Not All Influencers Will Help Your Business Succeed
Having the right connections online in your industry builds both trust and credibility for your business.
Would you like your brand to be recommended by influential leaders in your niche?
In order for your audience to be compelled to spread the word about your company they want to know whether your business is “the real deal.” When an individual or brand recommends your content and products or services this could be like gold to your conversion rates.
Where do you begin the process of making meaningful connections?
This all starts with target market research of who the biggest industry players are and the audience they are reaching.
A well planned marketing strategy along with data tracking will help you find the best influencers to interact with and promote online.
Social media has made connecting with top industry players easier as long as meaningful communication is in place. Your initial approach should always be about them and can open the doors to sending an email or LinkedIn InMail or inviting them to events such as Twitter chats, webinars, live streaming events, and social media groups and communities.
In a study of influencer marketing by Augure, 73 percent of those surveyed reported that they began their relationship building over a period of two or more years.
Finding the right connections for your niche can be a challenge — the study revealed several factors that marketers used to hone in on the right people:
As your business evaluates the relevancy of an influencer’s community you will discover how they can impact your target market. Ask yourself several questions:
- How many fans and followers do they have on their blog and on social media?
- Do you have something of value to offer their business?
- Will they be interested down the road in promoting what your brand has to offer?
Depending on your industry you may find that it is better to make a connection on one channel versus another. For example, a blogger who writes about home, family, food or finances may find more success when engaging on Pinterest. A B2B or real estate agent, however; may have a better response on LinkedIn.
The marketers in the study by Augure revealed that email marketing was the most effective way of reaching influencers:
In every platform it’s important to communicate in a meaningful and authentic way — this can be done by:
• Blog commenting – Get involved in a select number of high profile blogs in your industry and leave feedback that shows you are truly interested in what they are writing about. As you comment and share their articles on social media in a balanced way they in turn will respond with a possible interest in your business.
Here’s a good example from blogger and entrepreneur, Donna Merrill, who left some valuable feedback on a recent blog post by author and marketing expert, Peg Fitzpatrick:
• Long-form content – Readers respond to articles with detailed information that can be backed up with statistics, examples, and action steps. Your business can create a mix of content and include an infographic, case study, or video that influencers will want to share. It’s fresh, authentic and well-researched content that generates the most interest.
• Recognize leaders in your industry – One of the best ways to draw attention to your brand is to create a blog post that shows who is successful in your niche. This should be done after your business has established a sizable amount of readers who will be willing to share your content on social media like this example post from Influencer Relationship Management software platform, Onalytica:
• Reach out to your connections – Use email and comments to communicate with your network — this could be helpful feedback on an article, industry news, a special event they may want to attend, ect. When writing an article that mentions an individual or brand be sure to make this known to them either by direct correspondence a or a shout out on social media.
• Showcase a professional in your industry – Podcasts are still going strong — these are very effective in building an audience around influencers and attracting other leaders to your business. These can be webinars, live stream events, Facebook Live videos, ect. Author and entrepreneur, Bryan Kramer, engages his audience each week with different leaders in the world of business and marketing:
Decide now the best types of influencers your business should make a a connection with whether this might be another blogger, a high-level marketer, a B2B expert, ect. Celebrities measure on the low scale of who is important — it’s more effective to discover who is an ace in your own industry.
Forging authentic relationships takes time, patience, and some financial investment into marketing platforms, blogging tools, and measurement software. Find out what would be of interest and value to those you want to add to your inner circle rather than offering a sales pitch. As your business supports and promotes influencers in your niche you can build a strong network for the long term and build a reputable brand persona with your audience.