influencer marketing

Having Trouble Connecting With Influencers? 4 Influencer Marketing Questions to Ask Before Your Next Attempt

Influencer-Outreach

Does this influencer marketing scenario sound familiar? You’ve set up your initial influencer list full of high-profile names and a few up-and-comers in the industry, developed a compelling question for your outreach and just hit send on the first round.

Then, crickets.

Big, green, loud crickets.

What went wrong? Did you have the wrong list? Is there a possibility that the outreach somehow didn’t get to the influencers? Or maybe you said something wrong?

Influencer outreach has taken on a whole new meaning in 2016, and it has become crucial for brands to develop relationships with influencers. Getting the most from your influencers requires more than a simple email or InMail. You need to adopt an extended research and outreach process, cultivate the relationship, and continue it well beyond any campaign-related focus.

5 Ways Influencer Marketing Can Grow Your B2B Company in 2016

B2B Influencer MarketingInfluencer Marketing programs for B2B companies tend to focus on a handful of marketing objectives. The thing is, like many marketing focused investments, influencer marketing can yield many more benefits than the simple act of a famous person in your industry saying nice things about your product or brand.

When B2B companies focus on influencer marketing solely from a campaign perspective, they miss out on the need to maintain relationships. There’s a lot of competition for well known influencers and relationships can keep the connection strong in your brand’s favor.

The future of influencer marketing is bright and with business to business marketers, it’s even more important to include influencers in ongoing marketing because buyers are so self directed in the sales process and they trust experts more than brands (Nielsen).

TopRank Marketing’s 2016 Influencer Marketing Predictions

2016-Influencer-Marketing-Predictions

This year, headlines throughout the marketing blogosphere proclaimed that influencer marketing is “the next big thing.”

At TopRank Marketing, we have been refining our influencer marketing strategy for nearly a decade. It’s our past, present, and next big thing. When done well, influencer marketing can boost brand credibility, provide valuable exposure for the brand and the influencer and create killer content your audience will love.

Now that influencer marketing has officially arrived, how will it evolve in 2016? We asked our in-house experts, and some of our favorite marketers outside the TopRank Marketing team, for their opinion. Here are the influencer marketing predictions for 2016.

Steve Rayson

Steve-Rayson
Director, BuzzSumo
@steverayson

Content Marketing Tactics: Influencer Content Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices

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While the world is more connected than ever, it’s also more cluttered than ever. Yes. It’s the age of information overload, and competition to get noticed is fierce. As a result, marketers are focusing on creating scalable content that gets shared more often and reaches more people by using influencer content programs.

Influencer marketing often refers to celebrities or brandividuals advocating for a brand. Influencer content goes beyond advocacy to focus on the actual content being produced for marketing. Influencer content isn’t something new, but the digital era has changed how it’s used. Influencer content marketing in its current form started gaining momentum in 2014, and it’s now the fastest growing and most cost effective marketing channel.

Defying Gravity: Our 5 Most Shared Influencer Marketing Posts of 2015

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If you have ever seen a space shuttle launch–and let’s pause for a moment of silence for NASA’s funding—you remember how small the shuttle itself looks on the launch pad. Even though it’s a massive vehicle, it’s dwarfed by the fuel tanks that will boost it into orbit. It takes a lot of energy to defy gravity, and the shuttle needs all the help it can get.

For marketers, influencers are the fuel that can get our content out of the gravity well and up where people can see it. We know influencer marketing gets results, and it’s great to see it emerging as a trend. Eighty-four percent of marketing and communications worldwide expect to launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the next year, and 81% who have already tried it say influencer engagement was effective.

How Collaborating With Influencers Generated Over 110k Views on SlideShare

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Brands large and small are searching for ways to separate themselves from the pack. At the same time, most marketers are struggling with everything from producing enough content, to measuring content effectiveness. As more and more brands become publishers, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to create a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis.

To stay relevant and continue learning, many marketers attend workshops, trainings and industry events. Unfortunately, there are so many to choose from it can be difficult to weed out those that may not be worth the investment.

