Alright, we’ve learned a lot in the last six lessons. From technical to content and now authority. If you remember from lesson 4, authority building part 1, we understood what metrics to use to measure authority. Another takeaway was we took the empathy approach to understand where our good links will most likely be and get good quality links.
Here’s what we’ll learn by the end of this lesson:
- What is an influencer marketing campaign and how to run one
- How to do prospecting
- How to keep the ideas fresh to help inspire you and your influencers
What is an influencer marketing campaign?
An influencer marketing campaign is when you find a group of authority figures or influencers to help create content and value for you and your readers.
One example to make this a little more clear is by asking five influencers 1 question like “What cookbook would you recommend to chefs who are just starting out?” That question could be for celebrity chefs, and you could post the content for a catering client. It can be as simple as that but needs to provoke some interest in answering them as well as creating value for you and your readers at the same time. It can get tricky to think of a good question, depending on your industry, but it will drive links and traffic to your site. We’ll walk through how to start an influencer campaigns and the steps involved but just wanted to give you a high-level overview of what to expect.
How to run an influencer marketing campaign and prospect:
- Identify industry or adjacent industry you want to target (i.e., catering industry – chefs, HVAC – home improvement/DIY)
- Spend at least 1 hour jotting down pitches and ideas in a one-sentence format (1 question interview, video review partnership, celebrity guest interview, etc.)
- Drill down to the 2-3 you like and flesh out the details
- Start prospecting (Example on how to below)
- Create email template and start emailing your prospects (Example email template below)
- Once desired replies and inclusions are accomplished then publish/execute campaign
- Report back to influencers with metrics and thank yous
How to prospect:
This part can get tough for some people and honestly it can be tough to execute for me sometimes, depending on the niche. So the prerequisite to get to this stage is you need to have your target industry or adjacent industry, your 2-3 fleshed out ideas with details on how it’ll work and why it’s not only valuable to you but to your influencer.
- Ways to gather initial prospects:
- Use Followerwonk to search a variety of target keywords that describe your influencers. Followerwonk will give you a list for each keyword and will be organized by most followers. Start pitching and tweeting at them.
- Search on Google for “top” industry blogs and retrieve emails. To help speed up the process to collect emails you can use Buzzstream -$24 / month. It will also include things like adding in your different email templates and track the conversion rates or response rates for each one.
- Use Hunter.io to type in domains, and it’ll spit you out some emails.
The influencer campaign we went over is called a 1 question interview campaign. However, coming up with unique ideas is limited only by your imagination. I’ll give you another example and then some advice on how I would go about getting inspired to think of new ideas.
Exercise: take your site or this example and start prospecting for your adjacent market. Use this worksheet.
Review Products with a Twist:
It is a fun one for business in e-commerce and sells tech items. The pitch is what products would you buy to make up your very own EDC or everyday carry kit. You set the budget but of course, give enough for creativity. Next, get the influencers to select their products then instruct them to give a short up write up on why they chose it. Then there is a list of other bloggers and influencers out there who focus on this culture around EDC. You can leverage their network to share your article or promote your article there with a chance to win one of the influencers EDC kit.
However, your business may not fall into this niche, and the take away from this idea is to get tied into your community and dig for niche passions and tie it to the influencer. Some ways to dig is signing up for forums and checking out subreddits. It will give you a peek into what people are posting and talking about.
How to craft an email:
The ones that work well for me are genuine, straight to the point, and makes it as easy as possible for them to scan it. I use programs like Buzzstream to amplify my response rate and try a few variations. Some are longer or I will bold individual pieces of information. However, it’s not necessary and boils down to a numbers game. The more prospects you can get the better. Here’s an example email template you can use as a starting point:
Hello (insert name),
My name is (insert name), and I represent (insert company). I came across your site and like the (insert genuine comments – i.e., really like the design and look and feel as other sites like this feel a little static).
I want to cut right to the chase and see if you would be interested in participating in my blog post. The question is (insert your 1 question interview here).
I am aiming to have the blog posted by (insert date here). I would love to include you in it and will be emailing you back when goes live.
Let me know what you think and appreciate your time.
How to keep your content ideas fresh with influencer marketing:
The key to influencer marketing is understanding your industry and customers. You can’t pitch an influencer without understanding what drives their customers to them as well as giving yourself more ammo for the outreach.
Remember that Google’s ultimate goal and, my driving force, is helping customers solve a problem and provide good user experience. Therefore, going with the customer-centric approach in mind will not only get you more depth of knowledge but also give Google signs of quality-focused content.
It means getting down in the trenches and doing the following:
- Talking to actual customers or listening to sales calls
- Reading influencer tweets and social content
- Going to forums
- Going to subreddits
- Going to FAQ’s
- Running a user testing survey to see what’s running through their mind when shopping and see what pain points they have
- Going on YouTube to find top influencer videos
- Going on Pinterest to see what’s inspiring others.
These are just a few ways you can go and dig deeper on what’s happening to the customer. Knowing key pain points will make coming up with content ideas a lot easier. Once you have your content built out then you can start doing outreach and email influencers to either participate with a quote or see if they would like to post the content first on their blog. Chances are if your content is solving a big problem or pain point then it becomes of considerable value to influencers (with the proper pitch and communication of why it’s valuable at least).