Ignite The Gears: Influencer Marketing
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With us today is Dave Schneider, Founder of the blog “Self Made Business Man” and the creator of his own marketing software Ninja Outreach. Below you will find short actionable summaries of what we talked about in the episode. Be sure to listen to the episode so you get the full picture before you start to implement these strategies. Here’s to your success!
The process behind Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a marketing channel through which a business can get touch with their target audience through influencers. Influencers are people or organizations who have a large following usually through a blog or any other form of social media.
Influencer marketing is crucial for any business looking to increase their sphere of influence. The majority of businesses on the web do not have a larger following. You can find any business through search engines but a business is usually not actively building up followers. Traditionally, it is the blogger who is building up this audience.
The business then reaches out to the bloggers with the most relevant audience. If the blogger feels the business provides his/her audience value, then a partnership is established. In this partnership, the blogger will promote the business and the business will promote and compensate the blogger.
Ultimately, influencer marketing is the process by which a business reaches out to an individual or organization with a large following. With the hope that the two may find a mutually beneficial solution to promote each other’s business, products and events.
Choosing an Outreach Campaign
Before you begin to reach out to influencers, you first you have to understand what type of campaign you are looking to run. The following are the most common Outreach Campaigns:
- Guest Posting: You write up an article and publish it on a blog or website that is not your own.
- Product Reviews: You send out a sample, trial, or free product to an influencer and ask them to give you their opinions. You can also include a list of topics you would like for them to focus on as they review your product.
- Giveaway: You partner up with an influencer and have them promote a giveaway you are hosting.
- Recruit Affiliates: You recruit an influencer into your affiliate program. In this campaign, the influencer is promoting your product and getting paid for every lead that converts.
- Link Building: You are asking influencers to link to your website, product page, or video.
- Featured Guest: Trying to get featured in somebody’s content or on their resources page
- Content Promotion: Writing up an article and then looking for influencers to promote it and share a link to it.
- Expert Roundup: Featuring a list of influencer’s responses in your content
- Reverse Guest Post: You invite an influencer to guest host on on your blog.
Once you’ve decided what type of campaign you’re running then you start looking for the influencers who are most relevant to the audience you are looking to get in touch with.
If you sell toy airplanes are remote control cars or something like that you may be interested in bloggers who are you writing to kids or maybe to adults who will be looking to buy it for their kids as presents. In this case you would be reaching out to parenting bloggers, dad bloggers, and mom bloggers.
Influencer marketing is all about understanding what niche holds the audience you looking to get in touch with.
Ranking the importance of an influencer
No amount of analytics is going to tell you exactly how many sells you can expect from working with a blogger or what the long-term benefit will be. Ultimately it is up to your own discretion as to who you wish to choose.
To guide you, we have put together few metrics by which you can quantify whether or not you think a blogger will be a good fit for what you are after:
- Number of followers
- Domain authority
- Page Rank
- Alexa Rating
Marketing yourself to influencers
Keep in mind that influencers are typically receiving a lot of request. Their time is precious, so if you are asking for their help you have to make sure you are offering them something of value. The following are a few questions you should have ready when you approach any influencer:
- Who you are
- What you need them for (Your Outreach Campaign)
- What you plan to offer them
- If they say yes, how much time they will spend helping you
While it is important to know what you would like from an influencer, think deeply about what you have to offer. Ask yourself what you can give to the influencers and their audience. The following are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Can I give them a free product?
- Can I give them an offer to share with their audience?
- Can I link them on my website?
- How much will I pay them?
Alway give influencers and their audience something in return for the work they are doing. If you are able to offer them real value you are much more likely to strike a deal
Engaging an Influencer
People will be more likely to do business with you if they know you ahead of time. If you find an influencer you like, slowly build a relationship with them. Show them you are genuinely interested in who they are and what they do.
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The following are a few ways to engage with an influencer:
- Comment on their Blog
- Follow them on social media
- Participate in the same conversations as them
- Mention them in your blog post or social media accounts
You want your influencers to know you before you ever need them. You want to have built up some some credibility and some sort of relationship that you can draw on when you actually do want their help.
Guidelines on working with influencers
Make sure that everybody is on the same page with what they are looking to get out of the partnership. You should each have a clear understanding of your expectation for the content that will be created and distributed. You do not want to be writing content and promoting it, only to find out that it is not what you were expecting. Either because they did not talk about the right things or you didn’t get the links that you were expecting to get. Being very clear up front in terms of the content and any types of deadlines will make sure that everybody ends up getting what they want.
Questions to consider:
- What will be the length of the content?
- What topics will be discussed in the content?
- What links will be included in the content?
- What are the deadlines?
Measuring success with influencer marketing
Success varies by the campaign so if you’re creating an expert Roundup then you might measure success by getting “X” number of responses and then getting some number of shares in traffic once your post goes live. But if you’re looking to do guest posting that he didn’t measure success by the number of people that say yes and post your article on the number of inbound links you get from that. Inevitably most businesses are looking for sales or customers that could be very difficult to track and measure especially because
Influencer marketing is much like content marketing in that it is mostly about building up your Brand. You are getting well known by increasing your traffic over time. This opens up the possibilities of how you can engage with your customers.
Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy with results that can take place over months. Making the whole process extremely difficult to measure upfront. Influencer marketing takes patience and consistency. If you want to see results, you are going to have to hold on for the long haul.
Things to watch out for
One of the bigger things to watch out for is really the concept of influencer marketing. You have to be sure that this is something you want to invest your time into.
A lot of people approach influencer marketing because they’ve heard about it or they read about how great it is online. Businesses get caught up in the hype and immediately implement whatever they can throw together. They get one thing published and are not satisfied with the results they were expecting.
Instead of just giving up and moving on to something else, make the effort to stick through it. You will see results in time as you perfect your strategy. Experiment as much as you can and put as much content as you can out there.Always focus on what you can learn from every post. Even if nothing works, at the very least you will have made many valuable connections.
Focus on your strengths
The most important thing to keep in mind, aside from not giving up, is to focus on what you do best. If you can write great content relatively fast then do so. If you find it a lot easier to reach out and have experts write the content for you (an expert roundup) then focus on that.
If you have a product that can not be easily reviewed then offer a trial and collect people’s feedback. If you want to do a giveaway but your product is too expensive, then offer a discount.
By focusing on your strengths you are maximizing your time and effort while guaranteeing higher quality to your customer.
Till next time…
Today we learned that influencer marketing is the process by which a business reaches out to an individual or organization with a large following. With the hope that the two may find a mutually beneficial solution to promote each other’s business, products and events. We covered outreach campaigns and how to identify the right influencer. Lastly, we covered how to reach out, engage, and work with influencers.