Influencer marketing isn't a new term but for the publishing industry, it might be. The impact of having a person with a significant following is known to the world and it’s demand is ever-growing.
A lot of the bigger publishers like GQ, The New York Times, Forbes, Refinery 29 have gotten tested their strategies with influencer marketing and a lot of the smaller publishers are in on it too. Needless to say, the approach to influencer marketing is completely dependent on the time and resource one is willing to invest.
What is Influencer marketing ?
As the internet fades the physical borders of the world, we have witnessed in the rise of “influencers”. These are individuals who have put their content out on the web and have a definite audience.
An influencer is usually someone who caters to a niche. The niche itself could be lifestyle, automobile, cinema or even books. The niche gives a better picture of the followers. You get a specific age group, demographic and general interest of their followers. Using their native platform or social media to drive brand messaging is a highly effective way to meet specific goals.
What does it have to do with digital publishers?
An influencer helps you amplify your brand voice to a hyper focused group of people. As a publisher, it can get tricky to get into influencer marketing. Finding an influencer who speaks about relevant topics, someone who stands with the voice of your company and someone with the right following can be difficult to find. However, once you have an influencer introduce or promote your product or business, the effect is more pointed than a simple advertisement. That is the primary difference between the two - the tone isn’t distance with influencers.
Why you should try it out
Digital media publishers already have complex and intricate analytics to work around. They know their audience demographics as well as interests and they are experienced at creating content that works.
Web publishers manage all of content creation, audience engagement, and digital advertising, making them well suited to take advantage of such a trend in online marketing. The most important side note to it, is that there isn’t a universal strategy that can be applied by all - you have to influencer marketing and learn from the audience feedback. There isn't one magic strategy for all.
Depending on a few factors, you should be able to narrow down your approach of influencer marketing for your brand. Such as,
1. Publisher’s niche
2. Publisher’s audience size
3. Publisher’s capacity to investment
Influencer marketing aligns closely with native advertising. It works perfectly when publishers have an in-house ad sales team that include it as an add-on to their branded content packages.
How do you ensure it benefits you
Building the publisher’s brand as a provider of high-quality content.
Strengthening existing branded content efforts.
If you observe a growth, work with the influencer on a regular basis to ensure you aren’t missing out on new viewers.
Have a dedicated team to look into influencer marketing and do not stop with one - keep looking for more voices to pass your brand’s message.
In a recent digiday.com article, Howard Mittman, publisher and chief revenue officer at GQ, stated - “You must curate your network by looking at more than just the total audience they can deliver(...)You must work to find contributors whose ideals reflect the broad values of your organization and you need to manage and maintain relationships with them as you would your staff.”
Do it the publisher way
If your speciality is content, it can be difficult to have someone else bid your brand’s voice for you. However it is important to pay your strength. While having an influencer friendly marketing will always give you a nod from the advertisers, it is important to use it to your advantage.
Use the infleuncer’s engagement in social media to your advantage. Follow them and ensure that all posts relevant are mutually shared and distributed.
An influencer humanises your brand. Use this to connect with your audience through them.
While a brand may sometimes be looked at as an entity, it is never the case with an influencer. You can get access to better and specific feedback.
Set the tone with the audience and keep reminding them through channels you know are the most effective.
As a publisher, you can have write ups, podcasts, video interactions with the influencers. Get their followers to take a good look at what you have to offer by subtlety.
Influencer marketing is a trend that could get you a quick and penetrated impact on the audience. It is easy to manage but requires a clear strategy and vision. You need to not only set a brand tone but also decide on how you want others to communicate about your brand. Publishers can get their advertisement blinders on while dealing with influencers, it is important to remember that content marketing has evolved and so should you.