We’ve discussed the limitations of content marketing with other marketers, and many feel that online content has reached a critical mass. More content is published there than people can consume. Now you’re probably asking why we’re still writing to you if there’s already so much stuff online. It’s like asking why new smartphone brands are born when there are so many smartphones in the market. We serve a specific audience.
But there is another important aspect that the marketer is missing. In recent years, the role of influencers in promoting content has been noticed. For this reason, content marketers have included influencer marketing and other means of content promotion. The statistics of influencer marketing have been so favorable that companies have started to invest in it, but also kept, if not increased, their marketing budget on it.
But how do you put together content and influencer marketing? Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are still the hottest content sharing sites. In these active online hubs you will also find influencers, people with a lot of followers and a lot of engagement. If you find these people and build a relationship with them, they can open doors for you to their audience. But how do you get them to work with you and your brand?
1. Find out about the authorities in your niche.
Every niche has authority. These are people who have knowledge and experience in their own industries or fields, and they pass on what they know to other people. The latter expect tips and advice from the former. The authorities therefore influence the thinking of their followers. In doing so, they influence consumer behavior. Therefore, knowing these authorities is a key step in influencer marketing. Companies are now investing in working with these professionals and experts to strengthen their social media and content marketing strategies.
The question is how to find these experts in your niche. It is easier than you think. The fastest way is to use relevant keywords. These influencers are likely using the same keywords you are using. Therefore, it makes sense to search for them on different social media sites using the same keywords. Relevant ones usually appear in the search results. Of course, the good old trick is to Google them to find their website or blog. List them down!
2. Evaluate influencers.
You can’t contact everyone at once. It’s a waste of time and energy. Most of them will just ignore you. Worse, many of them aren’t really a good fit for your brand for a variety of reasons. Choose those whose content is most relevant to your brand. Also include those with significant commitment. The size of the follow-up alone does not matter.
3. Create a relationship with your influencers.
It’s hard to figure out how to connect with potential customers. It feels awkward at first. But the simplest and least creepy way is to start small. Leave a comment on one of their posts. Subscribe to their blog. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Retweet their posts. Do this for several weeks. Don’t stop when they notice you. In fact, that’s when you give it a punch. Please. Respond to their responses. Mutually. Don’t ask them to look at your stuff!
4. Sometimes you just have to ask.
You won’t get an answer if you don’t ask. In many ways, marketing is asking people to do what you want them to do. It is also true in influencer marketing. At some point you just have to cut to the chase and tell it like it is. However, do this only after you have established rapport and built trust. They are naturally curious and may even offer to help. If that doesn’t happen, pushing a little further isn’t a bad idea. After all, what’s there to lose?
Doesn’t sound impressive though. Express your interest in cooperation. Say you think it’s a great idea if you can work together on a topic. Maybe you can write a script for a video or you can write an article together.
5. Discuss how working with you will benefit them.
Let’s deal with it. Influencers are concerned with profits. Everyone is. So make sure you pitch with their best interests in mind. Don’t make it all about helping you. Try to help them too. As much as you want their audience, they would also appreciate it if they could tap into yours.
6. Make it easy for them to work with you.
You need them more than they need you, if they need you at all. So make cooperation with you as easy as possible. If you want them to write content for you, let it be on their terms or decide on the guidelines together. Remember that they are bloggers, professionals or businessmen themselves. They don’t have time to bother themselves with your little content creation rules.
7. Express gratitude.
So one of the top bloggers in your industry has written a post about you. Write to them immediately thank you. Let them know on your social media accounts. Mention them in your next posts. Gratitude is an influencer marketing no-no.
8. Stay connected.
The fact that they share your brand message with their audience or visit your blog is not the end, but the beginning of a partnership that you need to further strengthen. Nurture this relationship with constant communication. Like and share their relevant posts. Don’t stop planning future projects together.
Influencer marketing ideally reaches a stage where you’re not just marketing through influencers, but marketing with them. In other words, you become partners, driving audiences to each other’s channels. All these take a lot of time. No influencer marketing agency can do it overnight and run away from anyone who says they can.