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How To Leverage Influencer Marketing To Build Brand Awareness

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How To Leverage Influencer Marketing To Build Brand Awareness

Increased brand awareness is something that every company strives to obtain. Brand awareness is a term used to describe the degree customers can recognize a product or service based solely on its name.

When you think of companies with some of the most recognizable brands, for example, McDonald’s and Nike, by simply seeing a quick flash of the McDonald’s arches or the Nike swoosh, you immediately know what they offer.

This level of brand awareness is not an accident. It is the result of decades of advertising and millions of dollars of investments.

The main advantage that companies like McDonald’s and Nike have is that they started their brand awareness campaigns decades ago before the internet was so central to our everyday lives.

Today, if you are a new company starting out, even if you have an amazing product, it may be difficult to stand out above the competition. Consumers have more choices than ever before, and they consume information in different ways. With all of the content out there, it can be more difficult for consumers to cut through the noise to find products they can truly care about.

To help build brand awareness, more companies are utilizing influencers as a marketing strategy to spread the word about their products and services, and it is working.

If you are a newer company out there, there are several ways that you can utilize influencer marketing to help spread the word about your company. Let us discuss some of the most effective ways businesses leverage influencer marketing to build brand awareness.

Content creation is at the core of brand awareness

Before starting an influencer marketing campaign, your company should have a solid and well-designed website as the foundation of your brand and the products and services you offer. All of the content that you create, as well as any of the content that influencers produce promoting your brand, should eventually lead back to your site, where leads can convert to sales.

The site is also the holy grail of information when it comes to your brand. It will have all of the product specifications, prices, and minor details that people need, as well as offer ways for potential customers to contact you if they are looking for further information.

Additionally, your well-designed website should have a social media hub plugin to help you organize your different social media accounts. A social media hub on your website can allow visitors to view, share, and interact with the social media content you create across all platforms. It can inspire customer engagement, increase your time-on-page metrics, and provide you with one location to manage and publish your social media content.

Much of the content that your influencers make on their social media accounts and platforms can be repurposed and formatted to be reposted on your brand’s social media accounts.

Once you have your solid foundation in the form of a well-designed website and a social media hub to organize and manage your social media content, you can focus on working with influencers to have them produce content on your behalf. Influencers will already have a large audience of followers who consume the content they create and have established trust with the influencer.

Hiring influencers to help boost your brand

Influencers can add more authenticity, relevance, and emotional appeal to the promotion of a brand, product, or service than any other type of traditional advertising method. Because of this, if you are working with an influencer who is creating content on your behalf, you will want to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their efforts.

Influencers may have the power to make your brand but also to break it, so make sure you negotiate payment terms in good faith. Have the influencer document every post they make for your brand using a Google Docs invoicing template, so you have a clear overview of their work. You’ll also need a formal contract detailing the scope of work, deliverables, how you plan to measure the results, and the end date for the project.

Once you have negotiated payment terms and an idea of what products you would like the influencer to promote, you can move on to content creation. You can let your influencer have 100% autonomy on the type of content they create, or you can retain some control over your marketing content and collaborate with them.

If you decide to collaborate, here are some ways that brands and influencers have worked together to create engaging content.

Types of content that brands and influencers can make in collaboration

There are five main types of influencer content that have a proven track record of being successful: unboxing videos, tutorials or how-to videos, social media takeovers, contests/giveaways, and brand-sponsored events.

Before collaborating with an influencer to create any of these types of content, you will want to ensure your website can handle the potential influx in traffic. You’ll also want to check that your team knows how to use customer and lead management tools to compile visitor data for future marketing efforts and convert curious visitors into paying customers.

Let’s look at the most common and successful influencer content types in more detail.

Unboxing videos

Unboxing videos created on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram Live can be extremely effective at promoting a new product that is about to come out or has just been released. By sending one of your new products to an influencer, they can create a video of them opening the box the product is shipped in, explaining the contents, and documenting their natural reaction to seeing the product for the first time.

