influencer marketingDo you want to increase your reach? ‘Reach’ is a term that gets much bandied around in digital marketing circles: it’s a measure of how well your social media activities are doing, and an indicator of how many people are getting exposure to your brand / company.

But reach by itself isn’t going to increase your profitability and revenues, unless those you reach are your prospects. The scattergun approach of broadcasting to everyone and hoping something will stick; can be an expensive way of marketing your business.

Instead, tactics that increase your reach but also put you directly in front of your target audience is much more desirable. This is where influencers come in.

What Are Influencers?

An influencer is someone your prospects are already listening to. They are people, and organisations, that have a strong following who are aligned with your company and offering.

For example, an influencer could be a lifestyle blogger who blogs about baking and your company sells cake tins. Or an influencer could be a professional organisation and you want to reach their members with your services.

Influencers don’t have to be well-known organisations or publications, or celebrity bloggers and industry experts. They can just as well be your suppliers, your distributors and your customers. If their target audience is your target audience and they have a larger following than you, they are could be excellent influencers for your business.

Influencers have significant social capital, with many social media followers and they’re very active on these channels. So when you’re looking for potential influencers that can help your business, make sure they not only have reach, but they are also actively tweeting and retweeting content, sharing blog posts, engaging with conversations online and promoting their content.

So how can you engage with these social capital millionaires? Here are a few ideas…

Build A Relationship With Them

Having identified influencers that you want to engage with, consider whether they are already brand advocates for your business. Advocates are quick wins as they will be highly receptive to promoting your content – you just need to ask!

Either way, the first step is to start building a relationship. If you don’t already know the influencer the best place to start is on social media. Engaging with their content (retweeting, sharing, commenting etc.) will help them and get you noticed.

Think About How You Can Help Them

What can you do that will help them? If you can provide them with content that helps them engage with their audiences, it’s a win-win for both parties. Perhaps you have done some unique research and have stats that will help them make their case. Or you can talk about a particular area of interest that their audience want to know about, but they don’t have the expertise to speak with authority on. A great option is to provide a blog post on a subject aligned with their audience and their area of interest.

Let’s face it we’re all desperate for content to share, but writing blog posts is time consuming. If you can help them by sharing some of the workload, they’re going to be grateful for your help.

Find Opportunities For Self Promotion

We recently delivered some fantastic results for a client using a very simple trick. We wrote a blog post about top industry blogs, top industry events, and top industry books and shared it on our client’s website. We then tweeted about the blog using Twitter handles for those influencers mentioned in the post. How could they resist?! Being featured in a blog about ‘top industry experts’ was very flattering and resulted in retweets galore, new followers and genuine leads for our client.

By promoting your influencers, you can also promote your business.

Invite Them To Contribute Their Expertise

Another effective tactic, and one that will genuinely help your content, is to invite influencers to share their expertise. If you’re writing a blog post about something they talk about, invite them to give you a quote that will give your post additional weight. Once published let them know and also promote their contribution by sharing on social media. For example, “In our latest blog @xxxxxx says that …..” This should at the least earn you a retweet and also aligns your business with that influencer.

Taking this a step further you could invite an influencer to contribute a guest blog post to your company blog sharing their expertise or to take part in an interview. You’ll need to provide them with some compelling reasons for doing so: how you will promote this content, your numbers such as social media followers and email subscribers, and the benefits for them.

Make It Easy For Them

Requesting a guest blog post from an influencer is a big ask as you’re expecting them to spend time creating content for you. But requesting a quote or a few lines in answer to a question is a much easier way to engage, you could even request a quote on social media and benefit from exposure straightaway.

If you’ve volunteered a blog post to them, make it really easy. The content has to be spot on, aligned with their goals and target audience, and not a sales pitch for your business. Provide them with a cleared image to use to illustrate the post, and even suggestions for promoting the post – social media updates, email content etc.

Follow Up And Make Sure You Say Thank You

The follow up is a great opportunity to engage with the influencer further. It can result in more opportunity such as requests for more content, further sharing on social media, and new connections that may also increase your reach.

To discuss the subject of this post in more detail, or to explore how your business can use influencers to reach a larger audience, get in touch me with me! Ring 01252 717373 or email hello@hypedmarketing.co.uk