My Facebook news feed is chock full of inspirational quotes and messages from my favorite celebrities. Whether it’s a funny post from Kevin Hart or an inspirational post from Mark Cuban, I always scroll through the “feed” in the morning before getting out of bed. Then, during my lunch breaks, I scroll again to see what’s new.
Finally, while I’m home watching TV and relaxing after a long day, I find myself scrolling through my social media profiles yet again.
Those micro-moments represent a killer advertising opportunity for brands to reach me. Of course I’m a pro at scrolling past the “Promoted Posts”, but the information shared by my favorite individuals is more difficult to ignore. So, as my company grew, I started looking for ways to tap into that audience that, like me, pays attention to key individuals in their daily routine.
Engaging Influencers with Content
1. Reaching Influencers in Three Easy Steps
Getting influencers (the people that have large, organic audiences) to share information with their fans is called “Influencer Marketing”. But how do you get an influencer’s attention? It can be as simple as having content that they stumble upon and enjoy. Or, you can send them an email pitch, using the process that The Daily Egg recommends on their blog.
I’ve had personal success reaching influencers by asking them if they’d like to be profiled in my blog, or as part of an upcoming project. A profile can be as simple as a quote, or a more in-depth interview; whatever the influencer prefers.
But, before I reach out, I create multiple channels (Facebook Posts, Tweets, Blog Posts and Landing Pages) stocked with high-quality content related to the target influencer’s area of expertise. This allows the influencer to quickly research me and confirm that I’m a serious individual that produces quality content in their niche.
To recap, my process involves:
- Generating a list of potential influencers that I’d like to profile or target for ongoing marketing outreach.
- Creating valuable, well-researched content that speaks to their niche on every channel available to me.
- Making sure my website is strong and ready for their vetting. (More on that in the next section.)
- Reaching out to them via a personalized, brief email that clearly defines the easiest way for them to contribute to my project; a quote for an upcoming article is a super easy option.
2. Text Layout with Attention-Grabbing Headers is Key
The way that we find and interact with websites is changing. As we become trained to mentally block-out advertising areas (generally the tops, sides and bottom of sites), it’s more important than ever to structure the text on our site around human behavior.
According to Reboot Online, “When humans encounter a piece of text, we tend to concentrate most on headings, and the first lines of paragraphs. We also usually scan a text before reading it fully all the way through to get an idea of what it’s about and hence, decide if we want to read it all in detail.” If you want readers to spend time on your page you need strong, impactful headers.
Key components of a killer header:
- Include a number; the human mind loves the inherent value in numbers.
- Focus on the benefit to the reader.
- Take action, don’t be passive.
So, if I have a couple paragraphs discussing how to lay out text, I’d place a header above them that reads: “3 Pro Techniques You Should Use When Laying Out Text; It’s Easier than You Think!”
Influencers visiting my site will be able to scan it and realize that I’m a genuine person creating unique, valuable content online for my audience. They’ll be more inclined to work with me because I’m already working hard to create value on my own. Their contributions can be easily dovetailed into a known commodity.
3. Get Personal, Remove Boundaries
One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with was that my brand needed a face and personality behind it. I’m a natural introvert, which is probably why I became such a passionate blogger in the first place. But, to create an impactful presence that influencers will want to help support requires unmasking yourself and stepping out from behind the computer screen.
There are a couple of great ways to accomplish this. My personal favorite is YouTube. Creating short, targeted videos allows your audience to become familiar with who you are. Script them if you have to, but your natural presence on camera is almost always best. Trust me, viewers will realize when you’re reading from a script.
My first couple of videos bounced back and forth between myself on the screen explaining a concept, and then a video capture of my screen showing the concept in action. I provided answers to common questions via YouTube and built a following. I embedded these videos in my blog posts and social media posts.
Inc.’s post by Jayson Demers explains part of the reason that personal branding is so effective; “Personal branding is becoming increasingly important because modern audiences tend to trust people more than corporations … allowing you to establish a reputation and an identity while still maintaining a personal level of trust and interaction, usually through social media.”
Creating a personal brand and online presence that influencers will pay attention to is a time-intensive process. But, if you can create a compelling website that’s structured to properly engage your audience, you can engage influencers. Even if you fail to engage influencers (which only happens if you totally give up and stop evolving), a website and social media presence full of fresh, engaging content will continue to grow organically, providing ongoing ROI.
Typing Photo via Shutterstock
There is only one way to reach influencers – it is to participate in the community. You should not view it as a form of merely reaching out. It is about being passionate in your niche and actively participating in the community.
Semantics…how can someone begin a relationship without reaching out? Someone has to make the first move. I have had influencers reach out to me from my content on the web, both onsite and offsite. When I find an influencer I want to connect with I reach out to them. Yes, I engage in the communities/groups that influencers frequent, and sometimes that’s how I discover the one’s I want to approach.
I recently connected with an influencer that I discovered through his post on Forbes. I wanted to connect with him to partner with on some projects. I shared his post I liked on Forbes on all of my social channels and tagged him in the post. I followed him and connected with him on his social media profiles. I also emailed him a personal message asking if he wanted to be included in a post I was preparing to write on Entrepreneur.
Guess what? He replied and we spoke on the phone yesterday and we had some great synergy. We immediately started collaborating on a project together. Yes, you are correct Aira about participating in communities with sought after influencers but at some point you have to separate yourself from the heard. So how do you plan on doing that?