Unboxing videos are extremely effective because they can give a potential customer a first-hand look at the size of a product, how it may fit in their hands, how it feels, what features it has, and ultimately if it is worth all the hype.

Tutorials/how-to videos

Tutorial and how-to videos are some of the easiest videos to make that can have the largest impact. Most potential customers prefer to learn how to use a product by watching one of their favorite online personalities using it rather than reading an instructional pamphlet.

Social media takeovers

Social media takeovers are when an influencer takes over the posting privileges of a brand’s social media account to create content for a set time. The main benefit of doing a social media takeover with an extremely popular social media influencer is cross-pollination.

Cross-pollination in social media marketing occurs when followers of an influencer are directed to your social media accounts to view the content created by their favorite online personality. During cross-pollination, you should be able to acquire a good amount of new followers on your own social media accounts.

Contests/giveaways

Everybody loves a contest or a giveaway. A contest held by a popular influencer promoting your brand is an extremely effective marketing technique. Typically, users are required to sign up for a mailing list, share posts, or leave a comment to enter the contest. This is an extremely effective way to gather email addresses and contact information for future marketing efforts. Also, don’t be cheap. Make the prizes exciting to ensure engagement.

Brand-sponsored events

Brand-sponsored events like an influencer meet-and-greet or an online Q and A on Facebook or Instagram live are great ways to engage influencer followers and associate your brand with the influencer.

If you do a face-to-face meet-and-greet event, you can provide swag bags to attendees. If you do an online Q and A session, you can offer special promo codes and discounts for people who are in attendance. Sometimes special promo codes like these can create an element of exclusivity that people love.

Wrapping up

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to boost brand awareness and an important factor in gathering leads and increasing sales and revenue. If you want to be a part of the content creation process, you can collaborate with your influencers and help them make unboxing and tutorial/how-to videos. Social media takeovers, contests and giveaways, and brand-sponsored events are other great ways to generate buzz around your brand. Just remember that a successful influencer marketing campaign starts with a well-designed and well-functioning website and an active social media presence.

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts


Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

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5 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve the Content Experience for Readers

Who doesn’t like to have a good experience consuming content?

I know I do. And isn’t that what we – as both a consumer of content and a marketer of content – all want?

What if you create such a good experience that your audience doesn’t even realize it’s an “experience?” Here’s a helpful mish-mash of easy-to-do things to make that possible.

1. Write with an inclusive heart

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone who constantly talks about themselves. Check your text to see how often you write the words – I, me, we, and us. Now, count how often the word “you” is used. If the first-person uses are disproportionate to the second-person uses, edit to delete many first-person references and add more “you” to the text.

You want to let your audience know they are included in the conversation. I like this tip shared in Take Binary Bias Out of Your Content Conversations by Content Marketing World speaker Ruth Carter: Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns.

Go through your text and replace exclusionary terms such as he/him and she/her with they/them pronouns, says @rbcarter via @Brandlovellc @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

2. Make your content shine brighter with an AI assist

Content published online should look different than the research papers and essays you wrote in school. While you should adhere to grammar rules and follow a style guide as best as possible, you also should prioritize readability. That requires scannable and easily digestible text – headings, bulleted text, short sentences, brief paragraphs, etc.

Use a text-polishing aid such as Hemingway Editor (free and paid versions) to cut the dead weight from your writing. Here’s how its color-coded review system works and the improvements to make:

  • Yellow – lengthy, complex sentences, and common errors
    • Fix: Shorten or split sentences.
  • Red – dense and complicated text
    • Fix: Remove hurdles and keep your readers on a simpler path.
  • Pink – lengthy words that could be shortened
    • Fix: Scroll the mouse over the problematic word to identify potential substitutes.
  • Blue – adverbs and weakening phrases
    • Fix: Delete them or find a better way to convey the thought.
  • Green – passive voice
    • Fix: Rewrite for active voice.

