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Credit by: Diana Gonimah

In part I of this series, we explored how brands can mine social media intelligence to build and accelerate their content creation. We specifically established how qualitative insights from social media can inform ideation and content planning. But that’s not all it can do for a content marketer. 

Social media intelligence can help brands navigate the complex “influencer” landscape and unearth user-generated content. 

Identifying Influencers 

Studying influence helps brands make sense of relevant conversations, so they can produce content materials addressing rising microtrends (before they become macrotrends) and identify gaps in knowledge that can be filled with branded newsletters, video content, podcasts, social media how-to posts and more.

An understanding of the influences pervading a certain industry or consumer need offers marketers the opportunity to identify the most important conversations around a topic and address any misinformation. By engaging the individuals with the most influential networks in mature conversations (think: responding maturely to health claims made by a healthcare influencer), or creating messaging that reaches them, brands can shape the conversations that affect society and their industry.

There is also of course the more familiar use case for influencers: amplifying branded content. But what industry thought leader, journalist, or microinfluencer should a brand align with? 

When we think of influence, Instagram models, food bloggers and the Fyre Festival might be the first associations we make, but influence is far more complex. There are influencers in every major industry, from healthcare to insurance. They can be public officials, journalists, CEOs, environmentalists, and even anti-vaxxing proponents. Some are paid to influence purchase decisions, while others are or claim to be experts in a given field. 

It can be challenging to pinpoint the right influencer to align your content marketing efforts with. 

Storyful’s network visualization tool Cosmos allows users to make sense of the conversations happening on Twitter and Reddit around a given topic or #hashtag. Through the combination of graph theory, proprietary tools and unmatched access to social media platforms, Storyful’s Cosmos provides marketers with a consistent and simple way to identify the “influencers” sitting at the center of any given conversation.

Using such a tool enables brands to unearth prominent influencers that do not appear to have any brand affiliations and may provide an opportunity for a brand’s upcoming marketing campaigns. 

Storyful’s Customer Intelligence team recently analyzed social conversations around mobility and transportation, with a particular focus on autonomous and electric vehicles. Storyful’s Cosmos revealed key voices within the general mobility conversation and key influencers within the ethics dilemma around driverless cars. 

Through this analysis, brands in the auto and tech industry learned that the most influential voices involved in the conversation around electric and self-driving cars are currently those of academics and experts within the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning and ethical engineering. Top influencers included venture capitalist and futurist Spiros Margaris, economist Andreas Staub, and Forbes contributor Jim Marous

User-Generated Content

In the battle of attention and authenticity, user-generated content in the form of social images and social video can go a long way in streamlining and improving the quality of a brand’s content marketing output. 

The social media landscape is rich with user-generated content that can be turned into engaging creative campaigns for production houses and cross-channel advertising campaigns. 

Using authentic footage sourced from real people means reduced content production costs, shorter lead times, higher impact and more engaging video advertising. 

With access to the best social video content, Storyful has a ten-year history of sourcing, verifying and licensing the most engaging user-generated content for brands that have resulted in stellar performance including award-winning campaigns (Aer Lingus), millions of views and engagements among brands’ core audience (Mastercard), and lifts in purchase intent and recall (Cadbury). 

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