Content marketing refers to a strategic method of marketing in which specific content is created especially for digital marketing wherein the brand is not explicitly marketed but is subtly marketed so as to create a long lasting impression on the customers’ mind. Influencers are the people who have some credibility amongst people because of their accomplishments in some niche segments. Influencer marketing is distinguished from celebrity marketing as celebrities who endorse a particular brand may or may not have used their product or service and hence might not be the right person to talk about it. But that is not the case with influencers. There is obviously some overlap between the two kinds but there are distinctions too. An example of this can be that of Chef Peter Gilmore. While he definitely is a celebrity chef now, he had humble beginnings and established his credibility by working hard and learning various cuisines and placing the restaurant he works for on the world map. He also sought to help the local people by making an app which showed how to make really good dishes from local produce and is considered as one of the foremost chefs in promoting gardening and thus he also is an influencer in the said field.
Influencers play the following roles in content marketing:
- Expert Opinion
An influencer is nothing if not an expert in his field. Influencers understand all the factors that are related to the given product. The strengths and the weaknesses of the product as well as the opportunities and the threats that it faces are outlined by influencers which can thus be used to create a strategy accordingly. They also understand who will be the potential consumers and help in targeting them and motivating them to purchase the products. From the company’s point of view, it becomes imperative to listen to these influencers and modify the offerings as per their suggestions.
After the offerings are in place, it is time to create content which seems authentic. This can be done by involving the influencer in creating content that is authentic and that will seem relevant to the consumers. This can be more beneficial if the influencer can also broaden his horizon. For them, value can be created by authoring some articles or creating a book which allows them to share their story and leave behind their legacy which can be read by any number of people who come across their work.
Influencers generally have the status of a star amongst their followers. And if a company can leverage this stardom to gain digital traffic, it will be in the best interests of all. A role that an influencer plays is that of an unsaid marketer. Their words mean so much to the general public out there that even the most disconnected people at the bottom of the pyramid are influenced to purchase the product as they see value in it.
Once the content is created, it is very important to post it at the right place so that it reaches the right consumer at the right time. This is very important and if not done properly it can lead to wastage of all the efforts and the company may face losses. It is important to choose the right influencers to create visibility. Influencers can help in creating awareness by reachingout to the masses that will be interested in the offerings solely due to the credibility of the influencers. What is essentially done here is that organizations try to create a place for their brand in the minds of the consumers and at the same time, give them a reason to trust the brand. A known face or an established person or in case of digital marketing some famous blogger can go a long way in creating visibility for the brand.
Once you have posted the content online, you need to check if the content is being perceived correctly. There is a concept known as signalling theory which says that what your content signals is what gets done. That is to say that people respond as per the signal that they have received. Influencer’s role here is to understand what is the market signal sent by the content and give feedback accordingly. The influencers you choose for this role must be different from the ones you chose for initial roles as you need honest feedback so that you know that the content creates exactly the perception of the product that you need it to create.
As we have outlined the pros of influencer marketing, we can say that it represents a huge business opportunity as it helps smaller businesses to create credibility for them by impacting the consumer decision processes. In Australia, influencer marketing is on the rise but care must be taken that the guidelines are followed properly or it may lead to issues such as deletion of content and may even lead to further restrictions.
Shweta P is a professional writer and marketing analyst in OZCodes. She is focusing on emerging marketing tactics as well as content marketing, digital marketing strategy and social media engagement.