Influencer marketing is an exciting new concept. It’s about tapping into interesting people that already have a fan base or organizations connected directly to the content they create. This could be in Youtube, Instagram or even Snapchat. Below is a 5 step guide without spilling all of our secrets on how to get started doing influencer marketing.
Step 1: Content
Content is the most critical piece of influencer marketing, and always will be. Whether it’s through videos, interviews, testimonials, reviews, white papers, studies, stories, products, strategies, ideology, etc., content is an important part of building a solid network. If you do not have content than you will need to discuss the creation of content and distribution will follow. Ideally, the types of content that should be created on a monthly basis are as follows:
- Blogs/articles typically 500 to 1000 words in length and based around general info on specific topics;
- At least one white paper that goes over ideology, thought process, and some form of results, derived from that research or ideology;
- A video, providing a more detailed verbal version of the white paper, providing examples and audience-specific factors.
All of this content will be distributed across several influencers, once those are found.
Step 2: Define Influencers
Ask yourself these questions and answer them with regard to your business:
- Who is the person that will be growing your business?
- Are these leaders in social media talking about your product, your services, or have connections to people who make these decisions?
- Are the influencers you are after determining new changes in the industry? If so, how do you get on that bandwagon?
- What do these influencers have in common with your industry?
- Will these influencers ever be consumers of the products or simply marketing tools to let everyone know your product exists?
- How educated are these influencers and what should they be talking about on a regular basis?
- How many platforms are these influencers on?
- What type of content do they talk about already?
- How big is their following?
- Are they active in the industry’s community as a whole (speaking engagements, conferences etc.)?
Step 3: Find Influencers
Once you have a buyer persona of influencers you can target them, or find them by name, industry, blogging/writing network, interests, age, job title etc. This is the second longest time constraint in the process, after content creation. It will also be the most rigorous process for us as a marketing firm, to help build an extensive list. The goal is to start with at least 50 influencers from each of the different buyer personas generated in Step 2, and then compose a list of commonalities between each influencer. The goal is to continue to add five to 10 new names to this list for each persona each week or every month, based on network growth goals and the speed of Step 4.
Step 4: Influencer Communication
Just like with traditional marketing, you go directly to the people who are making the decisions. You do not go to the general business or page and inform them about your business. The goal is to speak to people with decision making power. To build these relationships, you work with individuals through the power of content. If you are providing quality content about your products or services, people will want to follow your company. Give them a first glance at new theories, ideologies, or new products that haven’t been reviewed before. Don’t be afraid to ask for their true honest thoughts and communicate this through private messages, where they can provide truly valuable feedback to you. Of course, there will be those who will ignore you and not look at what you have to offer.
It’s important to take a five-touch approach for all soft/cold influencers and offer content with a brief summary of why you contacted them. This new content is the face of your company and goals will be set up around it. The five touch approach is when you contact influencers a total of -five times for smaller/mid-sized influencers with any number of followers below 100,000. You will send over content and follow up until you receive a response a total of 5five times, across a week or so. You will then see if they are interested in writing their thoughts on it and linking to the content on our site. This influencer marketing will get them interested in your business, hopefully build backlinks and the most valuable piece of all: a relationship with them and their network. All communication to these individuals will need to be tracked, to log everything that is going on. As for larger influencers, the five touch approach will be used, but if they hint at any interest level or ask for follow-ups at a later time, you should accommodate to that. If smaller/mid-sized influencers appear to be interested and ask for follow-ups when specific content is out look at these on a case by case basis. Some influencers are too small to waste a lot of time on when you could just continue on and go to the next influencer.
Step 5: Getting Results
This process is as lengthy as SEO or simply put, as slow as picking up a phone and dialing a random number. The only difference is that you already have common interests with these influencers, and it is our job as the marketing firm to make your content stand out and get them interested in your company. The results may at first take a while to come in, which is why you continue to add names to the list of influencers, and push out prescript messages to the influencers to share the content. You do go through and analyze which content you think will work best, with whom, and then provide feedback on who you would like to give the content too. From here you test, analyze and determine results of communication. It’s is a team effort however, to track everything you do and follow the relationships that are being built. One big influencer can lead to a network of very interested individuals, resulting in a jumpstart for your company/brand and a long successful business relationship. Sales and bottom line is important in measuring results but other forms of success will be measure