Content & Influence: Becoming a Lighthouse

An influencer is your lighthouse in a messy ocean of noise

Our latest resource, The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing & Influencer Strategy opens with a wise quote from an unknown source. “An influencer is your lighthouse in a messy ocean of noise.” Actually, the quote is not unknown. It was inspired by Douglas Sikes who, in addition to being full of wisdom like this, heads up sales at Traackr.

The reason this quote is true is that no one can stay on top of all the content that is produced and shared on a daily basis. Yet in all of that noise, there are valuable bits your audience doesn’t want to miss. The way people filter out the noise and focus is to pay attention to the individuals they trust (influencers, experts, friends, etc) aka lighthouses.

In the last 10 years, B2B and B2C organizations alike have quickly adopted content-driven strategies to attract, nurture, enable, inspire, educate and support their customers. B2B organizations currently spend on average 33% of their marketing budgets on content and nearly half plan to increase that number. The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs are in the midst of their next annual study. I can only imagine the upwards trend holds true.

While this has been an exciting time for marketing as a practice, the ocean of noise is only getting bigger and louder. So much so, the next “big” thing in social is taking time off. That means you must refine your content and focus on the most important individuals — your influential lighthouses.

There are many ways influence and content work together, but today let’s explore this “lighthouse” element. For the digital content marketer, the question is three-fold:

  1. Who are your lighthouses?
  2. How are you incorporating them into your process?
  3. Are you a lighthouse for your audience?

Assuming you have identified your lighthouses, you can learn a lot by simply listening to them. To get the most juicy bits of insight though, you need to listen with a purpose because watching an endless stream of content roll down your screen will get you nowhere.

In our guide, we walk you through several ways you can structure your listening activities to achieve some common content marketing objectives. You’ll see how influencers can help you:

  • Conduct Content & Opportunity Audits
  • Plan & Prepare Content
  • Keep up with Top Stories
  • Seize Real-time Opportunities

In parallel to listening, there are limitless ways to produce and share content with the help of your influencers. Beginning with the least collaborative and moving towards the most collaborative content ideas, our guide covers how to:

  • Get Inspired by Influencers’ Content
  • Curate Expert Content & Add Your Own Value Layer
  • Involve Influencers in Your Content
  • Support Your Influencers’ Content Creation
  • Co-Create Content

Lastly, comes the art of becoming a lighthouse: earning the trust of your audience to the point they look up to you for information, insight, education and more. As a marketer, I trust Marketo for best practices in marketing automation. I don’t need to go anywhere but their extensive resource library to learn about the process.

How can you become that resource for your audience?

The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing & Influencer Strategy will help you get there because influencer marketing and content marketing can’t exist without each other. Without influence, the content you produce stays stealth and won’t have impact. Without content, you don’t have a way to participate in online conversations and you won’t have a voice to, in turn, be influential.

Download a copy of the guide for free here. And please share your ideas, feedback and questions in the comments!