3 Ways to Incorporate Influencers Into Your Content and Gain Hundreds of Social Shares
This is a guest post from Brenda at Lets Go And Learn. Enjoy!
Intro note from Brandi: yes, this article contains examples from big names and big businesses but it’s so you can get a clear idea of how effective these strategies can be. For you and your business, an influencer could simply be someone who has been in your industry for a few more years than you. Maybe it’s the president of a local organization. Maybe it’s a news or media personality. And don’t forget about your own “local” celebrities!
For decades, even centuries, word-of-mouth has been one of if not the most, important and most valuable form of marketing. If you’re going to go to the cinema but stuck on what to watch, the chances are that you’d read some reviews to see which movie looks the best.
However, if you’re looking for movie recommendations and you’ve got two people, one of whom is a stranger and the other is your best friend, who’s recommendation are you going to take?
The chances are that you’d take your best friend’s suggestion every time. In this digital world, especially since the endless rise of social media, this concept of word-of-mouth has never been more important.
Scroll down your Facebook feed now, and any shared article, shared image, or any funny pictures that your friends are sending is them giving you their suggestion of the content that they think you should be reading.
As a digital marketer, you need to take this psychology and use it to your advantage, and there’s no better way to do that than using an influencer. According to Entrepreneur businesses spend from 1% to 25% of their marketing budget on influencers. It depends on how much their company is able to invest in it.
An influencer is an industry-leading figure, maybe even a celebrity. For example, if a teenage girl is trying to make it big in the music industry and is uploading herself singing to YouTube or SoundCloud and her content was shared by Beyoncé, her content would probably go viral. This is how Kim Kardashian promotes Lumee cases and Kendall Jenner is a face of Estee Lauder.
In fact, research shows that over 49% of consumers actively seek buying guidance from social media influencers. As you can see, this is not a number to be ignored.
So, to give your business this kind of recognition, boosting your online presence and engagement rates dramatically, here are three key ways to implement an influencer into your strategy.
Get Influencers Talking About Your Content
The way you could incorporate an influencer into your marketing strategy is by having them talk to their followers about your content. There are multiple ways you could approach this.
One of the best ways is following the unwritten rules of reciprocation. For example, if you’ve created a top-ten list which lists off the top-ten up and coming musicians, by making sure that you’ve told your top three musicians that they are the top three, the chances are that they’ll share your article and thank you for it.
Tiffany Mason, a branding expert for Academized, shares her experience, “Reciprocation is one of the greatest tools in marketing. Even if you like your friend’s photos on Instagram, the chances are that when you post, they’ll like your photos back. This is a golden rule to remember, and you can apply it to any marketing campaign that you run.”
You can apply this concept to any industry and any niche; you might just have to get a bit creative. This method works because you’re effectively piggybacking on their follower base, allowing you to connect with people that might not have known you otherwise existed.
However, to achieve this successfully, you need to make sure that your content is of the highest quality. If an influencer is going to share and talk about your content, they’re putting their credibility on the line for your business, and they’re not going to risk sharing poor-quality content that could damage their reputation. You can use resources, such as State of Writing and Via Writing to guide you through this process.
A good example is when United Airlines asked Ryan Patterson, who is famous for his aerial photos, to take some stunning photos and share information. This campaign boosted the United’s presence on Instagram as well as built trust with followers.
You’ll also want to double, even triple check your work to ensure that it’s free from silly errors, such as spelling mistakes, typos, or punctuation and grammatical errors. This means thoroughly proofreading your work.
Get Influencers to Create Content for Your Campaign
The second approach you can take for using influencers in your marketing campaign is to have them create content for your business directly. There are countless ways you can achieve this, and the limit is only to what you can imagine. However, there are some popular techniques that have been proven to work time and time again.
The first approach you can take is directly asking your chosen influencer to guest post on your social media profiles and website. For example, you could ask them to write a compelling article about your products or services and, in short, how amazing your business is.
However, there are many more creative ways you can use an influencer’s time with your business. One of the most captivating methods is hosting a takeover campaign. These can happen on any social media platform, but it’s most commonly seen on Instagram.
Instagram takeovers have become extremely popular over the last year, and it’s definitely worth thinking about. During an Instagram takeover, your influencer will have access to your account for the day and can upload photos and stream live stories to your follower base.
One of the best examples of a successful Instagram takeover is DJ Khaled’s. With over 6 million followers on Snapchat, he’s a hugely obvious choice for brands who want to expand their audiences. Khaled took over the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s social media profile by posting videos. The result? Over 350,000 views in two days.
Using Influencers for High-Quality Backlinks
Quality backlinks are one of the best leading methods for improving your SEO ranking and therefore your online visibility and follower counts. Influencers tend to have a lot of followers already and are regarded by many to be authoritative figures so backlinks from these pages can be hugely beneficial.
When approaching bloggers and influencers for backlinks, you’ll need to create a custom case study as to why they should backlink to your website why they should be talking to their followers about your brand and business. Within this case study, you’ll need to communicate with the influencer in a very personal way directly.
You also need to make sure that your initial communications are outstanding and really capture the attention of your influencer. After all, consider how many applications they are receiving from your competitors. You need to make yours shine.
A great way to approach this method is to keep your opening message short and sweet, so it captures your targeted influencers attention, begging them to ask for more details. Try to keep your first email to less than 150 words. You can track this using online tools, such as Easy Word Count. To help you compose the initial email, you can use a writing guide, such as the ones found at Academadvisor and Paper Fellows.
Kara Marin, a business email writer for Ox Essays, continues, “When creating your first email, do your research before you even start writing. For example, look at what sort of language your influencer uses and what kind of communication they’ll best respond to. This way, you’re sure to catch their attention, giving you the best chance at securing a contract.”
Additionally, just like the first point above, reciprocation can do wonders for your campaign so if you’re backlinking to their website, the chances are that they’ll be a lot happier backlinking to yours. One of the easiest and most effective ways to backlink your influencer is to quote them in your content directly. This helps them to stand out from the rest of your content while still being a vital part of it.
Finally, the last way you can get your influencers into your content is by asking them to contribute to your campaign directly. As above, you can get them to directly guest post on your website, reference them in quotes, using tools such as Cite In It, or work together to create a stellar piece of content.
A good example is Hallmark in 2016 when they partnered with family-friendly Instagram influencers to receive shares from their target audience. Those families shared their traditions for holidays and family moments along with the link to ornaments from Hallmark.
However you choose to use your influencers is completely up to you and when using one, you’ll really have the opportunity to get creative. You may only be using your influencer once so you’ll want to make sure that every second counts. The bigger the impact you make, the more successful your campaign will be.
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