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Practitioner Marketing How to use Google Docs to manage influencer-generated content

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Niraj Ranjan Rout

June 27, 2017

Many influencers see their influence dwindle when their audiences start to question the credibility of their content.

Marketers have started realizing that to be relevant, influencers need to be given a greater role in content creation. The brand and influencer’s personality need to naturally match, so that content resonates well with users. Thus, influencer-generated content has formed as part of native advertising.

It’s like the guy you enjoy hanging out with because of his appreciation for art-house cinema. But that same guy suddenly changes gears and starts ranting about mainstream movies—because someone paid him to. Would you still hang out with that guy?

That’s the kind of person you call a sellout. It’s why influencers have to create content where the theme resembles their previous publications.

Native advertising helps influencers to remain true to their audience with content that feels more authentic. Influencer-generated content is a type of native advertising that makes sure that the bond that influencers share with their audience is exploited by brands. It’s a loss for both your brand and influencers.

To have a more conducive environment for their content marketing, many marketers have allowed influencers to take the wheel when creating content. From creation and curation to distribution, every decision is made by the influencer.

Having said that, when giving the driver’s seat to influencers, always keep your hand on the emergency brake. As they say, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Without keeping tabs on influencer-generated content, you might be inviting a lot of problems for your brand.

It’s a delicate balance between managing and interfering. You hope for the former, but in most cases, you end up being the latter. You don’t want to barge in and compromise the quality of the content, and in the process destroy your relationship with influencers. You know that no one cares about your brand more than you do.

Google Docs might be the answer to your problems. One of the most popular G Suite applications, it can help you manage your communication channel. Working with influencer-generated content becomes much easier when you are on the same page. Other than supervising content, Google Docs provides a host of cool features that can make it your one-stop platform for all your influencer-generated content needs.


Collaborate with influencers

When an influencer writes a blog for your brand, rather than providing input later or making edits without the influencer’s knowledge, you can use Google Docs for simultaneous edits. You can allow as many as 50 users to work on the blog. You can save time, and make sure the goals are clear to everyone.

To take your collaboration up a notch, use the Comment feature on Google Docs. View comments on the right-hand side of your blog content and take action accordingly. Once the issue has been taken care of, click Resolve.

To keep your inbox and your influencer’s inbox free of clutter, instead of forwarding blog content as an email attachment, you can Share the documents via Google Docs. To decide who can and who cannot see your document, customize your access permissions based on your needs.

One of the best things about Google Docs is that all changes are saved automatically. Moreover, with Revision history, you can take a look at older versions of the content. If you find a previous version of the blog content to be a better fit, you can select Restore Revision History.


Track performance with spreadsheets through Google Docs

Google Sheets is one of the best platforms to track and analyze the performance of your influencer-generated content. Use charts to provide a graphical representation of how your content is faring in meeting its objectives.

As marketers, you might have to add these graphs in your progress report, which means spending extra hours in front of your laptop. But what if I told you that you can easily integrate your spreadsheet chart with Google Docs?

Google Sheets allows you to embed charts in your Google Docs—and that’s not all. When any changes are made to the chart on the spreadsheet, the changes are automatically updated in your Google Docs.

Consider this—Whenever you have to present your content marketing reports to your investors, you won’t have to keep going back to your documents to include the latest data. All edits can be made with just a click of the button. This way, your data reports are up-to-date, and you can track the performance of your content in real time.

To link your spreadsheet chart with your Google document, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Insert > Chart > From Sheets.

Step 2 – Select the chart and uncheck the Link to Spreadsheet box.

Step 3 – If any changes have been made to the spreadsheet, click Update to apply the changes.


Use Google add-ons to super-enhance influencer-generated content

Google Docs add-ons are third-party applications that can boost the effectiveness of your influencer-generated content. Most of them are free and easy to use. To install an add-on, simply go to your menu options and select Add-ons> Get add-ons. Click the add-on of your choice and select + Free. You can also share the add-ons with influencers as needed.

Add-ons are like the third element in your influencer-generated content. They give you the extra push you need. It’s like managing your Google Docs on steroids.

Use add-ons like Business Hangout and UberConference to enhance your collaboration efforts by inviting influencers and other team members for audio-video communication sessions. Review rough drafts of influencer-generated content and take real-time actionable input from them.

You can create engaging visual content with Lucidchart Diagrams and MindMeister, even if your influencers aren’t the best at designing. You can easily access the designs and also collaborate on them.

As a marketer, you have to make sure that all content is original. Use EasyBib to provide proper citations in any format, whether MLA, APA or Chicago. If your influencer takes words or phrases from someone else’s work, try GradeProof. It helps to paraphrase sentences and checks for plagiarism.


Manage on-the-go

Influencers and marketers might find it troublesome to manage influencer-generated content when a chunk of their time is spent out of the office. Google allows you to access your content on-the-go with the Google Docs mobile app.

You can work on your documents anywhere, anytime. Whether you want to make a quick text edit, resize an image, relax your fingers by using voice typing, or use any of the add-ons, you can do it all from your mobile phone, without breaking a sweat.

All the work you do on your phone is automatically updated so that when you reach your desk, you can work from the point where you left off. The omnichannel experience allows faster approvals of influencer-generated content, improving the efficiency of both creating and publishing content.


Keeping data secured

Influencer-generated content is your intellectual property. It might be their content, but it’s your brand name. Part of managing your influencer-generated content is making sure that none of the data leaks out. This means the pressure is on you to keep your data secured.

But if you are using Google Docs, you have already taken all the precautions you need to make sure that your data is well protected. With a team of more than 500 expert professionals working 24/7, 365 days a year to keep the G Suite application’s security infrastructure active at all times, the probability of data leaks is exceptionally low.

To give another layer of security, you can use the Google add-on DocSecrets to keep the contents of your documents safe by highlighting specific text with colors. Only by using the correct passphrase can someone decipher the hidden text. This makes sure that there is no data leak from either side of the channel.


In closing

How you manage your influencer-generated content can tell a lot about how you see your brand. It’s important to keep in mind that your job is behind the stage. You have to make sure that everything runs smoothly so that your influencers can put on a great show for their audience.

Fake news, gossip and rumors are constants on the Internet, and influencers are potentially one source of information that customers can trust. Influencer-generated content can give you content credibility which otherwise would be difficult to achieve. But before adopting this kind of content, you need to have a serious talk with your influencers.

Have a conversation with them about using Google Docs for managing content. Set ground rules. Don’t leave any room for misunderstanding or complacency. It can affect your relationship with influencers and hurt your overall marketing strategy.