Marketing. It’s a term used to describe a number of processes and applications, and we could spend hours discussing its evolution into how we use it today. Suffice it to say that it’s an ever-evolving practice of enticing consumers into making decisions on how to spend their hard-earned money. Around since civilization began, the act of persuading a person to buy goods and services has always depended on technology. This is where we begin our next “Business Marketing Basics” discussion, focusing on Content Marketing and how technology has given rise to Influencers.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing, as defined by The Content Marketing Institute, is “… a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” This content can be anything and cover a wide variety of industries and products, but the most important aspect is that whatever is being created must be deemed valuable and relevant. There are different types of content marketing, but the most often used are blogging and curated video, with podcasting, infographics, email, and ebooks right behind them.
There are those who think blogging is a tool of the past, but any marketer worth their weight will agree – a well curated, quality blog is the gift that keeps giving! Most organically shared content takes a little time to reach an audience, but the real value of a blog can actually take some time to be evident. If the blog content is found by readers and search engines to be both relevant and valuable, the more likely the blog post will appear at the top of the search results, gaining even more readers and website traffic. A well-crafted blog will usually stay at the top of the rankings until newer blogs with more relevance or more current information push it down the rankings.
Video has come on strong in the last few years, and most content creators will accompany their blogs with video to get the most bang for their buck. Video is also great for social media, which we all know is the most important placement for content these days!
What are the Benefits of Content Marketing?
When content creators share their valuable and relevant content online, they add value to their brand and image, encouraging search engines such as Google to consider them “authorities” in their specific area of expertise. This further strengthens their ranking in search, putting them in front of the eyes of even more customers or clients. But there are other benefits to content marketing, including the fact that it can drive new sales, strengthen customer relationships, and grow your social media following.
Any time quality content is shared, it has the opportunity to go viral, which in and of itself is the most important potential benefit – read more about what to do if you go viral here!
Content Marketing Strategies
Having a strategy for your content marketing is essential, though it can be a different process for every industry. The main points to consider, however, include knowing:
- what makes your brand unique
- the value of your content
- the goals you need to achieve
- who your best targets are and how to reach them
Once you’ve come up with a plan, don’t forget analytics! If you are not able to collect data and analyze their merit, then any strategy you implement will only get you so far. Make sure you can evaluate your efforts in order to continue growing your base!
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is marketing based on and promoted by someone who affects or changes the way other people behave. Most influencer marketing is achieved through social marketing platforms, so in this part of our discussion, we will base our observations solely on social media.
Influencers can be celebrities, but most are just regular people who have carefully crafted their online identity and brand. An influencer’s primary goal is not simply to share information about products or services, but rather to build credibility and become a trusted persona in his or her specific area of interest.
What are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
Like blogging, influencer marketing is a long game, where one has to put in a lot of work before any results are seen. However, those results can really be worth the effort and patience – the benefits from influencer marketing can be staggering. A successful influencer has the power to steer the public discourse, move easily across online platforms, and, most importantly, drive conversions. An influencer’s most valuable asset is public trust and this is accomplished by building relationships over a long period of time with his or her followers.
What’s the Difference Between a Content Creator and an Influencer?
Isn’t an influencer also a content creator? Actually, they can be, but not all content creators are influencers! Content creators create appealing content, either entertaining or educational, for viewers through any channel or medium. An influencer also creates content, but the important aspect is that their branded and credible persona is what brings value to that content, which is usually sponsored by a third-party brand.
Technology has really given rise to influencers, especially via platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The immediate reach and connection to a wide base of viewers has allowed for non-celebrities to take hold of their own identity and further their brand based on their credibility and authority. As long as technology continues to thrive and innovate, influencer marketing will continue to be a quality path for businesses to choose in their marketing strategies.
If you are in need of content creators, or if you have questions about how to develop your own influencer marketing strategy, contact your tech partners at Blink;Tech today!