Digital content creators have the potential to bring in new audiences, new perspectives, and new value to an organization.
Often referred to as “influencer marketing”, partnering with digital content creators is an effective way to reach new people and take advantage of the trust that online personalities have built with their audiences.
According to Fortress Consulting Group’s Joel Mathew, “influencer marketing is part of a cohesive digital marketing plan to help get brands on the map.”
Defining digital content creators
Digital content is all about relationship building and creators work hard in order to build a trusting relationship with their audience. Those audiences trust their opinions, thoughts, and recommendations. This makes partnerships with creators an ideal way to share information.
Mathew explains how these partnerships work as: “a relationship between a brand and an influencer. The influencer promotes the brand’s products or services through various media outlets such as Instagram and YouTube.”
Relationships built with influencers can result in broader reach, but can also help bring in new information and expertise to an organization since in addition to having broad, engaged audiences, influencers may also have experience or invaluable knowledge organizations may not possess.
Diverse content creators reach diverse audiences
When reaching out for partnerships with digital content creators, it’s important to consider the diversity of your audience and the diversity of influencers in your network. After all, audiences are better targeted when they feel truly represented.
According to Unilever, in an article for Adweek, “more than half (62%) of content creators from intersectional disabled communities are interested in working in advertising.” However, these creators expressed that preconceptions based on their disability make them feel excluded on production sets.
The same study from Unilvever reveals that “73% feel left out and left behind entirely.”
By better including these groups, brands can take advantage of their perspective and knowledge. Additionally, brands can reach disabled members of their target audience with greater impact.
The risks of influencer partnerships
Like any marketing initiative, there are risks when forming partnerships with digital content creators.
Some of these risks to consider include the value of each platform. For instance, Instagram influencer engagement has been dropping for several years and is likely to continue to fall.
In 2019 a study published by Marketing Drive found “engagement rate for sponsored posts fell to 2.4% in Q1 2019 from 4% three years earlier.” It’s important to acknowledge these trends and to choose platforms and influencers accordingly.
It is also important to avoid inauthentic partnerships and content. In 2018 Bazaarvoice found that “47% of customers are tired of influencer content that appears inauthentic and 62% of customers believe that influencer endorsements take advantage of impressionable audiences.”
While this study is several years old, the findings remain relevant as Gen Z is well known for valuing authenticity in advertising above all else.
Finally, before making new influencer partnerships, advertisers need to consider moral conflicts. In order to garner authentic, meaningful engagement, vetting influencers for their moral alignment with your brand is important.
Some digital content creators may have content, past or present, that conflicts with your values and is unlikely to draw in the target audience you’re looking for.
Digital content creators provide partnerships that bring in new audiences and perspectives. These opportunities are an impactful way to grow your business, but should also be approached with care. Likewise, understanding the importance of diversity when looking for digital partners gives marketers a leg up on their competition.
Being informed about the potential growth and potential risks associated with working with influencers gives your brand the best possible start when diving into the world of social media partnerships.