How Influencer Outreach Can Revive Your Content Marketing Strategy
There are bulletproof methods to a content marketing strategy. Actions that, when applied, give the results you need. You probably know all of them by now, step by step: do your market research, find your niche, identify your target audience and their online trends, find out what your target audience loves, find out what they’re missing and what they need. Attract clients with high-quality, original content. Give freebies, special offers, award your newsletter subscribers, your customers. Be interactive and socially active, engage.
Okay, so you’ve got the first major part done, you’re running a successful site, it has grown plenty. Has it grown enough, and how can it expand? This is where influencer outreach kicks in.
What does ‘influencer’ even mean?
First off, you need to know what we mean by ‘influencer’. An influencer is, basically, a person with a significant level of online influence. It can be a celebrity from the world of showbusiness, an athlete, journalist, popular scientist or an online personality, such as a popular blogger, YouTuber or podcaster. It’s the type of person that has many followers on social media, but, more importantly, this is the kind of person that sets trends. They make things popular. They know how to turn things viral. And that’s why they can be your best ally when it comes to content marketing.
What you need to do is negotiate a deal in which an influencer, who is a leader in their own right, to promote your brand.
This is where you conduct research, again, and this time, you’re searching for influencers that are valuable to you, that relate to you and your brand. Find the right person from your industry and get in touch with them. This is the most difficult step, as there are various ways of contacting an influencer and different tools at your disposal. Let’s take a look at some of the tools and methods you can use.
Twitter can work wonders for you if you’re trying to contact an influencer, but you can’t just contact them out of the blue. You have to follow their posting habits and get to know how they interact with their followers, and be a follower yourself. If you get a follow back, then it’s a bit easier and you can go for the direct message approach. If not, you’ll have to tweet at your chosen influencer to get the discussion started. Always keep in mind that you can’t be too pushy or else you’ll fail.
Once you have their ear, present your deal. Always keep in mind that an influencer has to benefit from you as much as you benefit from them, and your end goal has to be helping others.
Don’t forget Twitter Lists. Create a list of your targeted influencers, and make it a private list. Now, you can follow their Twitter activity in detail and get to know them better, which will make getting in touch with those influencers easier.
Get in touch, send emails.
Now, a more direct, and definitely a lot more effective approach is sending emails. Fans can send tweets, but emails, that is more professional. Introduce yourself, give positive feedback about your influencer’s work – a small compliment can go a long way – explain why you are contacting them, what you do and how what will they gain from promoting your services. Present your offer as a mutually beneficial partnership. Don’t write an essay, be direct, informative, but also laid back.
Sometimes it isn’t that easy, because not everyone has their email publicly listed. This is where a tool called EmailHunter.co comes in handy, as it can help you track down email addresses. Type in the website – company, person or whatever – whose email your searching for, and EmailHunter will hunt down the results for you.
Pro tip: send your emails mid-week, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, because those are the most productive days of the week and you’re more likely to have your email read in you send it then, instead on Mondays, which everyone hates, or on Thursday and Friday, when people are already focusing on the weekend.
Of course, it would be great if you could know whether or not your email has been checked. HubSpot has a useful tool for that, called Sidekick. Check that out.
Get the right tools.
Now let’s take a look at some other tools that will help you get in touch with your selected influencers.
Buzzsumo is one of the best tools that will help you find influencers in your niche. With it, you can research online content relevant to your own, search for influencers, and set up alerts for newly posted content that is related to your own. You can also see what’s being shared, what’s trending, comparatively analyze content and find to authors in your field. Buzzstream is like it’s big brother, as it also incorporates digital PR, linkbuilding, and content promotion.
LinkedIn Groups can also be useful when tracking down influencers, particularly if you are more business-oriented. If this applies to you, Rapportive is a great tool, as it delivers valuable LinkedIn profiles to your Gmail inbox, and that could introduce you to potential influencers.
If you already know who your industry influeners are, but would like to analyze their content and online presence, use Mention. You can even use it to see how your influencer’s social media campaign is doing.
Inkybee can be a powerful ally in your campaigns. Designed as a blogger outreach platform, Inkybee tracks how your influencer’s campaigns are doing, but will also track down new influencers in your niche.
The MOZ Toolbar is another useful tool, and it’s a neat Chrome and Firefox plugin. This one helps you analyze SEO scores for websites while you are browsing. Easy to use and definitely a must-have tool for SEO purposes.
MOZ doesn’t stop there, they have another cool app. Followerwonk is your Twitter friend, as it can track down potential influencers who are already following you.
Get more tools.
Klout has been around for years, and it keeps getting better. This is probably your easiest option, as it tracks down social scores across all platforms – and it does analyze practically all social networks out there, giving you a detailed analysis.
Want to know in what way you’re connected to your targeted influencers? Use LittleBird. This tool will power-up your social media campaign by mapping influencer networks in order to find those relevant to your brand.
If you are focused on media, and are willing to pay for a high-quality service, you should check out Hey Press. Basically, this is a searchable database of tech journalists, and they can definitely be your influencers, if you work in tech or related industries. You enter a keyword in the Hey Press search bar, and that’s it – you’ll get a list of relevant journalists. A free version is available on their website, but it is limited to giving you only two names in the search results.
Let’s wrap it up.
Wow, that’s a lot of info and a bunch of tools, all at once, huh? Just take it one step at a time, select tools that suit you best, and stick to certain basic principles: do your research before taking action, remember that influencers definitely need to benefit from your partnership and always be helpful to others. You’re working for yourself, but also your target audience. Listen to them and give them what they need. Simple as that.