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Most people working in marketing are aware of social marketing and even content marketing. What they may not know about is influencer marketing. Since it can be very beneficial to business, it’s worth learning about this new buzzword and the type of marketing some experts are calling “the next big thing.”

OK, what is it?

It used to be that keywords drove marketing. Today, it’s about key people – or influencers – that can drive your message. Instead of blindly reaching out to the masses in the larger market, you focus your brand message to influencers. These influences promote and share your valuable content so that you don’t have to rely so much on SEO to boost your rankings.

Of course, influencer marketing is not done in a bubble. These people need to hear about your offerings. Thus, content marketing and social media marketing are intertwined with influencer marketing. Often, influencer campaigns are tied to social media and their personal social connections via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, personal blogs, etc.

Why it’s important

When you create a brand with influencers in mind, your message can be amplified because it is done organically. Businesses know that organic traffic is favored over paid searches and advertising. Why? Because organic traffic equates to real people on the other end. This means the opportunity for conversion rates increases.

Additionally, websites that have real visitors become extremely valuable to Google. If you have organic traffic, your rankings go up on the number one search engine out there. This, in turn, adds more value to your site and your brand overall. Since everyone wants to have higher rankings, the ways companies attempt to get to the top can sometimes get you penalized. That’s not going to happen if your traffic is growing organically.

Hello, influencer?

The most important part of any marketing is having information and content that can be shared. You can get as many influencers as you want, but if you don’t have quality content that incluencers feel is worth pushing out to the masses, you are never going to be successful.

When you create content, make sure it is relevant to influencers. Take time to understand your audience, find out what they want and what they like to share. Research the topics, blogs and Tweets that your influencers follow and like. There are many people out there with their own YouTube channels. These social media stars can be your next big influencer.

Once you find those who would be a good contextual fit, make sure they have the reach you are seeking. You want to raise your brand awareness via social shares. Those who have many followers get you more visibility.

Reach out to these accounts, encourage them and their social media followers not to simply check out your site, but to read very specific information on your site that is vital to them. Tell them about pieces of content, not just your website overall.

Encourage influencers with blogs to write about you and your brand. Over time, you may establish a relationship where you can work with these influencers to gain a new perspective based on their following. Consider having the influencer come up with concepts that help your brand.

Challenges

Marketing of any type comes with challenges. With influencer marketing, research shows that identifying the correct type of influencer is often the hardest part. Defining how the influencer fits into the overall marketing mix and the uncertainty of the ROI also impacts influencer marketing.

There are definitely ways to take on these challenges and overcome them. For any campaign to be successful, it is often important to take time to develop and refine the strategy. Influencer marketing isn’t a shortcut to results, but it can deliver some great results over time.

How to track your influencer campaign success

Nearly 90% of businesses report that their influencer marketing efforts had just as good as or better ROI than their other marketing channels. That’s a powerful number, but how do you know if your influencers are worth the investment?

If you are measuring the sale of products, you should be giving your influencers their own individual tracking links or affiliate codes. This allows you to see the number of sales being generated by each influencer.

If you aren’t selling products but want to measure the visibility of your influencer’s post, you can ask them to add a hashtag to all of their promotional posts for your company. Then you can search that hashtag to see their activity.

Need help?

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book “100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs.”

This e-book will walk you through the mistakes of hundreds of other companies and the challenges they faced in implementing their content marketing programs. To learn more about how Tempesta Media can help you streamline your content creation process and deliver quality content at scale, contact us today.

Michael Marchese is the founder and CEO of Tempesta Media. He is responsible for corporate strategy, executive team leadership and overall business operations across all the company’s segments.

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