Influencer marketing isn’t anything new, but it is something often overlooked even in a well rounded marketing strategy.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the practice of building online relationships with thought leaders in your industry. Whoever is a reputable source of information on relevant topics in your industry is someone you’ll want to connect with. The best influencers to target are those with legitimate credibility and a sizable following.
How do I begin connecting with influencers? This process takes planning and grit.
First, do some research on your audience. What are they reading? What are they sharing? What are they talking about? Then, identify the writers of articles or blogs who are creating the content that people are reading, sharing, and talking about. Business leaders and owners can be good sources as well. Start with a manageable list, but try to continually focus on expansion.
Next, you’ll want to engage. The key here is to not come on too strong. Begin setting some time aside to revise what’s trending and what’s relevant. Share articles or retweet posts of your influencers that you find particularly compelling. Comment on their posts, enter into the conversation.
Soon, you’ll start to get noticed. Follow your influencers and request to connect with them. They may take time to respond, so keep on sharing and commenting on their content until they’ve decided that you’re legitimate.
Once you have established a relationship, request content contributions. You can email them directly, mention how much you admire their business or their point of view and propose they include your article, brand, or business in a relevant post, blog, or article. Perhaps they may share one of your blogs that they find compelling. Realize that you must do something for them in order for them to want to help you in return.
This process is a long term effort, but it’s worth it. In a recent study, influencer campaigns were found to drive 16 times more traffic than paid or owned media. Add this tactic to the ecosystem of your marketing mix and you’ll be well on your way to a robust marketing presence. Who knows, if you stick with it long enough perhaps you’ll be someone’s influencer.