Social media reigns in the world of content marketing, and for good reason. Social media platforms allow real people to share real information about your industry or business. For marketers, this goldmine of authentic conversation must not be ignored. Intro: Influencer Marketing. Influencer marketing is marketing that identifies and targets individuals with influence over your audience and potential buyers.
One leader in influencer marketing is TopRank Online Marketing CEO, Lee Odden, whose session at Content Marketing World broke down influencer marketing into 5 easy steps.
The profile of an influencer
As marketers are faced with producing enough content that engages, utilizing the insight and expertise of influencers is invaluable. Why? People have confidence in influencers and experts.
Though finding a brand influencer with thousands of social media followers can be helpful, what is most important is a person’s expertise on a subject and their relationship with people in the industry.
1. Identify influencers
After deciding what topic you want to be better recognized for, it’s time to identify people with influence on that theme. Tools such as Traackr and Keyhole can help you seek out people by topic or keywords to view their influence.
As you identify influencers, be sure to focus on more than just someone’s social popularity. According to Odden, a brandividual is popular, while an influencer is effective at creating popularity. Make it your goal to find someone who inspires action.
2. Reach out & Recruit
Once you have found ideal influencers in your industry, it’s time to make a connection. Whether you share status updates, comment on blog posts, live blog their sessions, interview them, co-create content or interact face-to-face, engaging with your influencers is the best way to form a relationship.
To carry on the recruitment process, consider what important questions influencers can answer for you. Odden suggests sending an outreach email like the one below.
3. Content Development & Influencer Amplification
Using the information gathered from influencers, content development can be carried out in the form of eBooks, webinars, blog posts, infographics, and other lead generation material.
Next, Odden suggests building on the content with influencers’ participation. Make it easy for influencers to amplify the content by providing them prewritten social media messages and following up.
4. Measure success
To get a feel for the success of your content collaboration with influencers, it’s important to measure the content and the influencer actions. To measure the content, track traffic, shares, links, exposure, conversations and inquiries. To measure influencer actions, track their shares, engagement on shares, status updates or blog posts about the content.
5. Keep the ball rolling
Now that you have worked with an influencer to co-create content, be sure to nurture your new relationship for future projects. Consider offering feedback, citing them in blog posts and contributed articles, engaging in social media and referring their expertise, to build a rapport for future.
Ultimately, Odden’s hypothesis about influencer marketing sums it up: Partnering with influencers in your target audience to create resources for your industry can fast track your own influence and inbound marketing performance. Who doesn’t want that?
Did you attend Content Marketing World this year? We would love to hear what you learned and anything you might want to know about content marketing.