As many of our audience already knows, I both created and teach online marketing for business growth at one of Florida’s largest Universities. This class isn’t for undergrads. It was created specifically for the Executive Education department. Basically, it was created for business folks like me and you.
Recently I had a question in class that lead to a very robust discussion. Since you can benefit from it too, I thought I would share it with you.
The Influencer Marketing “Question”
The question was, “Everyone talks about influencer marketing, but we are fairly new at online marketing. How might we make a connection with an influencer?”
The concepts of influencer marketing follow the basics of good networking and relationship building. First thing, set your objective for pursuing this tactic. Next, define your criteria for identifying a key influencer. Once that definition exists. Use a variety of online tools like Buzzsumo or Google or social media to find specific influencers that meet your criteria.
Building Your Path
Next, you’ll need to look at how you could potentially make a connection. I’ll share 5 tried and true ways we reviewed in class to help you establish that initial connection:
1. Buy the influencer’s product/promote their product
What better way to say you are interested in them than investing in them.
2. Introduction via a common connection /networking
Use LinkedIn to find potential contacts that can introduce you to the influencer. Our maxim - the right introduction can immediately thaw the coldest contacts.
3. Simple online interactions
- Promote the work of the influencer across your social and content distribution channels - Retweet, share, like the work the influencer publishes. Look for them to respond (don’t stalk them) and relationship build from this.
- Interact with them via their blog – provide valuable comments on the blog on a sustained basis. Please note saying something like “Great Post” really doesn’t excite anybody. Show you reviewed the content and provide something valuable that supports it.
- Positively mentioning them directly in your content as an expert in the topic chosen. Then mention this across social too. If they are monitoring their name, they should pick this up and at least check you out.
- Find a common connection and then once introduced, ask if they would accept to be interviewed. Make sure you have quality examples of previous interviews to share with them
- Then… let them know your promotion plan for this piece of content. If someone came to you that you really didn’t know but laid out a content distribution plan to get you in front of 50,000 people, well, that could certainly be a strong incentive for you to consider the idea.
5. Advanced tactic
If the above interview goes well and you establish a rapport during the interview, request an intro from them to another influencer.
The Wrap Up
Let’s jump to the bottom line. Influencer marketing can be a very powerful tactic for you to use in the world of online marketing. It can immediately connect you to existing audiences. It can immediately provide you with thought leadership, authority and even social proof. When executed well, it is a superb tool to have in your online marketing process. However, with the benefit comes the reality. It takes sustained effort and refinement to build this up to the points we are discussing. Our five points above should help you structure your initial path.
Looking ahead, if you are interested in pursuing your own Influencer Marketing approach, we are happy to provide you with one of our tactical infographics. If you want to download it, just click on the button below
For more reading on how you can make an impact with your online markeitng, see the links below:
- 5 Tools that Provide Significant Insight into your Website’s Effectiveness
- The Art Of Repurposing Content
- Content Marketing - What Does It Really Mean?
- Video SEO: How to Optimize and Increase Traffic to Your Videos