The original influencers — actors, actresses, musicians, sports stars, and the like — are no longer the only game in town. Influencers can encourage their audiences to buy products and invest in services because consumers trust them. The internet has created platforms like social media and blogs where people who have never set foot on a stage, sung a song, or played professional sports have tremendous power over their followers.
That’s the essence of influencer marketing. An influencer promotes a brand’s products or services to increase sales and brand visibility. The model works because consumers trust the people they follow online even more than they trust the latest celebrity of the week. Over time, brands have refined their influencer marketing techniques, using technology to identify potential influencers and to amplify their voices. If you want to give influencer marketing a try, here are a few content tips to get the ball rolling.
Offer to Write Guest Posts
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While celebrity endorsement deals can cost millions of dollars, influencer marketing doesn’t have to cost a dime. For instance, you might offer to provide guest posts on an influencer’s blog. It’s an exchange of value for value: your business gets exposed to the influencer’s audience and the influencer gets free blog content.
Build relationships with influencers on social media, then email them about guest posts. If you can reference prior contact — such as an interesting conversation in the comments section on Facebook — an influencer will likely give your proposal more consideration.
You can also solicit influencers to interact with your brand. For instance, if you notice that an influencer has talked about using your product, invite him or her to provide a testimonial. Social proof can result in tremendous benefits for businesses, especially when they’re just starting out or hoping for rapid expansion. This can also create a back-door opening for sharing great content.
Create Irresistible, Educational Content
Influencers want to help their audiences. If you publish authoritative, educational content that answers a question or solves a problem, influencers will find themselves more enthusiastic about sharing it. Content that benefits influencers can then also benefit their followers.
This doesn’t mean you need to create a dry, dull textbook. Educational content can still pack an inspirational or amusing punch if you use words creatively. Find a fresh way to explore statistics and industry facts so that readers feel entertained as well as educated.
Instructive content with solid facts and figures can also attract unexpected or unconventional influencers. For instance, universities often look for solid educational content when writing blog posts and other content for their websites. Schools get significant traffic and have plenty of authority, so they can lend validity to the useful content you produce.
Write About the Influencer
Everyone loves to see his or her name in print. Sometimes, influencers join forces with brands that mention them in their content. You might quote an influencer’s Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook account, for instance. Provide a link back to the source, both to attribute your source legally and to increase the chances of your influencer learning about it.
Alternatively, contact the influencer before you start writing the content. Ask if you can interview him or her for your blog. Since the influencer appears in the content, he or she will likely share it with followers. Both of you will gain publicity, and you will have established a potentially valuable relationship.
Converse on Social Media
If you get to know potential influencers, you can start an organic relationship that might, over time, evolve into an ambassadorship. Brand ambassadors can act as spokespeople by sharing information with consumers and improving the brand’s image.
Additionally, if you become friends with influencers on social media, they might share your content when you post it. Just make sure to reciprocate — if influencers see only a one-way street, they won’t spend valuable time on your content. But if you share influencers’ creations, they might very well share yours.
Interact on Influencers’ Blogs
Bloggers typically leave comments open on their posts. Instead of just reading the content, leave a note in the comments section, and don’t just say “great post!” or “I agree.” Instead, contribute valuable insight or information that relates to the post’s subject matter. Don’t mention your company, products, or services. You’re there to build relationships, not to sell.
Many bloggers notice their frequent commenters — especially those who contribute value to the conversation. Over time, you might become comfortable enough to reach out privately about collaborating on a project or sharing your content. Always mention ways in which your content, products, or services will benefit the influencer’s readership.
Tap Groups of Similar Influencers
If you research your industry thoroughly, you’ll find communities of influencers who tend to promote the same products, services, and content. Getting in touch with all of them can amplify your message further and even reduce your legwork, since they likely communicate within their group.
For instance, if you run a retail business that sells women’s clothes, you’ll look for groups of influencers who talk about fashion, beauty, and similar subjects. These influencers might agree to model your clothing and post photos on Instagram. As an example of this, David Griner reported for AdWeek that Lord & Taylor convinced 50 Instagram influencers to wear the same dress and share photos. Some of the posts received 13,000 or more likes.
This same strategy can work for content. If 50 influencers share your latest blog post or encourage their audiences to subscribe to your email list, you’ll gain instant exposure. You can then decide whether you want to compensate your influencers directly or exchange items of value.
Influencer marketing can take great content to the next level. Of course, you’ll need outstanding content to start that equation, so get in touch with CopyPress. We offer a complete content generation service staffed by experienced professionals. You’ll get excellent content that you can then use to lure new influencers.