How does creator-economy content change the playing field for content marketing? Here’s one example I’m sure you can relate to.
You’re hard at work in ideation mode researching your next company blog post. Then, all of a sudden, a YouTube notification pops up – and SQUIRREL! – you’re off investigating the latest happenings among the Kardashians, the royal family, or even that trendy YouTube makeup artist you follow.
You’ve just experienced the power of the creator economy. As Keith Bendes, head of content strategy at Linqia, puts it, “there is an all-out war taking place among the social networks for consumer attention, and influencers and creators largely help them garner that attention.”
Including influencers and other popular creators in your content strategy toolbox brings more eyeballs your way and, with them, advertising dollars. According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s Werner Geyser, an influencer has “the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience,” along with expertise and a significant following in their niche.
Worldwide, the influencer market has doubled its size since 2019 – and by 2021, it ballooned to a whopping $13.8 billion. Strategic brand partnerships with internet influencers – the creator economy – is now a critical ingredient for content marketing success.
For that reason, social media platforms pay popular creators for posting content. Influencers don’t have to be celebrities; they just have to be experts in their fields – as are the trendy makeup artists and disaster preppers all over the internet.
Content marketers would be wise to look into partnering with influencers, says Bendes, to keep pace with rapid cultural shifts and emerging trends. Additionally, influencers and other popular creators can help you reach into markets you haven’t made a dent in yet with content personalized to those target markets’ interests and needs.
How to Leverage the Creator Economy for Your Brand
Start with your buyer personas: If you haven’t updated your brand’s buyer personas for a while, look at whether there are untapped markets you could reach and create new personas that match their needs. Update your current buyer personas to align with any new trends they’ve latched onto.
Brainstorm with your teams about which messages would best appeal to each market segment: Engage in content collaboration with your in-house creative teams to explore each segment’s needs, interests, and demographic characteristics. Then draft topic ideas that would attract their attention.
Suggest influencers who might be effective with each segment: During your collaboration sessions, pick your teams’ collective brains to come up with influencers or other creators who would be a good fit for each buyer persona. For example, if you’re Royal Crown Cola, you might not be able to get a real royal, like Prince Harry, to exalt its benefits, but you might be able to snag a Southern beauty queen – who would likely be a better match since this brand’s messaging stresses its Southern US roots. Let your teams go wild with their creativity during these sessions. You never know what roads you can open up with new partners.
What characteristics should we look for in influencers and other creators?
First, their values and expertise should somehow align with your organization’s work. Instead of looking for a celebrity that has no clue about what you do but is only looking to add to their already beefy bottom line, choose someone who knows and appreciates the value of what you do.
For example, since we offer a content marketing platform, we partner with influencers in content marketing agencies, digital asset management companies, and content research and optimization companies, all related to the content production process but not direct competitors. Look for influencers who work in industries closely related to your own, and they’ll add value to your content.
How about current users who are influencers in their fields?
If industry influencers in related fields also number among your products’ or services’ users, you’ll multiply your impact among your target audience. Not only will they believe in your products’ value, but they will also have already proven their value to their own lives and work.
User-generated content (UGC) from non-influencers already generates 12 times more trust than your own brand messages. And, if you use the UGC on your product pages, you can increase your conversions by as much as 64%.
Add to that the clout influencers have, and you’ll get a double dose of value from your investment in content your users produce. And, they’ll get a little extra publicity (and, of course, some “link love”) from you, so it’s a win-win proposition for everyone involved.
How to Manage Your Influencers and Other Independent Creators
No matter how famous your influencers are, you need to maintain your brand voice. Just like you would with freelancers or an agency, clarify your expectations. So, provide them with your brand guidelines and key differentiators so that their content aligns smoothly with your company’s business goals.
Since they’re not on your in-house team, be sure to provide adequate details on your briefs. Don’t assume that they’re familiar with content marketing jargon. Also, include any keywords you want them to mention right in the brief. If they’re unfamiliar with keywords, a short explanation of their importance might be in order.
In addition, give them access to your subject matter experts should they have questions. That way, they won’t get the facts wrong when they create content for you.
After they finish their content, be sure to edit it well. Simply being an expert in one’s field doesn’t mean that they have perfect grammar or avoid making cringeworthy statements. Make your creators look good by polishing their content until it shines, and they’ll be more likely to work with you again.
Finally, just as you would with your in-house and freelance talent, evaluate their content’s effectiveness with your target market using your social media and content analytics. With an analytics solution customized to your brand’s exact needs – one that can integrate with your company’s other analytics reports – you’ll have all you need to decide whether an influencer is worth keeping on.
Amplify Your Influencers’ Reach with Paid Social Ads
Once you publish your influencers’ content, you’ll want to amplify its reach beyond your own social media followers and email subscribers.
Using your social media’s targeting function, you can reach prospective customers deep within your influencers’ niche by buying paid social media ads. Generally, these people aren’t likely to already be your followers. But when they see content by their favorite influencers, they’ll usually click through to read or watch the material.
Streamline Your Creator Content Production with a Platform Built to Handle It
With a content calendar built to manage content planning across your entire enterprise, a white-glove analytics solution designed just for you, and campaign management across all your channels, DivvyHQ’s content platform has everything you need to take advantage of the creator economy.
But don’t take our word for it. Try it for yourself absolutely free for 14 days with no obligation. Start your free trial today!