WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE?

How To Get Influencers Behind Your Blog

Elijah Masek-Kelly, Managing Director @ Powerful Outreach

13th NOV 2017

Following through with strong digital content takes a lot of work, in both the creation and dissemination stages.  

Let’s assume you have taken the time to craft original blog content that situates you at the vanguard of your industry.  Well done – that’s the creative stage taken care of.  

But what if no one is reading your blog?  What if it takes more outreach to bring traction then you thought?  The bottom line is this: all your great content means very little if influencers in your industry do not take notice and share the love.  

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is an affordable outreach technique that businesses of any size can use to scale up their reach without a comparable rise in marketing spend.  But what exactly is it?

According to Kyle Wong, influencer marketing is “a form of marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over potential buyers.”  Kyle points out that it comes in a number of forms.  It could be:

  • A Hollywood celebrity vouching for Dove soap in a nationwide commercial.  
  • An influential blogger writing about specific products and services.
  • Informed and opinionated consumers rating and discussing the merits of a business.  

How Influencer Marketing Works

Your blog (and business more generally) would benefit from some influencer collaborations.  It really depends on your objectives, your budget, and the kind of target audience you want to reach. 

Influencer marketing collaborations can either be paid or unpaid.  A paid arrangement would probably include a set of terms (like share x number of blogs over x number of months, for example).  Unpaid collaborations are usually more loose and may simply occur naturally because the influencer likes your product and wants to write about it.  

No matter the structure of the relationship between you and an influencer, it’s important to note how casually these relationships can be sparked.  It could be as simple as an Instagram message or striking up a personal relationship with someone on Facebook or Twitter – domains in which standard ‘business speak’ don’t apply.  Use that to your advantage!

Is Influencer Marketing Effective?

Like any marketing or public relations initiative, influencer marketing can be tremendously successful as long as proper planning and execution are followed through.  A recent study by Tomoson found that marketers are making $6.50 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.  That’s an exceptional ROI and if it can be spread out evenly across the year it can have excellent long-term ROI!

The study also found a majority of marketers believe influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel for customer acquisition on the internet.  So it’s big, and it’s here to stay.

According to Deep Patel, there are two main reasons why influencer marketing is effective:

  • Great way to connect with target audience
  • Brings authority/credibility to your brand

Step 1 – Set the Scope

So how do you go about connecting with micro or macro-influencers?  Steve Olenski believes that planning the scope of your influencer marketing campaign is all about asking the big question: what kind of influencer makes sense with our brand?

Steve gives some valuable insight into matching your content with a macro or micro-influencer that reflects your target audience.  Here recommends following these incremental steps:

Set Target Audience –  Develop an in-depth profile of your target, including behavioral attitudes, favored social media channels, and a list of blog topics and themes your target market is interested in.  

Research Influencers in the Niche – Let’s say you run a social media marketing company in Toronto.  Begin with rudimentary Google searches on topics related to social media marketing – maybe “Toronto SEO experts”, for example – to get a sense of whose voice has the most impact.  Generate a list of the most authoritative influencers and start following them on all social platforms.    

Shane Baker has shared some interesting ways to bring micro-influencers into your corner.  He points out that social media followers of your business are a great resource.  Using Instagram as an example, Shane recommends three steps:

1. Messaging the most influential followers in your network (ideally 1,000 + followers)

2. Research using hashtags

3. Do a Google search of bloggers

Make A Campaign – Once you have found an influencer that makes sense with your target audience, it’s important to determine the metrics of your campaign.  It’s in this stage that measurable goals need to be set, otherwise the entire purpose of the project is jeopardized.  You want to be thinking about the length of the campaign and what metrics you want to measure (social shares, click-through-rate on your blog, increased conversion rate, or general brand strengthening).

Gracelyn Tan Ladd provides a comprehensive list of campaign types to help you decide.  The most realistic option for your business is either going to be:

A takeover campaign (in which the influencer posts on your social channels for a while, including your blog)

A sharing campaign (influencers re-post your content on their channels and vouch for it)

As Gracelyn points out, the scope of your campaign really comes down to the relationship you have with the influencer.  

Step 2 – Establish A Relationship

Establishing a relationship is all about focused and personal outreach.  Krista Bunskoek knows how to go about this in the most effective way, and has written about it in detail.  While her knowledge spans all social channels, the most relevant to your purposes are probably Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.  

On all these platforms, the abiding advice from Krista is to engage and share their content – so get busy with retweets, shares, comments, likes, and private messages of encouragement.  Before too long a professional relationship will form between you two that situates your brand within the purview of the influencer, and that’s exactly what you want.  

Step 3 – Consider Terms of an Offer

Once a relationship has been struck up over a few months, it’s time to consider the terms of an offer.  Tamar Weinberg has put some thought into the types of offers to give an influencer, and they are worth looking over.  

Gifting Goods

The first type of offer is the gifting of goods to the influencer.  While it does not guarantee exposure, offering a free lunch or product to an influential blogger will give them a great reason to write about you.  Are you looking to get some press for a new product? Then send a demo to influential bloggers and see what they say!

Sponsored Posts

You can also pay bloggers to write about your company.  You want to be very specific about what they write about, but in general this is a great way to bring in traction by barely lifting a finger.  Working out the terms of each post is something that needs to be negotiated, so don’t rush this step.  

Get Others to Spread the Word For You

Influencer marketing is the best way to scale up outreach efforts before, during, and after a PR campaign.  

Getting a big name to support your blog will have positive ramifications all the way down the digital marketing chain: from organic search, to social media traffic, and (eventually) conversion rates.  Start taking your blog seriously and give it the support it deserves.  

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