The best way to grow your business is to leverage influencer marketing. This type of marketing allows you to expand your network which will open the doors to more visibility and opportunity.
While people know the power of influencer marketing, we need to approach influencers just as they are…people. They won’t share your content because you ask them to do so. Influencers get plenty of those types of requests each day.
However, these same influencers do share other people’s content. This post will reveal how your post can land in that category for influencers in your niche.
Create Valuable Content
Some would think this could go without saying. This is the advice we hear over and over again on countless blog posts. However, we need to recapture this idea.
Valuable content needs to be proven and a cut above the rest. Valuable content isn’t just measured by word count or how much information is wrapped within your content. It’s based on gathering an audience and hearing their thoughts.
If your audience likes the content, you’ll know that you produced a valuable piece of content. Valuable content isn’t what you think is valuable. It’s what your audience thinks is valuable.
If you write for your audience and continue attracting people to your content, producing valuable content will become easier over time.
However, let’s revisit that cut above the rest part. That’s an important theme for influencer marketing.
Influencers can simply promote one of their own valuable pieces of content. Your content has to outweigh the insights that most (ideally everyone else) can offer. Those are the types of pieces of content that win.
Valuable content is important, but there’s another way to sweeten the pot.
Mention People In Your Content
Would you rather buy a business book, or a business book with your name in it? People love when they get mentioned in a positive way whether it be a book, blog post, or video.
I make it a point to mention several people in my blog posts. When I link to someone’s article, I’m strengthening my content’s value with additional research. This is also pre-marketing because I will then contact everyone I mentioned to let them know I mentioned them.
I don’t ask for social shares. I give them a choice. At the very worst case scenario, one extra person visits my blog. At the best case scenario, people I mention share that blog post, and then some of their followers proceed to do the same.
Mentioning the influencers you reach out to in your content will boost your chances of them sharing your content with their audiences. It aligns with a New York Times study where self-fulfillment and giving themselves an added sense of value are some of the reasons why people share their content. CoSchedule does an excellent job at summarizing that study.
The big secret in influencer marketing is realizing that influencers are people. Just like anyone else, they enjoy getting mentioned on blogs, channels, and podcasts. Just like anyone else, many of them would also show that off to their friends, or in influencers’ cases, their audiences.
Permission Marketing Wins
While influencers will likely share content they’re featured in, it’s not always the case. Some influencers get many features and decide not to acknowledge pushy requests for shares.
- This strategy for boosting your chances of getting social shares works, but some influencers know about this strategy.
- Chances are influencers are reading posts just like this. There are influencers reading this post, and perhaps you too are an influencer.
- It’s no secret that some people just mention influencers solely for shares. To actually get those shares and see influencer marketing pay off for your brand, you need to leverage permission marketing.
- I will keep bringing up that influencers are people. Just as we enjoy sharing content we’re featured in, we don’t like doing something that seems forced. This is why most people don’t like chores. They seem forced.
- Chores continue to get done because they are necessary, but not sharing content you’re featured in doesn’t carry the same weight as not doing your chores anymore (for the sake of the argument, let’s say you don’t delegate your chores such as laundry either).
- You may want an influencer to share your content, but for that to happen, it must be the influencer’s idea to share your content. If it’s not their idea to do so, they probably won’t share your content.
In a big marketing twist, subtly asking for the share or not asking for the share at all is better than aggressively asking for one. I tell influencers that they can share or not share my content that features them. It’s always their choice, but permission marketing tells the influencer that you acknowledge it’s their choice.
Some influencers consume a sea of emails that say something like “Please share” which is a nice way of saying “You should share this piece of content since I mentioned you.”
Make it clear that you are indifferent with whether an influencer shares or doesn’t share your content. Your indifference makes it the influencer’s choice. Some won’t share, and that’s okay. But you’ll get more influencers to share your content with this approach than the commonly pushy approach others take when asking for the share.
Scaling This Strategy
Your ability to scale this influencer marketing strategy is based on two things:
1. Your frequency
2. The number of mentions in each piece of content you create
Let’s say you want to double the potential for this strategy. Note that I say potential because it’s still up to all of the influencers you contact whether they want to share your content or not. This is different from how doubling your product’s conversion rate will mathematically guarantee that you double your sales with everything else being the same.
You can double the potential for this strategy by publishing twice as much content each week or mentioning twice as many people in each piece of content you produce.
Both of these approaches will force you to do more research and build relationships with more people. If you believe it’s too challenging to scale and do the research to learn about more people, you can always delegate this part.
For me, conducting research is as easy as going to blogs I know or typing a search phrase and seeing what the first page of Google gives me.
I sometimes go deeper into Google search results (i.e. Page 5). That’s where you’ll find micro influencers who have more time to respond to emails like yours than the people who regularly get hundreds of emails every day.
Micro influencers are more likely to share your content than influencers who everyone knows. If many people know an influencer, that means many people are contacting that influencer.
Influencer marketing is critical. You build relationships with people who may promote all of your new content. However, you want to genuinely approach each person you connect with. Don’t view influencers as opportunity bearers. Instead, focus on building the relationship.
Even if an influencer decides to not share your content right now, still build that relationship. This strategy will result in more traffic, but you’ll also increase your network which is even more valuable.
What are your thoughts on influencer marketing? Do you have any suggestions for us? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments below.