Content Marketing vs. Influencer Marketing – What is Better?
Building a successful marketing strategy takes up a huge amount of time. Consider it an investment and try to put in a lot of research and efforts that it requires. But despite doing it do you still find yourself stuck between different types of marketing tools figuring out which strategy or which medium could be the best for you? That’s a byproduct of marketing. Every business desires to build a marketing strategy that is cost-effective fulfills all the goals in the assigned time period and helps your brand to grow in the long run. Just a few years back we discovered that it is possible to achieve these goals if we keep up with the update and use digital marketing more over traditional marketing.
But that’s not really the answer to which marketing strategy is the best. Most businesses often find themselves in the middle of two different marketing strategies trying to figure out which one to go for. The most frequent discussion occurs when it comes to content marketing vs influencer marketing. Which one to go for? Content marketing or influencer marketing? Before we jump into that, let’s understand what these marketing strategies mean.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating content for various online platforms like blogs, social media posts, videos with the sole goal to provide value to the audiences and keep them engaged.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that involves prime key leaders of social media who have a vast following on their platforms inclined towards a particular niche that promotes a brand’s products or services. Some might also agree that it is influencer marketing vs social media marketing because they are considered independent phenomena. But the truth is they are both codependent and to create a successful marketing strategy for your business, you need to maintain the balance between the two.
What is the difference between content marketing and influencer marketing?
Firstly, influencer marketing falls under the umbrella of content marketing. Similar to social media marketing, it is not really influencer marketing vs content marketing, it’s both combined together that can bring you a promising result for your small businesses. Using them both wisely from time to time can even help you achieve successful influencer marketing on a budget.
Secondly, content marketing only involves creating content and is mostly organic unless any paid promotion is involved to boost the content. Whereas, influencer marketing is a paid marketing strategy under most circumstances as some influencers also do free collaborations.
Content marketing is a continuous process and influencer marketing is a part of it. It drives people to the brand’s platform where they come in contact with the brand’s content generated primarily to build more audience, keep them engaged, and give an experience to people. Influencer marketing helps to gain huge brand recognition as the influencers already have a massive following. Once, your brand is exposed to the audience, they visit your platform and that content will help the audience decide if they want to stay with you, become your follower, make a purchase or move past all of this.
What is your customer journey?
- A person is scrolling through their Instagram feed and comes across a product post on an influencer’s page.
- If the product excites the user, they will check the influencer’s page to see if they have done more posts about it.
- To know more about the product, they will check different sources like YouTube, reviews, ask their friends even.
- Then they visit your Instagram page or website to know more about your product.
- Now is the time when the user will make their final decision. They will either follow your Instagram page or maybe even just buy the product.
Throughout this journey, the user checks different sources to gather as much information as possible to know more about your brand, your product, its quality, and the experiences that people have had. It started with the influencer’s post and ended at your brand page. The influencer’s job is to drive the traffic and that is a metric you can use to understand the impact of influencer marketing. Now, the content on your page will convince the user to hit the ‘follow button’ and become your follower or become your customer by purchasing your product.
Influencer marketing and content marketing are co-dependent. In simplified terms, influencer marketing pushes the audience towards you and your content will help them decide if they want to stay or be associated with you.
Why is influencer marketing helpful?
Influencer marketing has been in the social media game for quite a few years now. But if we analyze it closely, we will realize that it always existed in traditional media. Every television ad you came across or any product that was advertised, has a renowned celebrity. They had a face that was known and loved by all because their products would too be received with the same amount of love and trust as the celebrity endorsing it.
The platform and face of influencer marketing have changed over a decade but the fundamentals remain the same and the future of influencer marketing depends on it. This has worked in the past and it works even now because the influencers have followers that trust them and take their word.
Then what has changed in these years?
- Niches became important. People started following influencers for their niche, for the information they provide about their subject of interest.
- A lot of new digital business domains have emerged like vlogging, gaming, and streaming which were not so popular before.
- It gave rise to a lot of career options that were earlier considered just mere hobbies.
- Before, the people who endorsed the products were mostly movie celebrities, pop stars, sports celebrities. But now, there are niche experts who have turned into influencers and stick to their niche.
- The influencers are people amongst you and us. They are common people who started having fun with social platforms and in the process, they collectively created a business space for many.
How can you use content marketing?
The main goal of content marketing is to add value to their customer’s experience with their social media page. The simplest way to go about this is to aim at providing entertainment, information, motivation, or either of these to your customers through your posts.
- Do customer analysis to understand what kind of content does your audience watch.
- The best way is to see what your competitors are doing. It will either tell you what not to do or what new can you do that they are not doing. And both of these are beneficial for you.
- Find your communication and visual style. Decide how you want your social media personality to be perceived.
- Always try to engage with your audience by asking them questions in the comments, using Instagram’s story features to make them interact with you, host giveaways, play games, reply to their DM,s, and comments.
- Make more of what your audience is liking but always keep some space for experimenting with your content. Take calculated risks and always consider the feedback or suggestions you receive from your followers.
How can you use influencer marketing?
- Influencer marketing can be used for a specific event like the launch of a new product or even just to increase brand awareness.
- Set your goals before you commence with any other part of the strategy.
- Do extensive research about your target audience to understand what they like and similarly know the influencers too that you wish to work with.
- Research can take a massive amount of time which can be easily sliced down by collaborating with influencer marketing platforms.
- Always remember to analyze your strategy and its results. It helps you make real-time changes and implement new things in your preceding strategies.
As people pitch content marketing vs influencer marketing, they also put affiliate marketing vs influencer marketing. But again, let’s not forget that affiliate marketing is a part of influencer marketing. And for a successful influencer marketing strategy, affiliate marketing is always helpful.
Creativity is important in every strategy
When it comes to influencer marketing, as a brand you have to ensure to let the influencers have their creative space. When they promote their product on their platforms, the audience will take notice of it if it has the authenticity and personality of the influencer.
Similarly, when creating content for your own platform, always try new things. For instance, if you are a clothing brand, do not just promote your collection but also give fashion tips, news, updates, hacks, styling tips because these are the things that they can use in their day-to-day life, and hence, they will remember you. Even though the message is ‘buy our products’ do not say it out loud instead be subtle about it and find innovative ways to say so.
How can brands use both influencer marketing and content marketing?
If your brand is just about to commence with its social media journey, you can start with content marketing. Start creating content for your social media pages and then go for influencer marketing. When people will see your sponsored posts on the influencer’s page, they will straight away head to your page and will be able to see the content that you have built.
You must ensure that the message given by the influencer reflects in your content too as this will bring recognition and relativity. To make sure of this, you can handpick influencers based on their quality content on WORD Marketplace. Once you publish your campaign brief on the platform, you just are flooded with a lot of influencers approaching you with their content. This way you can ensure the quality of your content and save a lot of time as well as money because using this influencer marketing platform requires no payment. Except for the ones that you transact to your influencers their inputs.
You cannot have successful marketing by using one tool or strategy. And now that you also know where to find influencers, just Mix up both marketing strategies proportionally and see what wonders it can make. Keep exploring and experimenting and always prioritize your audience. Rest will fall in place.