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Can Top Social Influencers Teach Us About Effective Content Marketing?

Whether you're finding innovative SEO tips on TikTok or figuring out how to structure the most helpful how-to content from Instagram, we can't afford to ignore influencersIs the online content marketing community missing valuable lessons and takeaways from other sectors? Are there valuable things to learn from viral videos, meme-filled TikTok pages, and the photos and videos on Instagram? The reality today is that influencers command a multi-billion-dollar segment of the marketing industry, according to data gathered by Shopify. With almost $14 billion in value, this is clearly a form of effective content marketing despite some misgivings over the years. 

As brands have embraced the value of influencer marketing, one thing has become clear: it is the definitive way to reach younger generations, with more than a quarter of Gen Z saying that influencers impact their buying decision. A majority follow at least one influencer on one platform, too. 

Not every brand can afford to go all-in on influencers, but that doesn't mean you can't still tap into the opportunities they offer. By looking at how some of today's top social media influencers win followers and stay popular, we can find lessons to take back and apply to written SEO content for blogs, websites, and more. 

How Can Influencers Teach Us Anything About Content Marketing? 

Hold on—let's pump the brakes for a second. We know what some of you are thinking: do these kids and celebrities really have any value to add to discussions about SEO, brand voice, reach, and optimizing conversions? The answer is a resounding yes. 

Even if many influencers don't think in the same terms about how to grow their audiences and reach more people, they're still leveraging marketing techniques—and today's audiences continue to respond. Even if you don't intend to set up a TikTok account for your brand any time soon, you shouldn't miss the vital resources available in a closer look at how these creators gain traction and maintain their momentum enough to influence buying decisions. 

Learning SEO Tips from TikTok Stars 

With more than one billion active users worldwide, TikTok is by far the fastest growing and most popular new social network. With its content focused strictly on short-form video, though, how can it have any lessons to teach content writers? The answer: even on TikTok, SEO matters. That next viral hit isn't going to generate traction all on its own—TikTok users need to know how to make themselves findable by the algorithm and in search. 

Consider Mike Rama, a marketer and user content expert with more than 100,000 followers on the platform who makes videos about TikTok SEO. One of his techniques involves using the auto-complete feature in the app's search function. 

He can find new keyword phrases and ideas by trying different keyword stems and then explore them to check their popularity. This kind of innovative approach can work in regular SEO, opening the door to simpler keyword research you can do yourself. When you find new and popular keywords you can connect with, you can unlock a quicker path to more traffic.

Embracing the Value of "How To" Content on Instagram 

What can someone who's turned making videos about makeup into a brand teach us about effective content marketing? Huda Kattan, one of the world's biggest beauty influencers with a following of over 50 million people on Instagram, made her splash on social media with makeup tutorials and how-tos—while promoting products along the way, of course. 

Instagram users love a good how-to video, and the format is very popular on TikTok as well. What's the lesson here? Your audiences love to learn about something new—they just don't want to spend a lot of time in the process. Easily digestible guides and "how to" content are just as powerful a tool for bloggers as they are for video producers. Find out what your audience needs to know in your niche and tell them all about it. 

The Value of Social Proof is Evident Among Influencers 

It's hard to talk about influencers without mentioning Kylie Jenner, whose nearly 400 million followers on Instagram have made her one of the biggest influencers ever. Today, she mostly features her own products in posts, but there's a more profound lesson to learn here about why influencing works and what content marketers can learn: social proof matters. When the public sees real people using products and reacting to them, it dramatically impacts how likely they are to buy later. 

For brands, emphasizing social proof and real-world examples is vital. Case studies, reviews, and user-generated content about your brand are all tools you should seek to leverage in-depth and on a regular basis. 

Opportunities To Learn About Effective Content Marketing Are Everywhere 

Whether you're finding innovative SEO tips on TikTok or figuring out how to structure the most helpful how-to content from Instagram, we can't afford to ignore influencers. Not every brand can generate a positive ROI through influencer marketing, but every brand can seize on the lessons this new generation of accidental marketers has uncovered. Take a step back, look at your own strategies, and ask: what can I learn from these new resources to be more effective at content marketing?