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 community. Sirius 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.