Influencer marketing is an incredibly hot topic in the marketing world—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers add insight, credibility and authority to the content they help create, and they also have the potential to bring that content to a new audience.
But what makes someone influential? Is it popularity? Is it celebrity? Is it the fact that they have niche expertise? And how do you identify, activate and continue to build on your relationships with influencers?
During his Sexy Hot B2B Influencer Activation session at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden delivered a presentation packed with actionable tips, tools and examples that answered all these questions and more.
Below I dive into some of the top takeaways from Lee’s presentation, all of which feature actionable advice for helping you heat up your influencer marketing efforts.
#1- Do your homework.
When you’re thinking about which influencers you want to collaborate with, make sure you know who they are and what expertise they bring to the table. This will ensure that you’re presenting them with a relevant ask and help you personalize your message when reaching out.
#2- Lead with value.
Your efforts to infuse influencers into your content cannot and should not be all about you and your goals. There needs to be value for everyone.
When reaching out, lead with what’s in it for them to pique interest and show them that you see the value in what they can contribute.
#3 – Don’t ask for too much too soon.
Influencers are tapped frequently to participate in various projects. If you’re just getting started with your relationship, start with a small ask so you don’t overload them and send them running.
If the insights they provide are really good, reach back out and ask them to dig in deeper on a particular subject. This will help you keep the relationship and momentum going.
#4 – Think about influencers early on.
Influencers shouldn’t be an afterthought. When you’re creating your content plan, ask yourself: “What influencers make sense for this content?” This way you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate your experts into the content and avoid having to duplicate efforts later.
#5 – Activate influencers before you need them.
To truly get the most out of your efforts, you have to build strong and lasting relationships with your influencers—not just go to them when you need something. Take the time to research, identify and engage with them before you actually need to ask anything of them to build rapport.
#6 – Utilize marketing tools.
There are dozens of helpful marketing tools you can use to discover, reach out and engage influencers, as well as manage the relationship into the future.
During his presentation, Lee mentioned three different types of tools that could be a big help:
1. Specialty tools. Tools such as BuzzSumo are great for discovering and researching influencers to add to your list.
#7 – Make it easy for influencers to amplify your content.
After all the work has gone into creating an awesome piece of content with influencers, you want to make it easy for them to share it. Consider providing them with a few pre-written social messages that they can simply copy and paste.
#8 – Personalize when repurposing.
The influencer content you’ve worked so hard to create shouldn’t just sit on the shelf after publishing. Make it work harder for you by repurposing it into other smaller assets that are personalized to your specific audiences.
#9 – Keep your influencer connections hot.
As mentioned above, you want to build a strong and lasting relationship with your influencers—and that means that you need to have an ongoing relationship. You need to keep romancing them a bit.
Follow, monitor and engage your influencers on social media, listen for opportunities to be thoughtful, send them referrals if you can and reach out with them when with new opportunities to collaborate.
If you’re at MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum, the TopRank Marketing team would love to connect! Find us on Twitter to let us know what sessions you’ve enjoyed the most at @TopRank, @leiladlf, @leeodden, @amywhiggins, @azeckman and @CaitlinMBurgess.