.

Knowing how to identify ideal influencers for a brand is vital in measuring the effectiveness of your content strategy. The influence should be defined as being contextually applicable to a single theme, and one must be careful not to confuse mere popularity for viable influence.

Critic

Marketing and communication departments generate a vast amount of content, so why not ask for your closest influencers’ opinions?

You need not send them each and every blog post, but you should get them involved in content production related to their industries and any other situation in which they are qualified to provide feedback.

They will appreciate this gesture and recognize that you value their opinion and expertise, increasing the likelihood that they will actively help the content gain greater exposure through their networks.

Involving influencers in these five crucial roles can do wonders for your content’s visibility.

Influencer marketing takes time and requires a clear plan for execution, but when it’s done purposefully and with defined goals for success, influencers can help your content get the attention it deserves.

Arnaud Roy is the VP of marketing at Augure and general manager at Augure Spain. A version of this story originally appeared on Relevance.com.

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