Creator Economy 101: How to use influencers in your communications strategy
Content creators and influencers have been firmly integrated into the communications strategy of many companies for years. Influencers no longer come only from the beauty or gaming sector, but are experts on a wide variety of topics and also promote niche products. Why does working with influencers also make sense for B2B companies? And how can companies best implement this collaboration?
Digital opinion leaders
People are primarily interested in other people. This is also reflected in their behavior on social media: people are more likely to follow individuals than companies. The reasons are simple: They want to see a face, identify with a person, and be told personally which product can make everyday life easier or what new developments there are in their area of interest. People also trust their friends more often than the opinions of strangers. People who are often trusted, who have a large circle of friends and acquaintances, who are regarded as experts and who shape and influence the opinions of others are referred to as opinion leaders.
All this describes influencers - they act as digital opinion leaders. The concept of opinion leaders, which has been researched in communication science since the 1940s, transfers personal face-to-face communication to digitalized communication on social media. As experts with high reach, trust and credibility, influencers influence the topics we perceive and the way we evaluate them. But of course, we cannot assume a direct effect; rather, the influence of influencers is a fraction of the various influences in our everyday lives.
Reasons for Influencer Marketing
As credible experts, creators offer many advertising opportunities for brands to place their products and services, similar to a kind of referral marketing. Especially if there is a great brand fit between creator and brand and the influencers already knew and used the brand before the cooperation, such a cooperation can be very successful and well received by the community of creators. The great advantage for brands is the influence on the usage and purchasing behavior of the people reached, as well as reaching new target groups.
The reach and credibility of influencers are therefore the greatest advantages in influencer marketing. But the creative storytelling formats also bring a big plus. Creators create high-quality content with an information and/or entertainment factor, which can also be used by the brand under appropriate buy-out conditions. In addition, long-term cooperations often result, whereby creators are clearly perceived by consumers as brand ambassadors of the company.
But the possibilities of influencer marketing do not end there. More and more industries are discovering the versatile opportunities in the Creator Economy and seeing how relevant and important working with influencers can be. This can have an impact on the entire communication strategy and enrich it. Influencers also bring promising advantages in event marketing or press relations. For example, media-relevant creators and celebrities can add great value to press relations, the company's own social media channels or the event, thus forming a holistic communication across many channels.
What is the best way to work with influencers?
There is a lot of project and talent management involved in a campaign with different influencers. Three things are essential when working with influencers:
First and foremost, you need to select the right creators. Ideally, the influencers have already had contact with your brand or company in the past. In this way, suitable collaborations with a high level of credibility are created, which at best naturally feed into the content of the creators. Especially creative formats bring a high qualitative added value and can then also be used for other communication measures. Nothing is worse and more untrustworthy than influencers who promote products or companies asynchronously to their other content.
Influencer campaigns can, but do not have to be implemented on their own. A symbiosis with other areas of the communication strategy makes sense. Creators can be integrated at events, in press relations, on the company's own social channels or in out-of-home advertising, thus spreading the already planned communication measures even further across their own reach. In this way, especially larger and prominent influencers can create a high level of media relevance and be interesting for press interviews, whereby the campaign then achieves coverage by journalists and the content of the influencers. Creators should be considered in all campaigns in order to think as holistically as possible about the parallel activities and to take them to the next level. In this way, influencer collaborations pay off on the existing communication strategy and become an integral part of it in the long term.
The work with creators should be thought of in the long term, so that real relationships can develop between the influencers, their community and the brand. Not only the credibility and the increase of touchpoints in the whole brand communication will be increased, but also the general relationship between influencer:s and brand will be strengthened, which can lead to better cooperations and possibly even cooperations with other creators. After all, it's called influencer relations - constant contact is essential to build a real relationship.
Conclusion: Influencer Marketing for All
Creators are an important part of holistic communication. Working with influencers leads to more credibility and a higher reach, more content ideas and more trust of the followers in the brand. If you think 360° about your own communication and integrate influencers into your strategy in the long term, you will strengthen all communication measures and get the best possible results from your campaign.