Grammarly’s paid version works well, too. The premium version includes an AI-powered writing assistant, readability reports, a plagiarism checker, citation suggestions, and more than 400 additional grammar checks.

In the image below, Grammarly suggests a way to rephrase the sentence from:

“It is not good enough any longer to simply produce content “like a media company would”.

To:

“It is no longer good enough to produce content “as a media company would”.

Much cleaner, right?

3. Ask questions

See what I did with the intro (and here)? I posed questions to try to engage with you. When someone asks a question – even in writing – the person hearing (or reading) it is likely to pause for a split second to consider their answer. The reader’s role changes from a passive participant to an active one. Using this technique also can encourage your readers to interact with the author, maybe in the form of an answer in the comments.

4. Include links

Many content marketers include internal and external links in their text for their SEO value. But you also should add links to help your readers. Consider including links to help a reader who wants to learn more about the topic. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • You can link the descriptive text in the article to content relevant to those words (as I did in this bullet point)
  • You can list the headlines of related articles as a standalone feature (see the gray box labeled Handpicked Related Content at the end of this article).

Add links to guide readers to more information on a topic – not just for SEO purposes says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. #WritingTips Click To Tweet

You also can include on-page links or bookmarks in the beginning (a table of contents, of sorts) in longer pieces to help the reader more quickly access the content they seek to help you learn more about a topic. This helps the reader and keeps visitors on your website longer.

5. Don’t forget the ‘invisible’ text

Alt text is often an afterthought – if you think about it all. Yet, it’s essential to have a great content experience for people who use text-to-speech readers. Though it doesn’t take too much time, I find that customizing the image description content instead of relying on the default technology works better for audience understanding.

First, ask if a listener would miss something if they didn’t have the image explained. If they wouldn’t, the image is decorative and probably doesn’t need alt text. You publish it for aesthetic reasons, such as to break up a text-heavy page. Or it may repeat information already appearing in the text (like I did in the Hemingway and Grammarly examples above).

If the listener would miss out if the image weren’t explained well, it is informative and requires alt text. General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text. That’s a short sentence or two to convey the image’s message. Don’t forget to include punctuation.

General guidelines indicate up to 125 characters (including spaces) work best for alt text, says @Brandlovellc via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For both decorative and informative images, include the photo credits, permissions, and copyright information, in the caption section.

For example, if I were writing an article about Best Dogs for Families, I would include an image of a mini Bernedoodle as an example because they make great family pets. Let’s use this image of my adorable puppy, Henri, and I’ll show you both a good and bad example of alt text.

An almost useless alt-text version: “An image showing a dog.”

Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.

It wastes valuable characters with the phrase “an image showing.”

Use the available characters for a more descriptive alt text: “Author’s tri-colored (brown, white, black, grey wavy hair), merle mini Bernedoodle, Henri, lying on green grass.”

It’s more descriptive, and I only used 112 characters, including spaces.

Want to learn more? Alexa Heinrich, an award-winning social media strategist, has a helpful article on writing effective image descriptions called The Art of Alt Text. @A11yAwareness on Twitter is also a great resource for accessibility tips.

Improve your content and better the experience

Do any of these suggestions feel too hard to execute? I hope not. They don’t need a bigger budget to execute. They don’t need a lengthy approval process to implement. And they don’t demand much more time in production.

They just need you to remember to execute them the next time you write (and the time after that, and the time after that, and the … well, you get the idea.)

If you have an easy-to-implement tip to improve the content experience, please leave it in the comments. I may include it in a future update.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

If you have an idea for an original article you’d like to share with the CMI audience, you could get it published on the site. First, read our blogging guidelines and write or adjust your draft accordingly. Then submit the post for consideration following the process outlined in the guidelines.

In appreciation for guest contributors’ work, we’re offering free registration to one paid event or free enrollment in Content Marketing University to anyone who gets two new posts accepted and published on the CMI site in 2023.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

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The Ultimate Guide to Product Marketing in 2023

Product marketing is essential, even if you only sell one or two products at your organization.

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