Two words that describe the Crayola brand are imaginative and artful. Since the company’s beginnings in the early 1900s straight through to today, these descriptors have remained relevant despite the fact that the company’s products have continually changed. From simple wax crayons to the newfangled Digital Light Designer, Crayola’s “true north,” according to Vicky Lozano, VP of Corporate Strategy, is “to help parents and teachers raise creative and inspired kids.”
Enter Zach King, social media star and an exceptionally creative videographer. King is known for creating what appears to be magic with the use of quick, ingenious editing techniques. The results are so clever that King is one of the most-followed users on Vine. “It’s all about inspiring people,” he says.
When two like-minded parties get together, great things happen. The natural alliance between King and Crayola led to a joint content-producing venture that resulted in a 3-minute short film featuring Crayola’s Easy Animation Studio mannequin and King’s masterful editing—an example of influencer marketing at its best.
Content marketing meets influencer marketing
Twenty-six-year-old King is one of the most popular influencers in the marketing game. More than just name-dropping, influencer marketing—the marketing of products and services to someone who is influential in a particular market, in hopes of influencing what other people buy—is a natural part of content marketing.
Today, content is increasingly flooding the Web, making it more difficult for businesses to stand out. Much of what’s produced comes off as “manufactured,” and loses its luster altogether. Introducing influencers into your branding strategy can address both of these concerns. Not only will the right partnership differentiate your content, it will also build credibility. And the strategy has been shown to work: Augure’s 2015 State of Influencer Engagement report shows that 93 percent of those surveyed felt that their influencer engagement strategy was either “very effective” or “somewhat effective.”
Before you can hope to attract an influencer, though, take some time to evaluate your existing content strategy. Just as you’re attracted to influencers because of what they stand for, the same has to be true in reverse. Crayola values innovation, and its marketing content strategy has always supported this view, from its informative articles about why creativity matters to crowdsourced coloring books for adults.
In turn, Crayola’s desire to motivate people to design and create aligns perfectly with what King represents—a tech-savvy creative who follows his inner child. Simon Pearce, president and chief client officer at mcgarrybowen New York, reasoned, “[King] is loved and followed by millions of people and shares the same passion for creativity and technology as Crayola.” The attraction was clearly mutual.
All influencers need something to be passionate about. (Just watch Shark Tank once and you’ll see that having a good product isn’t enough to inspire investment—or, in this case, a following.) Have you created content worth sharing? Does your content strategy truly define who you are and what you stand for?
To inspire passion, your content should be purposeful and mission-oriented. Effective content highlights your brand’s uniqueness consistently across all channels and all formats, and speaks to a very specific audience. Done successfully, influencers who are naturally part of that market will begin to take notice. If an influencer agrees with your mission and can stand behind your products and your ideas, chances are good that you’ll build a connection.
The best influencer partnerships often spring naturally from authentic, thoughtful content that truly represents your business. If you need help creating inspirational content for your brand, don’t hesitate to ask for a helping hand.
Meredith DeSousa brings 15 years of editorial experience to her role as Content Producer and Quality Control Editor for Content Boost, the content marketing division of TMC. Tasked with creating and editing custom copy for clients, she is also a regular contributor to our corporate website. Prior to joining Content Boost, Meredith worked for various book publishing companies, including Scholastic Library, Taunton Press, and Simon & Schuster. She also worked briefly in the field of education as a library media specialist. When she’s not writing or editing, Meredith loves traveling, reading and watching (or making!) movies—a byproduct of her undergraduate degree in broadcast communications from Pennsylvania State University.