Tatiana Beale

Develop a More Engaging Content Strategy with Influencers

By: Tatiana Beale | October 19, 2016 | 

Develop A More Engaging Content Strategy with Influencers

Is it just us, or is there something in the air?

Has your online audience been a little standoffish lately?

Do your social shares seem to miss the standard of excellence?

You’re certainly not alone.

As marketers, we’re all in the same boat.

Unfortunately, this boat is full of overproduced content and disproportionate results.

So, where did we go wrong?

We’re just going to say it: It’s not you, it’s your content.

We want to help you flip your content strategy upside down and build it back up with a sharper, more influential focus.

Producing Engaging Content isn’t So Easy

In 2015, Marketing Land reported brands increased content production by 35 percent per channel, while engagement dropped by 17 percent.

Layer onto that, CMI and MarketingProfs report 60 percent of B2B marketers say producing engaging content is their top content marketing challenge.

In fact, if you Google, “What does engaging content mean?”, the results point to SiteTuner’s CEO Tim Ash, who says:

Engaging content simply means ‘useful to the visitor.’

Understanding Your Audience is Crucial to Content Marketing

To provide something useful, your content needs to connect meaningfully with your target audience.

To make this a reality, you need to involve the opinion makers, those who your audience likes and trusts the most: Your influencers.

Our trusted friend Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Marketing, said it best:

Incorporating influencers in your content facilitates reaching new audiences with brand messages that are credible and trusted.

Here’s our framework to combine content and influence, so you can deliver an irresistibly engaging content strategy.

Three Keys to a More Engaging Content Strategy

Your content strategy probably includes planning, creating, and distributing.

The next step is amending these steps to integrate your influencers.

  • Plan: Listen to your influencers to gain insights. You can learn a lot by simply listening to influencers, once you’ve discovered who they are. When planning your content, look to your influencers to better understand your audience’s wants and needs (after all, influencers know them best!). Never fall behind on a trend again by keeping up with top stories and taking the time to digest your influencer’s content.
  • Create: Involve your influencers in content creation. Fifty-three percent of marketing professionals worldwide cited a lack of content creation resources as their biggest content marketing challenge. When engaged properly, influencers are your biggest untapped content resource. First, curate their expert content by featuring excerpts (giving proper credit, of course) and then adding your own point-of-view. This is a great opportunity to engage with influencers who may not be aware of your brand (yet!) while elevating them as an influencer at the same time. Once you’ve established a rapport, you can invite influencers to participate in your content creation and eventually co-create together.
  • Distribute: Amplify relevant content within the online communitySirius Decisions has reported that as much as 60 to 70 percent of content goes unused. The good news? Influencers can help (when approached the right way). Don’t send influencers random links of your content you “think they will be interested in,” asking them to share. Not only will the influencer ignore the request, but it could severely damage your brand’s reputation with that influencer. Do let influencers know when you feature them in your content. When you show influencers you value their opinion and promote them, chances are they will be willing to do the same. Engaging influencers in authentic conversation will cause your brand to organically get on their radar. As a result, influencers will be likely to share your content.

Communicating with Influencers Helps Them Stay Engaged

Keep your audience engaged by keeping your influencers engaged.

For example, if an influencer contributes a small excerpt to your blog post, reach out and let them know how it performed.

When engaging with influencers on long-term content efforts, make sure to communicate upfront and align your business goals.

Define what success looks like and how the outcome will benefit both participants.

Avoid the biggest faux pas of influencer marketing by staying connected with influencers long after you’ve created content together.

Make them feel like an extension of your brand and ask them for feedback on your content.

There you have it!

Three ways to augment your content strategy with influencers.

Have you integrated influencers into your content strategy?

What helpful tips did you uncover?

Leave a comment and let us know.

This guest post is co-authored by Tatiana Beale, head of content at Traackr and Jordan Feise, influencer marketing manager at Traackr.

Jordan Feise is a passionate and innovating marketing professional. As the Influencer Marketing Manager at Traackr, Jordan enjoys building relationships with thought leaders in the marketing space. She believes in leveraging marketing technology to build a seamless and cohesive customer experience. In her spare time, Jordan goes on long runs around San Francisco. Feel free to tweet with all of your influencer marketing questions.

About Tatiana Beale

Tatiana Beale is a strategic marketer and storyteller. As Head of Content at Traackr, an influencer relationship management platform, Tatiana focuses on helping marketers build influential relationships that lead to business results. Prior to joining Traackr, Tatiana worked for Anaplan, the smart business platform, where she led content strategy for the sales performance management business unit. When she’s not creating content, Tatiana loves to cook healthy meals and take photos of Coco, her family’s Jack Russell Terrier.

  • First, I’m super excited to have Traackr here! I’m a big fan…tell PL hello for me. Secondly, yes to all of this. As you know, I wrote a blog post last week about this very topic because it’s frustrating that so few get it right. Looking forward to your chat about this topic!

  • This is great advice.

    The biggest issue I have is that most brands have no idea who is really an influencer. As we see in the Social Media realm I have studied so many people who are ‘imfluencers’ with huge networks, and they get paid big bucks to speak and to write sponsored blog posts. But then I go to their networks and see no engagement, no shares, no comments on their posts. Think Ted Rubin, Bryan Kramer, Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, Brian Fanzo etc. Now they are probably influential when they speak….but they have no influence online anymore (if they ever did ever).

    You really have to do you research and you can not automate it. You have to go to each person and check out all their channels and see what is happening.

    Once you find out who really is influential ….offline especially is most important since 99.9% of human communication is private (dark sharing) what you see publicly is only a small part of the story.

    I was once an uber influencer for Chobani. They never paid me. I used to convert people in the dairy section of super markets and at checkout lines!!!!! To me your best influencers already love you. Start with them first,


    • Tatiana Beale

      Great point, and thanks for sharing such a relatable example. Influencer engagement is something you cannot automate (but there are tools out there to help you measure the engagement and scale the impact). We’re huge proponents of looking to the “micro-influencers”…the ones who really have an impact on their community, no matter how small. It’s these influencers who inspire action since they have created such a personal, authentic connection with their audience. This is the reason these people are so trusted.

  • I had such a great time at the Twitter chat on Monday.

    Thank you for sharing with us these tips.

    I would: Treat them like humans, not $ making machines. We need to keep in mind influencers are humans too!

    • Tatiana Beale

      Thanks, Corina! We really enjoyed participating in the chat. I think the biggest challenge for marketers to overcome is that we are so campaign driven. We think about results as if we can push a button and turn them on and off. When engaging with influencers it’s all about the long game and creating a relationship. Short term gains shouldn’t be part of the equation, unless it’s for the influencer’s benefit.