Most of us now know that one of the most effective ways to build an audience and create credibility is to collaborate with relevant industry influencers. These influencers are considered thought leaders and experts in their fields that can drive engagement and results with credibility.
But how did they become digital influencers? And what are the ways that your brand could become an influencer too?
If you have a genuine following and a consistent stream of helpful content and insights, one of the key ways you can accelerate your influencer status is by investing in video. The rapid growth of YouTube, Facebook, and social video platforms (Meerkat, Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram and so on) has fueled the popularity of using video to market a brand or oneself as an expert in a specific industry. Video offers endless new ways to connect with audiences on social media and engage them in a quick, captivating way.
So what else draws audiences to an influencer? More often than not, it is also his or her ability to provide high quality, actionable content — and video can help your brand do just that. Video content not only gets others to pay attention but also results in action. Here are a few ways you can go from just another brand in the crowd to a leader and influential voice in your field all with the power of video.
1. Interview Other Influencers
In a recent article by Forbes, it was noted that influencer marketing can function exactly as word of mouth (WOM) marketing with adjoining social media amplification. In fact, WOM-inspired marketing can produce 37% greater customer retention and twice the amount of sales when compared to paid advertising.
One way to grow your influence is by partnering with other influencers who already have an established audience in your industry, or an industry closely related to yours. Think about the type of information your audience could benefit from, then pinpoint other experts in your field who are excellent at relaying this information. Invite one to do a video interview with you; whether it’s a livestream or a YouTube video, there are many channels to choose from to distribute your influencer interview. Not only will your interview be potentially more viral, but you can also transcribe your interview and create additional content, such as a blog post and social media quotes, to spread the word.
If you can land an interview with an established leader in your industry, you will automatically gain WOM interest from his or her audience who faithfully follow and listen to what he or she has to say about topics closely related to your brand.
2. Focus on Your Niche
Being an influencer doesn’t have to mean being an expert in everything related to your industry — this would be incredibly time-consuming and require an extraordinary amount of knowledge. Instead, decide on one topic in which you have the most experience and can offer the most expertise, and focus on building your influencer status in that niche. Not only will it help your brand stand out in the noise, but it will also help you increase genuine engagement with your content and build valuable connections.
Schlesinger Associates conducted marketing research in May 2015 that discovered a whopping 84% of marketing and communications professionals had plans to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next twelve months. Furthermore, 81% of marketers who had previously executed an influencer marketing campaign agreed that engaging with influencers is effective. If you can produce highly-targeted video content on an ongoing basis, there’s a good chance other brands in your niche will notice and will want to work with you.
3. Stay On Top of Hot Topics
To be an influential voice, you need to lead the conversation. Whenever there is viral or breaking news in your industry, you can use these moments to strike up a conversation with your audience and offer your unique voice and commentary on the topic.
Use Google Trends, sign up for Google alerts, or try other tools that will help you stay on top of industry trends, and create branded video content related to trending topics as they happen. Social networks have become a leading source for discovering breaking news, and when you consider how much time we spend engaging with social media, it should be easy to see the importance of staying on top of hot topics. Each day, the average American spends the following amount of time on each social media platform:
- Facebook: 40 minutes
- Tumblr: 34 minutes
- Instagram: 21 minutes
- Pinterest: 20.8 minutes
- Twitter: 17 minutes
- Snapchat: 17 minutes
Despite the numerous other social networks that have emerged, we still spend an incredible amount of time on Facebook. The social network is rivaling YouTube for video views, so make sure your brand is up-to-date on what’s trending and appealing to your Facebook audience.
4. Upload Frequently
When you know which video channels resonate most with your audience, you’ll need to upload fresh content frequently. The average American now spends 5.6 hours each day on the Internet, so the more time you can dedicate to frequent video content, the more likely they are to gain substantial levels of engagement.
A recent white paper from Grapevine, a YouTube influencer marketing marketplace, explored how much work it takes to reach influencer status on YouTube. The results showed that if one produces consistent content, after five years the creator has a one-in-five chance of becoming a trendsetter or celebrity. So maybe you have no interest in reaching celebrity status, but this statistic shows us just how important consistency is when trying to become an influencer.
While there are many actionable steps your brand can take to become an industry influencer, it’s not easy and will require you to put in the hours. Thankfully, video can give you a competitive edge and make your rise to influencer fame a much faster process.
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