If you wanted to skydive there is no way you can do it alone; at least not for the first time.
If you do, it may be the last thing you do on earth.
You may even need a license to skydive on your own.
Influencer marketing is like learning to skydive with a pro who has “been there and done it”.
You can work with an influencer, learn from them and get to reach their audience and marketing credentials.
Influencer marketing is nothing new; we are all used to seeing celebrity endorsements in ads and they have their similarities; marketing at its best.
Image credit: Complex.com
Who is an Influencer?
“An Influencer has the ability to change behaviours or impact purchase decisions in a given context. On the social web, Influencers have earned an engaged audience by producing content on specific topics” – traackr.com
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is the process of identifying, targeting, and connecting with individuals that have influence over your target audience rather than trying to reach that audience all on your own – Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Café
Infographic source: eBrandz.com
Advantages of Influencer Marketing
- Influencer Marketing is about LEVERAGING the Influencers reach, authority and recognition.
- Increased Social Influence
- Larger Audience
- New Customers
- Back-links, relationships, business opportunities and the list goes on.
The Power of Influencer Marketing
- 3% of People can Create 90% of the Impact on the Web according to Traackr.com
- The influencer marketing return on investment on average is a staggering 650% that is a return of $6.50 for every $1 spent according to SproutSocial.com
- 50% marketers use some form of influencer marketing on their campaigns to gather leads and increase sales
- 59% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets
- The Most Cost Effective Way to Acquire New Customers
- The Fastest Method of Client Acquisition Online
Tips for Getting on the Influencer’s Radar
Link to Influencers Content Repeatedly and Shamelessly
If the influencer’s content is good there is no reason to hold back on linking to it. Don’t just link to one post; link to as many as you can within context. Make the links natural and relevant.
Write a Bold Introduction
Keep the intro short, unique and punchy.
Typical influencer outreach email:
“Dear Ana, I read your post and it is awe-inspiring and I learned a ton. Blah, Blah, Blah!”
Consider something like this:
“Hi Ana, I did a case study on your technique on traffic building” or “I have featured you in an infographic.”
Prove an Influencer’s Method Works; in other words become a Case Study
Take Brian Dean’s “Skyscraper technique” as an example. Use it and record all the outcomes like Chris did. You can also do the reverse; if the technique doesn’t work, analyse why it did not work and create a case study for that. This is exactly what Dale did on ahref’s blog and guess what, Brian himself stopped by to weigh in. That definitely got the influencer’s attention.
After you quote the influencer, get in touch with them to see if they would respond. Some influencers do and some don’t. Don’t take it personally, some influencers are too busy with their own business. At the least you will be able to build a list of influencers whom you can target in the future and that is priceless.
Follow The 3-2-1 Approach
3 Detailed Comments, 2 Social Shares, 1 Link Back. To be frank, there is no fixed rule here. Do what works for you and what you are comfortable with. Of course, we are trying to get in the influencers eye sight so don’t forget them.
Add a New Tip to their Post
If you can add a solid tip to a list of tips you stand the chance of being noticed. Use this opportunity to engage with the influencer to build a relationship.
Pitch a Collaborative Project; Provide Something the Influencer Needs
The sky is the limit here. You have to offer something you are really good at like an infographic as an example; what you offer should also be of some interest to the influencer. Don’t just offer to promote their content; they already know how to do it very well. How do you think they became an influencer?
Make their Content Even Better; create a Slideshare presentation or an Infographic
I like the infographic approach, just a personal choice and strength; yours may be different. Here is an example of what NOT to do: create an infographic purely from one influencer’s content or website. I did an infographic on back linking strategy based on Brian Dean’s work (one of my very first, harsh lesson learned). I never heard back from Brian again; what a loss for poor me?
Bonus Tip – Ask for an Interview
You can feature the influencer in your blog. Influencers are more open to interviews than other types of requests like –
“here is my great piece of content. Please share it or even better link to it in your post.”
The interview can open a world of opportunities and a great way to build a relationship with the influencer.
Influencer Marketing – Words of Wisdom
- Don’t Ignore Newcomers as they may turn out to be Future Influencers
- Choose Your Influencers Based on Quality of their Work and not just based on their Reach
How to Reach Influencers
- Contact Form in their Website – This is a no brainer if they have one.
- Twitter Handle or Research their Preferred Social Profile – Use Feat @twitter or +1 – whatever the influencer fancies.
- Join their Mailing List and Reply to their Email – A trick of my own and works like a treat.
- Use BuzzSumo to Find Awesome Content and Influencers Who Shared Them
- Use Impactana to Find Influencers
Don’t waste the valuable time of an influencer; make it memorable and short. Only approach an influencer if you have something that the world will benefit not just your mom, pop, the neighbour and their Facebook buddy.
You can learn a lot by interacting with an influencer and learn a ton more when working with them. Don’t use influencer marketing as a pure marketing tactic; use it as a learning opportunity. Influencer marketing is not a transaction, it is more a relationship that can get you to land if you are ever stuck in the sea. And the best part is – it can get you to your destination quicker than you imagined.