Best Practices - Content Influencers
Best practices in content for content influencers include tailoring social media platforms around content objectives, creating interactive content for audiences, being relatable, using a content calendar, and producing evergreen content. Summaries of each best practice and their importance are below.
Best Practice 1: Picking the Right Social Media Platform for Your Content
- Campaign objectives for content should be taken into consideration when selecting a social media platform to drive an effective content strategy.
- Examples identified by Danielle Wiley, CEO of influencer marketing agency, Sway Group, include using Instagram or YouTube for beauty content and optimizing content targeted towards teens on Instagram or Snapchat over Facebook, based on platform trends seen in recent years.
- Platform trends are also critical to consider for timing of content; for example, Pinterest users begin searches for holiday gift ideas twice as early as on other platforms, which prompts the need for brands to generate holiday campaign content around August to optimize this trend.
Best Practice 2: Create Content That Is Interactive
- Interactive content (e.g., quizzes, infographics, calculators, podcasts) is viewed as the future of content marketing, as identified by Jeff Bullas, one of Forbes' top influencers for Chief Marketing Officers.
- By creating content that is interactive for its audience, brands may distinguish themselves from competitors in a way that can significantly improve brand awareness and reliability among target audiences; in some cases, growing rates of new leads by 300% through improved brand exposure from interactive content.
- Interactive content that is useful, informative, and relevant to audiences will generate a large amount of traffic and enhance user experience by offering quizzes, polls, or posing questions that are of interest to audiences.
- For example, New York Time's most popular content was not an article; rather, it was a dialect quiz, demonstrating the preference for interactive content among audiences.
Best Practice 3: Be Relatable
- Identified as a best practice by content influencer, Joe Pulizzi, relatability is considered a "content superpower" and a key variable in successful relationship-building between influencers and their audiences.
- Tweaking language to better align with not only what audiences are talking about but how they talk about them is central to improving relatability.
- Audiences are more likely to engage with influencers who are relatable: the majority of YouTube's teenage subscribers (70%) relate more to YouTube creators as compared to celebrities, and 40% feel a deeper connection with YouTube creators than their friends.
- Glossier leveraged relatability in its content marketing strategy by recruiting everyday women and some micro-influencers to promote their cosmetics in a campaign that helped them achieve cult status and the brand's recognition as one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2017.
Best Practice 4: Use a Content Calendar
- A social media content calendar may be helpful for content influencers to visualize and organize content in alignment with their content strategy consistently and effectively.
- Content may be repurposed and scheduled for staggered publication across different social media platforms to optimize the amount of impressions that content may receive.
- Topic ideas are typically planned out in advance onto a blank calendar to ensure that content is delivered at a consistent rate, integrated across multiple platforms, and to connect with audiences in a more human way.
- Content calendars are identified as a best practice by influencer marketing experts, Danielle Wiley, Pam Moore, and Kim Garst, and by social media analytics company, Sprout Social.
Best Practice 5: Produce Evergreen Content
- Evergreen content is content that defies time-based trends and does not have an expiration date for when the content will no longer apply to its audiences.
- Forbes identified three fundamental principles to ensure that content withstands the ever-evolving landscape of social media trends: authenticity in relationships with brands and audiences, clear communication in content creation strategies between brands and content influencers, and optimizing content based on post-campaign results.
- Tweaking content based on metrics gathered from post-campaign reports (e.g., ROI, conversion rates, sentiment) may also provide the opportunity to optimize content to ensure that it becomes evergreen if it had previously been influenced by evolving trends such as seasonality.
The research team began its search for content influencer best practices by searching content marketing news sites (e.g., Content Marketing Institute's publications, Forbes, Digital Marketing Institute) and interviews with content influencer experts (e.g., Kim Garst, Mark Schaefer, Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Pam Moore, Jeffrey Hayzlett, and Michael Brenner). Upon searches for "conflict influencers," the research team discovered that influencer marketing and content marketing are two, distinct strategies. Therefore, the research team leveraged the definition of "content influencer" as identified in the initial Strategy to inform the audience for best practices. The "content influencer" experts identified in the initial Strategy contribute their expertise within content marketing; therefore, the research team assumed that best practices identified by these experts are to be targeted towards individuals generating content in the content marketing industry. Practices identified as best and corroborated across more than one source were selected and are summarized above.