Therein lies the challenge:

  • Quality conferences need to build awareness of their events
  • Influential speakers need to drive people to their presentations
  • Marketers need useful information presented in an engaging way

Rule the School: 5 Essential Lessons on Co-Creating Content with Influencers [eBook]

GroupHigh eBook CoverAh, the nostalgic memories of making new friends on the first day of class, the thrill of getting a new Trapper Keeper notebook and finding your place amongst your peers likely take most of us back to our school days.

Once you’re out of school, you realize that you don’t always have teachers by your side to help you plan for how to approach strategies like content marketing. There’s no lesson plan, pre-test or extra credit to help you figure everything out. And the true test comes from how much your audience likes (or doesn’t like) the content assets that you create. Which presents an opportunity to innovate your approach.

Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing – Lee Odden #CMWorld

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“The best should win, but creating the best is a challenge.” – Lee Odden

Yesterday at Content Marketing World, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delighted a packed room of marketers by providing inspiring and actionable advice on how to successfully approach participation marketing. Lee assured marketers that if they wanted to produce quality and scalable content, without having to scale marketing budgets, this was the place to be.

So, how can we get some relief from all of the hard work it takes to create a truly impactful participation marketing program?

Among the many things covered in his session were:

  • A methodical approach for deconstructing and repurposing marketing to make it more useful.
  • How to integrate influencers, social and SEO into your content plan.

Influencer Marketing: Should You Pursue High Profile or Socially Authoritative Brand Advocates?

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We’ve been talking a lot about influencers lately – and with good reason. The right mix of thought leaders and valuable content can catapult any integrated marketing campaign into vast new heights and audiences. Finding and connecting with those ideal influencers, however, has always been the challenge.

While there are multiple discovery tools available for influencer marketing research, identifying your influencers is only part of the battle. The next part is reconciling them with your overall program objectives. It’s here that we’ve witnessed disconnects between marketing teams and their executive leadership – and where the need for executive buy-in is crucial for any influencer marketing campaign. Executives may crave big names – chief executives of major industry organizations who may/may not have an active social presence.

How to Improve Influencer Engagement? Avoid These 50 Fails

Influencer Marketing

Brands: Stop Doing These Things!

Influencer Marketing is hot and that means the value of influencer relationships is higher than ever.

Working hard to romance in-demand experts to collaborate, co-create and even advocate can be a substantial investment. The mutual benefit from these long term relationships can mean anything from hugely successful marketing programs for brands to top billing at speaking events, book deals and consulting work for the influencers.

Unfortunately, outreach communications, expectations and negotiations with influencers to work together are often so lacking of empathy, relevant context or even courtesy that the industry expert “checks out”. Losing influencers is sad and wasteful.

But it doesn’t have to be that way if you know what makes them leave. Trust me, I work on influencer outreach nearly every day (sending and receiving) and am both guilty of committing some of these influencer marketing sins and having them committed against me.

3 Examples of How Partnering with Influencers on Content Creates a Winning Combination

Collaborate-with-influencers

“Influencer Marketing” is a phrase that has gained momentum over the past few years. It seems that everywhere you turn, marketers are telling you that you need to incorporate influencers as part of your integrated digital marketing strategy. But the question is, does it really work?

Many companies may not have the staff or resources to run a full-fledged influencer marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t begin dabbling in influencer marketing campaigns to help meet marketing and business objectives. A successful approach to influencer marketing provides value for both the company, and the influencers that participate. 

One ripe opportunity for building awareness and integrating influencer marketing into your marketing mix is to use it as a means to help promote events. 

Below are three stories of how TopRank Marketing helped three companies incorporate content and influencer marketing to create a winning combination for event promotion.

How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%

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A small business technology company was focusing their online marketing efforts on SEO and this approach proved to be effective for several years.

Research revealed relevant keywords in demand from searchers actively looking for solutions in this software category. Existing content was optimized, cross linked and new content was created where needed. Content was promoted to attract links and social shares to ensure a presence on crawlable social media platforms.

But then organic traffic began to slow down in growth and eventually decline, despite following SEO best practices capable of the most specific Google scrutiny.

A decision needed to be made: Will more aggressive SEO tactics be used or was it time to shift perspective?