Content marketing has been around for decades; a tried and tested digital marketing strategy that works for all types of business and websites. However, in more recent years, many of the biggest companies in the world have started leaning towards influencer marketing over traditional content strategies. But what marks the difference between these two types of marketing, and which is best for your business?
Whilst the popularity of influencer marketing has grown, and businesses have begun to favour it, there is still some confusion over how exactly it differs from content marketing. Those looking to influencer marketing tend to want the same things as those using content marketing: brand awareness, increased credibility and better reach, as well as increased conversions across all channels. So what does this new form of digital marketing have that sets it apart from the rest?
Influencer marketing is basically an update and rebrand of traditional celebrity advocacy, where brands used famous people in their adverts to appeal to that person’s fanbase and make their product appear more valuable in the eyes of the general public. An influencer tends to be someone who is ‘internet famous’ rather than a movie star or musical artist, but the basic setup is the same.
Pros Of Influencer Marketing
- Increases brand reach. Using an influencer means that your product is instantly seen by a majority of that influencer’s fans and followers.
- Builds authority and trust. Influencers tend to be trusted by their fans, and if they say they like and use a product then their audience instantly sees that your brand is one to watch, without feeling as though they have been ‘sold’ to.
- Strengthens SEO. As search engine algorithms get smarter, even reaching out to an influencer and starting a conversation about your product can help to generate backlinks and boost your SERP rankings. If you can get an influencer to retweet or share your content then even better.
Cons Of Influencer Marketing
- Can be pricey. Influencers are as aware of their power as marketers are, and the cost to work with an influencer continues to rise. Try to research and make projections in advance of reaching out so that you can be sure the payoff will be as great, or moreso, than the pay out in working with one. You might also consider working with micro-influencers first.
- Inability to control the content. Internet users don’t tend to trust influencers who simply share ready-made advertising content; they are looking for transparency across the entire chain. When you work with an influencer you have to accept that you are leaving it up to them how they advertise or talk about your product.
Content marketing refers to any type of content that you might produce in order to advertise your brand or product. There are various types of premium and visual content that can be used as part of your marketing strategy, with some of the most popular including:
Pros Of Content Marketing
- Increases brand credibility. Good, knowledgeable and useful content helps to demonstrate that your brand is an authority and offers potential customers value so that they want to engage with you.
- Increases website traffic. New content offers the opportunity to share across all of your channels, offering your brand lots of movement online and helping to send new contacts in the direction of your site. Unique content is valuable to search engines, so this will also increase your SERPs.
- Improving customer relations. Customers both old and new will appreciate new and interesting content coming from your brand, as it helps to keep you fresh in their minds and nurtures brand loyalty.
Cons Of Content Marketing
- You are not allowed a ‘off day’. Internet users are becoming more demanding when it comes to what they want to see from content. If you are working in an industry where you do not have your finger on the pulse at all times then you may find yourself falling behind. Content must be fascinating, regular and consistent.
- There are barriers to entry. As search engine and website algorithms get smarter and internet users get savvier, it is becoming harder and harder to insert brand messaging into outside channels. Guest blogging slots are less available and there is often no opportunity to advertise for free on other websites.
- Niche marketing is becoming more important. As more sites spring up every day, competition for content engagement is incredibly high. This means that brands need to find their own very tight niche and attempt to build engagement with this specific audience. This can be time-consuming and you may miss out on other potential customers who are outside of this niche.
So what can a brand do in 2020 to help them decide between content marketing and influencer marketing, or build a healthy combination of the two into their overall marketing strategy?
Focus On Your Brand
Before you are able to produce successful content and market it well, you have to make sure that your brand stands up to scrutiny. You might have an all-out success with an influencer marketing campaign, but if your site isn’t great or you don’t have the calls-to-action put in place to drive conversions, you will find yourself out of pocket after a wasted opportunity.
Before you can take advantage of an influencer’s following, you should build your own and get to understand who they are and what they are looking for, so that you can craft content that they will love and then find the right influencer to work with.
Targeting The Right Influencer
This may sound counterintuitive but, instead of focusing your efforts on approaching a number of top influencers in the hopes that one will go for your campaign, you should instead do your research and find the perfect one for you.
You then want to only target that influencer with a pitch that they cannot refuse and put all of your efforts into working with them successfully. This is important because the influencer you choose is just as important as the content you make – it should be personal to you and your audience.
Look at the basics of your target audience:
- Who are they?
- Why do they need your product?
- How do we know they need it?
- How much of it do they need?
Once you know this, you can start looking for an influencer who fits in with your audience, and who would probably buy your product themselves without you offering to work with them.
Marketing online is both an art form and a science and being able to do it well and at a price you are comfortable with is certainly a challenge.
Here at MaxWeb we have deep expertise and experience in the field and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs. You will find us friendly and down to earth and able to help you, whatever your online requirements.
Give us a call on 0151 652 4777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.
Posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2020 in Branding.