Is influencer marketing taking over content marketing?

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I’ve been to many content marketing conferences where they showed this graphic that shows how Google searches for content marketing have skyrocketed over recent years, according to Google Trends.

People’s jaws would drop and it would reiterate to them the importance of content marketing. If that many people are searching for the topic that might also mean it’s an important thing to do. And of course it is. I have practiced content marketing for a number of years now and often run it under the term of authentic storytelling-which hardly anyone searches for nowadays.

Couple that with recent feedback I have received that storytelling is currently not the in topic in many fields, that people are doing it already (or think they are) and don’t need help and that they’re looking at other tactics.

After I’ve heard that a few times and after I lost a couple of project bids I started wondering if it might be time to expand topics or rebrand.

I already share social media and storytelling tips and every once in a while write about influencer marketing. I also work with brands as an influencer from time to time so I thought I’d see how the topic of influencer marketing performs in search.

To say that I was shocked is an understatement. The search volume for content marketing is quite amazing as it is and then take a look at the topic of influencer marketing in relation to the topic of content marketing:

I keep looking at that graphic and keep wondering if that’s right but it appears to be. But that’s the level of interest for that topic is just unbelievable. And who is filling the audiences’ need for information?

We have the Content Marketing Institute and many others for info surrounding that topic. There are countless social media sites that dole out social media advise. But as far as I can tell there is no Influencer Marketing Institute or that sort of thing. Various content marketing bloggers cover the topic here and there.

And I’ve written about the topic before as well, including the following stories:

Like with any topic the articles can be endless I’m sure. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most frequently searched questions on the web.

How to find a brand influencer

There certainly are tools out there like Traackr and Onalytica can help you identify potential influencers based on their methods.

Onalytica even named me a top 25 content marketer in the world in 2018.

So there are tools out there that help you find your influencers if you’re looking for them for your brand campaign. You can also simply go to your preferred networks and search for the keywords that you’re trying to target and see who is talking about them and evaluate whether not they have any kind of influence on your target audience.

How to become a social media influencer

First off, I would highly recommend that you find topics that you know something about and that you can build an audience around.

While everyone is an influencer to someone, as I said in the blog post above, brands are typically looking for influencers when they have a larger and of course relevant following.

So the strategy should be two-fold at the beginning:

  • Share valuable content for your target audience
  • Continue growing that audience by growing your email list, social media following and general website traffic.

Often, brands will find you once you run this successfully. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to reach out from time to time in on the right channels if you really want to work with a specific brand.

Influencer marketing wrap

Influencer marketing can be a useful strategy for all involved. Remember to disclose relationships publicly!

I have to say I was slightly surprised by the rise in interest and will try to share my content around influencer marketing going forward.

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Christoph’s process for brands to find and deploy influencers for maximum impact

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