5 Ways To Improve Your Blog Authority Without FOMO
When I say influencer co-created content what pops into your head?
- Influencer marketing?
YAY—you’re not sleeping under a content marketing rock.
BUT—if that’s all you think, you’re missing co-created content opportunities to boost your blog results. I’m talking visitors, time-on-site, leads and sales.
Starting to wonder if your blog is performing as well as it can?
Do you have blog FOMO (aka: Fear of Missing Out)?
Used correctly influencer co-created content can:
- Build a solid content base.
- Extend your blog reach.
- Expand your authority.
Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina never creates content alone. He says, “A partner in content creation is a partner in content distribution.”
Want to improve your blog content through co-creation?
Of course you do!
Influencer Co-created Content: The Complete Guide For Bloggers
Influencer Co-Created Content: 3 Sources to use
Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you already have a magical set of people with whom you can co-create content.
No I don’t mean your mother. (Although she can be helpful for a Mother’s Day post that rings true to your readers. Here’s my example.)
Every blogger has 3 sources of content co-creators. This includes you!
- Customers. Includes prospects, readers, and social media followers.
- Employees. Includes anyone who works for or with your firm. Don’t overlook suppliers and distributors.
- Promoters. Includes influencers, experts, professors, journalists and others.
Influencer co-created content contributes to your blog effectiveness. Their power is based on these 3 attributes:
- Customers: Are highly trusted by other customers. Even if other customers don’t know them, their opinion is trusted in aggregate. Think Amazon ratings and reviews.
- Employees. Skip the c-suite—no one trusts them. Go to your tech experts. They’ve got the trust you need.
- Promoters: Research shows professors and area experts are trusted. By contrast, celebrity endorsements are considered like advertising.
- Customers: Have experienced your product and services up close and personal. They know what others in their situation need to know, both the good and the bad.
- Employees: Your tech experts and area specialists (like customer service and sales) can answer every question your audience may pose.
- Promoters: Select them based on their niche expertise. HINT: Use different people for different posts to build your expertise and relationships.
This is short hand for their reach. Consider both number of people and depth of relationship.
- Customers: Tend to have smaller networks but they’re often tighter groups. Based on Dunbar’s number, expect they have 50 people with whom they’re close and 150 people they know more broadly. Most importantly, they spread the word, often face-to-face according to FayKeller research.
- Employees: Depends on the specific person. If you have an evangelist in your midst, then you might have a powerful platform. Tap into your employees’ personal networks.
- Promoters: Most notably, influencers. They have bigger platforms and networks. Even better they have broader reach. But they’re harder to get notice from.
- Don’t underestimate the value of using a variety of smaller networks to build your base. It reduces your risk of loosing a big cross-section.
3 Influencer Co-created Content Input Types
Co-created content isn’t one size fits all. (That type of content rarely fits anyone.)
Influencer co-created blog posts use 3 types of input.
This is the most common form of co-created content. It’s so common most bloggers and content creators don’t even think of it when you say co-created content. It’s specifically created commentary on a topic or existing reference.
- Length: Generally a sentence or two but it can run longer.
- Attribution: Include the contributor’s name and company and link to specific reference. This isimportant for search credibility.
- Effort: Part of regular content creation research.
- Co-creator expectation: Usually none.
- Promotion: Don’t expect any. But remember your manners. Thank people and email them that the article is live.
Grounded in professional journalism, you ask a question and people answer it. It can be one question asked of many people. Its cousin is the interview where you ask a series of related questions to an individual or a small group or panel.
- Length: Few sentences. May include examples.
- Attribution: At a minimum, include the contributor’s name and company. Best practice is to link to their site, blog or social media platform.
- Effort: A lot, especially if you’ve got a big roundup. This content is deceptively hard to do well. (I’m not talking about me-too listicles and recycled content.)
- Co-creator expectation: Looking for greater visibility with your audience. Depending on the source, they may expect you’ll provide paid distribution or other compensation.
- Promotion: Don’t assume participants will help. Thank them and alert them via email when the content is published.
3. Existing content
This is content that’s been published before you incorporate it into your content. Generally, it’s editorially selected or user contributed. Its strength is the context you provide.
- Length: It can be as short as a reference or audience question. Alternatively, it can be another content format such as images, videos or presentations.
- Attribution: Is required. You can’t just take someone else’s work or infringe on their copyright. Get permission if you’ve taken photographs of others.
- Creation work: Generally less than an average post. Quality content curation involves human editorially selection and commentary. By contrast, user-generated input often needs editorial and visual support.
- Co-creator expectation: None in most cases.
- Promotion: Don’t assume participants will help. Thank contributors via email when the content is published.
