Many brands these days find themselves facing some serious questions about content creation for social networks they’re involved with, as well as for various visual content media they work with. If your brand has used social media influencers in the past, you’re probably well aware of the power they wield over vast numbers of users within their individual niches.
Whether you have worked with influencers in the past or not, you might be wondering about the best way to approach them so they can collaborate with your internal personnel on the creation of content. This article will expand on some of the best ways to approach and work with social media influencers, so that you end up creating highly effective content to be used in your marketing campaigns.
The evolution of social media influencers
When influencer marketing first emerged as a valuable strategy, most brands were looking to leverage the power influencers had over their personal audiences so as to improve their marketing through word-of-mouth. A secondary objective was to increase visibility for the brand itself, and to bring it to the attention of influencers’ audiences.
In many cases, this was done through sponsored reviews, and these were supposed to be compelling enough to sway users over to purchasing from that particular brand. However, over the last several years many brands have been modifying their influencer marketing campaigns to leverage social influencers as content creators as well.
More companies are discovering that they receive greater value from social media influencer marketing by including them in the actual content creation, as opposed to merely recommending brands to their audiences. The content which is created on a collaborative basis can then be used throughout all kinds of organic and paid digital campaigns which a company might initiate. Probably the hottest trend in influencer marketing today centers around companies who outsource all of their content creation initiatives to a group of micro-influencers.
Increasing conversions through better content
With the cost of customer acquisition constantly increasing on social media, many brands have begun taking a hard look at how they can convert customers by posting more relevant and valuable content. The most effective content is that which is authentic to users, and in most cases the most authentic perspective available comes from someone who’s actually a social media user themselves.
Brands are shifting away from the idea of creating all their own internal content, because they have become aware that this approach does not validate the content with their audience. With this being the case, it has happened many times in the past that such content when published has very little to do with the real preferences and tastes of social media users. That in turn, has led to a gap between content creators and content consumers, which had to be closed by people who have the most authentic perspective on social media users and their preferences.
Clearly, that kind of content could only be created by actual users of social media who were collaborating with brands to produce that content. Some of these users came from online communities where there was already a good deal of conversation about a brand or its products, and these individuals could be drafted to collaborate with the brand, so that both parties benefited.
When there isn’t enough buzz in the user communities about any specific brand or its products, it becomes incumbent upon a brand to reach out to micro-influencers to fill that gap. In fact, this is probably one of the fastest-growing trends in social media marketing today, with influencer-generated content becoming more prevalent all the time. Content created by micro-influencers can initiate conversations in a number of online communities, and that in turn can trigger user-generated content, as things really get rolling.
Content creation by micro-influencers
A fact which has previously been somewhat overlooked by a number of marketing gurus is that social media influencers, including all those who preside over very small niches, have already been successful at creating their own content. As they rose to prominence, such influencers invariably became adept at creating content which aligns with their audiences’ views, and which provides common ground for them to consider.
When you’re evaluating the cost of creating content in-house, you should compare that to the cost of content creation which originates from micro-influencers. While it may not always be cost-effective to work with micro-influencers, many brands have discovered that they can save significant costs by collaborating with these individuals, rather than generating their own content in-house. There are even a number of social media influencers who don’t require payment for their content creation services, but simply opt for receiving free products from the brand.
How to scale content creation
Anyone who has presided over an internal content team will know that it can be difficult to scale the production of content while also maintaining authenticity and creativity. Scaling up on a brand’s image can be very difficult while also trying to maintain authenticity, and if you’re unsuccessful at it, your content will lack authenticity and fail to achieve its objective, which is probably conversions.
In order to create an economy of scale, you might be interested in working with a company called Trend, which exists to help brands outsource the production of their content, and shift it over to an army of micro-influencers. Trend has already acquired its own pool of influencers which will collaborate with brands to provide them with authentic content at a set rate, and this can be a big money-saver for many companies.
It’s generally not a good idea to content contact social media influencers in marketplaces. While this may be a good source to actually find micro-influencers, you won’t have any idea whether or not they’re interested in promoting your brand or its products. You can of course, offer them monetary rewards for collaborating with you, but if money is their only interest, it’s fairly likely that their content creation will lack authenticity, which means it will ultimately fail to interest users.
The best approach for finding social media micro-influencers is to collaborate with a company like Trend, which does all the vetting for you so that you only work with influencers who have expressed interest in your brand. These influencers will be willing to promote your brand and its products because they feel that in some way they align with the interests of their existing following. That is the very best basis for content creation, and it will usually show up in the form of superior interest and engagement with your audience.