We know that creating content, especially blogs combined with influencer marketing, top the list of many how-to strategies for marketing online.
You’ve got a few choices: You can publish your own blog, video, webinar, infographic or podcast, to name a few methods. Or you can distribute content acquired from other sources.
Another option is to find people with influence to help share your story through the clout they’ve built up across the different platforms.
We call this influencer marketing. It’s the practice of working with prominent people online to spread the word about your products and services through social media.
Recently, I analyzed my Tweets over the previous 12 months. The evaluation revealed the names of 5 powerful influencers I want to thank. Here they are:
- Tom Peters – “Red Bull of management thinking” – 156K followers
- Jeff Emerson – Mental Health Advocate 1.37M followers
- MarQuis TrilL, Cryptocurrency Investor 4.62m followers
- Joel Comm – Live Video Marketing Expert 904K followers
- Alice Margin – Social Media Analyst – 439K followers
Over the year, my impressions reached 952K. The metric is not that useful but indicates others found my content useful enough to eyeball. It would be a high hope if they actually read my stuff. Now, in March, Tom Peters kindly retweeted a blog with a reach of 12.8K impressions and 52 engagements which led to 12 clicks on my business profile. That is an important metric because the exposure contributed to my reputation as someone able to coach or deliver services to a company ready to build their company online. The blog that Tom shared was titled Who Does What For Social Marketing.
The really important metric deals with engagement. I found the highest interactions came from my blogs on “how to” topics. This measurement is consistent with Steve Rayson from BuzzSumo who revealed an analysis of 100 million headlines to show blog titles that ranked the highest for opening rates.
His research said the title with the phrase “How to…” ranked THE highest in all networks. Here are my next three top blogs:
- A Map for You, Your EA, Sales, and the Hired Help – Social Marketing
- How to Scale & Maintain Customer Engagement in Regulated Industries – Pharmaceuticals and Financiers
Your comments are invited following this blog on influencers. You can also find more modern marketing strategies for business here.
Small and medium-sized business can do the same thing with sweat equity on a smaller scale by building their own lists of bloggers and developing relationships with them.
For example, my top local mention came from @NoPayneRoofing with 32 engagements. Thank you!
Influencers help with everything from increasing sales to public education campaigns, event promotions, fundraising, and new product introductions.
Where do you begin to find influencers?
Start within your own networks and move out from there. Build a database to keep track of these elements:
- Name of influencer
- Preferred network
- Audience size
- Age group
- Engagement: Clicks, comments, shares, likes, retweets, pins, re-pins
- Advertisers represented
- Notes from conversations to remember what you heard them last say
Of course, there are hundreds of directories for over 250 million bloggers on the planet. When you run out of names from your personal circles of influence, try expanding your search of these directories:
Be prepared to give ideas about your audience to prospective influencers, as well:
- Topics important to your audience
- Background information for your clients who are considering making a purchase
- Answers to questions that your customers have not thought to ask
- Online sources that customers research for information on similar products and services
What flummoxed me, though, was a way to rank bloggers with whom to develop relationships. Below is what Kyle Wong, founder and CEO of www.pixlee.com figured out. I love it.
Influence = Audience reach (#of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers.
Here’s 8 more points to remember:
- Don’t confuse volume of contacts with influence.
- Set objectives: Know what you want to achieve and make sure that you reach your targets.
- Think long term. Invest your time, attention and interest in the other person. Be careful not to be seen as only making contact when you want something from an influencer.
- Spot opportunities. Are you able to introduce the blogger to people within your network? Do you see potential partnerships or sponsorships to involve the blogger?
- Don’t forget your “everyday” customers and brand advocates. More than celebrities in your niche, this type of influencer/follower can boost small no-name companies to higher profiles.
- Mention the blogger on your own website or blog.
- Link to them – both hyperlink and other social media channels. Follow them on Twitter and retweet their best tweets. Suggest involving them in other more interactive ways – e.g. interviews or video
- Remember that bloggers are legally required to disclose if they are being compensated much in the way that traditional media must identify advertorials as paid messages.
In addition, when a blogger writes about your story and receives compensation, it is deemed a “sponsored post”. This means any hyperlink must be classified as ‘no-follow’ links which means they are not counted by search engines when calculating page rank.
Establishing presence in the digital world can seem overwhelming. Publishing a blog and identifying 5 influential bloggers to form relationships is a good place to start.