Influencer Co-created Content: 5 Blog post types you need
Very few blogs are established on only one type of content. List25 is a notable exception. Each post is a list with 25 items.
To meet the needs of your business and your audience, use a combination of different types of content. Here’s how you can incorporate co-creation into them.
1. Regular article
Co-creator content provides supporting commentary. The goal is to validate what you’ve claimed. A rule of thumb: Include one comment for each major point in the meat of your blog post.
- Function: Provides proof point in the meat of your article. It’s not just what you say.
- Who: Customers, employees, promoters
- Example: Andy Crestodina practices what he preaches. He goes further and spotlights his influencer co-creators. (BTW—Henneke is also worth reading!)
2. Roundup post
I call this “Crowd Pleaser Content” since its goal is to attract a broader audience. (BTW—Here are the 5 core content types your blog needs.)
To balance your workload and manage your promotion, create one roundup post per month.
It’s long, quality content. You ask many people the same question.
Done well, crowd pleaser content breaks the Internet—it attracts people who actually read it and then share it broadly. Time-on-site and visitors increase.
Done poorly, crowd pleaser content is buried on page 10 of Google. It’s never seen.
Creator beware! This type of post is deceptive. It looks quick and easy.
BUT it’s not.
You can’t blindly send lots of emails with your question and hope people will respond. You have to nurture your list and re-contact them. Then you must organize, edit and format the content before you add related original content.
Here’s what an influencer request destined for the trash looks like:
- Function: Attracts attention and broadens audience with associated names.
- Who: Tends to be promoters and influencers. Ideally you take a page from Aaron Orendorff. Build relationships before you ask for the influencer’s input. Even your readers and co-workers have feelings. (Check out how Orendorff did it.)
- Example: Orendorff’s 50 Best Social Media Tools From 50 Most Influential Marketers Online went viral as soon as it was published.
Incorporate other people’s voices while maintaining control of the content
2 Interview variations:
- Individual interview. Think one-on-one with many questions.
- Panel discussion. Asks everyone the same or different questions.
- Function: Taps into other people’s audiences. Reduces content creation work. Can be a regular column.
- Who: Can be anyone—customers, employees or influencers. Consider who is important to your readers. Spin Sucks used to interview its Twitter Followers.
- Example: Here on Actionable Marketing Guide, we host author interviews. This is a win-win. The authors promote their book and we get content. Influencer Content Co-creation With Marcus Sheridan
Take a lesson from Spin Sucks’s Gini Dietrich. She’s interviewed her Twitter Followers and Influencers.
The object is to spotlight other people. This content stretches how you think about co-created content.
This content is at the heart of what I call, Customer FAQ Content. It contains 5 key elements.
Prospects and buyers need these answers before you can enter their consideration set.
Alternatively, this content can show what others do well or poorly. This is a form of “How To” or Styling Content, a subset of Customer FAQ Content.
- Function: Answers your readers’ questions. It can teach readers how to use or style your products. Depending on your blog focus, it can function as a regular column. Marcus Sheridan filled his River Pools & Spa blog with only this content. In the process, he generated millions of dollars in sales!
- Who: Can be customers, employees or influencers.
- Example: Kate Davies has a knitting business and uses her blog to show readers what her designs look like. The amazing photography set in Scotland is eye-candy for her readers.
Customer FAQ – How to content
Use editorial selection of other people’s content and add your own commentary. This type of content shouldn’t be automated.
- Function: Taps into other people’s audiences and current trends. Requires less content creation. Can be a regular column.
- Who: Can be customers, employees or influencers.
- Example: Spin Sucks’s weekly Gin & Topic column is my favorite example of a regular content curation column. Gini Dietrich involves her fans in curating the videos and gives them a shout out. Dietrich picked videos to tap into the growing interest. It’s fun content to read over the weekend.
The Influencer Co-created Content Bottom Line
Avoid blogging FOMO.
Incorporate co-created influencer content into your blog’s editorial calendar.
Get other people to help you craft quality blog content on a consistent basis.
These content co-creators will give your blog credibility.
Done well, your co-creators will become partners in distribution. Additionally, you’ll build relationships, expanding your reach.
Influencer content co-creation will balance your workload. You’ll get help from others, especially co-workers. Position it as increasing their visibility.
But most importantly for your business, influencer co-created blog content will remove barriers-to-purchase for your potential buyers. It’ll provide the warmth and personal touch they seek from your brand and your firm.
Who will you ask to help you create your next blog post?
What type of co-created content will you add?
Just think—If you add one post for each of these 5 co-created types of blog posts, you’ll have a week’s worth of content.
How easy is that?
Don’t wait—Write down your 5 blog post ideas now!
Just do it!
BTW–Please join me for #Content Chat on Monday, January 23rd to learn more!
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