Connecting With the Right Influencers for Business Growth
When it comes to forging high-level business connections online, are you reaching the most influential people?
Are there roadblocks to getting your content shared by trusted sources?
Influencer Marketing is not just about following the right people, but rather it’s a way to build relationships with key people in your industry whom your audience respects and trusts in order to spread the word about your company. If you’d like to reach key players, your focus should be the following:
- Research and take note of the main influencers for your niche
- Target these influencers through a well-executed marketing campaign
- Track your data and communication online to maximize your results
Newer strategies on social media like SnapChat, YouTube and Instagram, are opening the doors to make it easier to connect with influencers. Other methods include email, interactions on Twitter such as live chats, blog commenting, Facebook Pages and groups, and Google Plus Circles and Communities; according to this study by Augure:
When finding the right influencers to connect with your business, you should be evaluating
- The relevancy of their community and how it fits into your target market
- How many fans and followers they have on their blog and on social media and
- What you can offer them for their time, such as an informational guest article or promoting their content or eBooks.
Social media is a good place to start in order to discover the most trusted industry players based on interactions, content and their community. Here is an example from Twitter. I used the hashtag, #custserv, which brought me to a leading customer service expert and author, Marsha Collier:
The next step would be to locate influencers based on their Twitter handle inside the social measurement tool, Klout:
Here you can discover their areas of expertise and other online accounts where they are most active. In this example, Marsha Collier is a great fit for a B2B agency looking to connect with someone who is an expert on business, customer service and social media. Track activity through services like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, TweetDeck, etc., which also helps you to better share and communicate with influencers in your industry.
In order to truly make meaningful connections with top people online, your business can use these strategies:
• Actively engage with influencer content – Take the time to read a blog post, and leave valuable feedback along with social sharing. This can attract their attention, and shows them that your business is not just skimming through information, but is actually taking a vested interest in what they have to offer.
• Create a well-crafted article – Put together an infographic, case study or slideshow that provides something fresh and of value that influencers will want to share. If they find your information useful, you may be offered the chance to leave a review or write a guest blog article on their website.
• Provide a top influencer list – After your website has become well established and you have grown your readership community, consider publishing a list which outlines the best people in your industry. This information will most likely be mentioned and shared, especially on social media, like this example from Twelve Skip:
• Connect with email or LinkedIn – Reach out to people that you have already started to interact with and make introductions, share an interesting article, send a compliment, ask for advice, etc. LinkedIn especially, makes this process simple once you are connected, or with their Premium account option. If you have worked with another influencer or written a guess blog article for them, you can reference this information when reaching out to other people whom they have connections with.
• Conduct a professional guest interview or podcast – Use the latest technology such as Periscope on Twitter, Facebook Live, Google Plus Hangouts, Blab.im, iTunes, etc., to your advantage, and reach out for a topical interview on the latest trends in your industry. If you have enough followers on your blog and on social media, the better chances you have at getting a ‘yes’ from even an Internet celebrity like Guy Kawasaki. Brian Fanzo, owner of iSocialFanz, has built a great platform out of this and hosts regular shows on his various podcast channels:
Depending on your industry, your business will need to determine the best types of individuals to make a connection with. For example, if you are an author, you may want to look for high authority book reviewers, book publishing experts, journalists and successful authors in your genre. A company that sells health products, however, may want to reach out to health blogging experts, celebrities who promote healthy products, popular accounts on social media such as Pinterest and Instagram, or YouTube celebrities who host shows focusing on health and wellness.
Making meaningful connections with those who are high up in your industry takes time, patience, persistence and research. Put yourself in their position and find out what would be of interest and value to them. This could be a new eBook they are about to publish or a new product. Reach out to them and learn what your business can do for them, or simply create a shout out online recognizing their brand and promoting them through social media. Remember that the more you communicate and share their product/service, the higher the chance that they will take notice and return the favor.
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