The Hidden Secret

The meteoric rise of influencer marketing over the past 5 years has shifted a once creative-led industry to focus more on tactics like media efficiency and measurements models. While tangible metrics are important to any marketing campaign, the commoditization in brand partnerships has caused many in the industry to overlook one of the core benefits of any influencer/brand partnership — the content.

Don’t get us wrong, media performance and ROI will always be important, but let’s not forget how rewarding and exciting it feels to publish a captivating piece of content that truly represents your brand ethos.

Fortunately, influencers are experts in creating quality content with attention to detail, composition, and color palettes — a brand manager’s dream come true. Don’t forget, the benefits of partnering with influencers extend far beyond impressions. What too many brands fail to recognize is that partnering with influencers can actually power their entire digital content strategy. Let’s break it down.

Fueling the Lifestyle-Content Machine

Instagram users love lifestyle content and that’s not a hunch, there’s data to support it. A recent study shows that photos with a face receive 38% more likes and are 32% more likely to receive comments.  Moreover, user-generated content (UGC) has 4.5% higher chance of conversion. This should tell brands that the boring flat-lay photographymight not be creating the engagement they’re seeking.

Since the rise of the “Mad Men”, brands have tried to emotionally connect with their customers by portraying a certain lifestyle through TV commercials, magazine ads, and billboards. This is especially noticeable in high-end fragrance advertisements or sneaker commercials of the ‘90s, where these brands rely on fantasy imagery and celebrity endorsements to pique the interest of consumers. In the digital world, the demand for this type of content is even higher. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube require consistently fresh content to keep audiences engaged and feeds scrolling.

In-house marketing teams may not have the resources, agility, or expertise to produce this type of content on a regular basis. How many “out of scope” conversations do you have with your marketing agency? Instead of worrying about limited access to content, let influencers do the heavy lifting for you! Influencers have built an audience and reputation based on their content. Many support themselves financially with a successful business by showcasing their lifestyle within their content. Fans want to be like these individuals and other brands want to work with them.

High-Quality Deliverables

When planning your next campaign, think of the many ways you could repurpose the influencer-captured content in your marketing channels. Make sure to prepare some content examples, like an inspiration mood board so influencers immediately get a sense of your visual brand identity. When you brief them on the project, encourage them to highlight their unique perspective when using the product or service. The audience will appreciate the authenticity and the content will be better for it.

Influencers are creatives first, whose content will rival, if not exceed the quality of work that internal marketing teams or agencies produce. For example, Toyota partnered with National Geographic photographer, Keith Ladzinski, to give their Toyota 86’ a well-received video on the open roads of the Mojave Desert. The fresh perspective and authentic approach to the piece helped connect with an audience that Toyota may not regularly reach while maintaining (and possibly improving) the perception of the brand.

Maximizing Marketing Dollars

On average, content marketing accounts for 26% of B2C marketing budgets. While platforms continue to shrink brands and publishers’ organic reach, more money is being poured into paid media, leaving less money allocated to content production. This affects the total amount of content a brand can produce and the quality of the content itself. To be successful at content marketing, you need a healthy mix of fresh, inventive creative across your distribution channels.

Since influencers are accustomed to producing high-quality content, brands have the opportunity to maximize the partnership by repurposing the content on their owned marketing channels like Instagram, email newsletters or refreshing the company website. Brands who are working with multiple influencers at a time have the added benefit of creating a vast library of content that will help reduce the cost of production over time. When properly planned, this can dramatically improve the flow of their content distribution, brand perception, and production efficiencies.