We’ve discussed the limitations of content marketing with fellow marketers, and many think that web content has reached a critical volume. There’s more content being put out there than people can consume. Now you’re probably asking why we still keep writing to you if there’s already so much stuff online. That’s like asking why new smartphone brands are emerging despite so many smartphones in the market. We cater to a specific audience.
But there’s another important aspect that marketers are missing. The role of influencers in promoting content in the past few years has been observed. This is why content marketers have incorporated influencer marketing as well as other means of content promotion. Influencer marketing statistics has been favorable enough that companies have started to not only invest in it but also keep, if not increase, their marketing budget slice for it.
But then how do you put together content and influencer marketing? Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter remain the hottest sites for sharing content. These active online hubs are also where you can find influencers, people with substantial following and rich 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 actually get them to work with you and for your brand?
1. Find out authorities in your niche.
Every niche has authorities. These are people who have knowledge and experience in their industries or fields, and they impart what they know to other people. The latter look to the former for tips and advice. Authorities therefore influence how their followers think. In so doing, they influence their consumer behavior. That is why knowing these authorities is a key step in influencer marketing. Companies are now investing in working with these professionals and specialists to bolster their social media and content marketing strategies.
The question is how you can find these experts in your niche. It’s easier than you think. The quickest way is to use relevant keywords. These influencers are most likely using the same keywords that you’re using. Thus, it makes sense to search for them on various social media sites using the same keywords. The relevant ones usually appear in the search results. Of course, the good old way is to search for them on Google to find their websites or their blogs. List them down!
2. Assess the influencers.
You can’t contact all of them at once. That is a waste of time and energy. Most of them will only ignore you. Worse, a lot of them are not really suitable for your brand for a number of reasons. Choose those whose content is most relevant to your brand. Moreover, include those with significant engagement. It’s not the size of following alone that matters.
3. Establish a relationship with your influencers.
Figuring out how to connect with your prospects is hard. It feels awkward at first. But the simplest and least creepy way is to start small. Drop 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 once they notice you. In fact, that’s when you give it a punch. Be friendly. Respond to their replies. Reciprocate. Do not ask them to go check out your stuff!
4. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.
You won’t get an answer if you don’t ask. In many ways, marketing is about asking people to do what you want them to do. It’s true even in influencer marketing. At some point you just have to cut to the chase and say it like it is. Only do this, however, once you have initiated a connection and built trust and confidence. They will naturally get curious and may even offer to help. If that doesn’t happen, then pushing a little further isn’t a bad idea. After all, what’s there to lose?
Don’t sound imposing, though. Express your interest in collaboration. Say you think it’s a great idea if you both can work on a topic together. Maybe you can write a script for a video or you can write an article together.
5. Discuss how working with you benefits them.
Let’s deal with it. Influencers are concerned about gains. Everyone is. So make sure you pitch with their advantage in mind. Don’t make it all about helping you. Make it about helping them too. As much as you want their audience, they’d appreciate it, too, 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 it as easy for them as possible to collaborate with you. If you want them to write content for you, either let it be on their terms or mutually decide on the guidelines. Remember, they are bloggers, professionals, or business people themselves. They don’t have time to trouble themselves about your little content creation rules.
7. Express gratitude.
So one of the top bloggers in your industry has written a post about you. Immediately, write them a thank-you note. Give them a shoutout on your social media accounts. Mention them in your succeeding posts. Ingratitude is an influencer marketing no-no.
8. Keep the connection.
Having them share your brand’s message to their audience or having them guest-write on your blog is not the end, but the beginning of a partnership you need to keep strengthening. Nurture that relationship with constant communication. Keep liking and sharing their relevant posts. Don’t stop planning for future projects together.
Influencer marketing ideally reaches a stage wherein you don’t only market through influencers but also you market 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.