Whether you like it or not, influencers are here to stay. It’s impossible to ignore their impact on increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome to a content marketing campaign – especially digital. But, they are just as important in improving the effectiveness of print-based content.
The stats back this up: last year 84% of marketers revealed they planned to launch a campaign featuring influencers in 2018.
But what makes an influencer?
To work successfully with influencers, in B2B or consumer, in print and in digital, it helps to think like one. Here are a few of our insights:
Influencers make an emotional connection
In a blog focusing on the people our team regard as their greatest influence, one of the most moving contributions came from one of our account directors, Charlotte.
“He has offered me support, consistency and unconditional love; this has allowed me the freedom to express myself and achieve. He taught me to treat others as I wish to be treated. So I share my positivity and happiness with others.”
Influencers connect with people on an emotional level, and it is this authenticity that reinforces engagement.
Influencers teach us something
From editor Jules, who was inspired by a former politics teacher who encouraged him to broaden his horizons, to designer Johan, who seeks inspiration from leading graphic designers such as Jessica Walsh and Noma Bar, colleagues also named former teachers and professional role models as great influences on their lives. Influencers teach us something that will have a memorable impact on our lives, no matter how large or small.
Influencers don’t just talk; they listen too
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is one of the most influential voices in the fight against heart disease. That influence is partly informed by the efforts it makes to listen to the people it serves. We work with the BHF to create Heart Matters – a quarterly print magazine and online content programme, offering articles, animations, videos and interactive tools. Our brief is to inform, inspire and empower people with heart and circulatory conditions. Heart Matters content is partly informed by a 50-strong Patient Information Panel, set up by the BHF, to seek feedback on the magazine from its readers. Influencers understand that their success and reach depends on having a two-way conversation with their followers – and taking their followers’ views on board.
Influencers are all about focus
We’ve all heard about macro-influencers – celebrities, bloggers and vloggers with huge social media followings. But in the world of B2B content marketing, working with micro-influencers can help you spread your message to the right people more effectively. That’s because micro-influencers amass smaller, but more engaged and loyal followers. Take Gemma Godfrey, CEO of Moola, who City AM named the “UK’s most influential fintech expert”. When we wanted to position two of our clients as having an important contribution to make to the fintech debate, featuring Gemma in their respective magazines was a real coup. By sharing that content with her 55,000 loyal Twitter followers, Gemma helped our clients to reach the right audience quickly. Influencers understand the importance of a focused message.
Influencers appreciate getting something back
Think not what influencers can do for you, but what you can do for influencers. Every autumn, we conduct a gatefold cover shoot of influencers from the private equity and venture capital industry for the BVCA Journal, which we produce on behalf of the British Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, one of our longstanding clients. We recently conducted similar shoots for the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, featuring influencers from the worlds of fintech and finance more generally. While they result in some stunning covers for our clients, these days are a great opportunity for influencers to meet peers, network and promote themselves and their businesses. Building their network is partly how they achieve and maintain their influencer status, which is why anything you can do to help that process along can only be a good thing. Spending some time engaging with influencers who align with your brand, following their work and updates and sharing with them content that you know they will be interested in, and find relevant to their audiences, will dramatically increase your chances of them sharing and promoting your brand. Influencers are generous in sharing their reach with others. Giving them something back in return will always be appreciated. If you’d like to find out more about how you can use influencers in your marketing, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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