In the world of digital marketing, it’s not just about what you do. It’s also about who you know. And if you want your campaigns to go far, getting connected with influencers is the best way to do it.
Here’s the thing, though. Influencers are like the royalty of the online world. Can you imagine yourself simply walking up to the queen and asking her to have tea with you? Of course not!
The same is true when it comes to online influencers. For you to take advantage of the reach, exposure and additional learnings that they can bring you, you have to establish a form of relationship with them first.
What Influencers Can Do for You
Influencers are people who’ve established not only their credibility, but their knowledge in their specific niche as well. They can do much more for your campaigns and strategies than you can imagine.
Here are just some of the things that influencers can do for you:
Give you an audience.
Influencers usually have a huge following. This means that anything they do, their audiences follow. So if you can get an influencer to endorse your brand, share your content, or even mention your name, you can get your share of this audience group’s attention as well.
Improve your credibility.
Influencers are who they are because they have proven their knowledge and expertise in their specific fields. If there’s anyone who can recommend products, services or brands that can be trusted, it’s an influencer. This means that any mention or recommendation from an influencer can greatly boost your credibility.
Give you better conversions.
If people used to have doubts about your promises and commitments, being backed up by influencers can take away all that. This means that more people will say yes to products or offers found on any of your pages.
These three alone should be enough to tell you what a crucial role influencers can play on your marketing strategies.
Building Strong Relationships with Influencers
So how do you start taking advantage of the huge benefits that an influencer can offer?
Well, it’s not just about randomly approaching one of them or sending them a private message, then expecting them to start helping you out right away. Remember – they went through a lot to get to where they are. Every endorsement they make, every recommendation they give, can affect their reputation. This means that they won’t just mention you without you proving your worth first.
So where do you get started?
1. Start with influencers specific to your niche.
Don’t just choose a general influencer. Sure, someone who is known in every part of content marketing could have a huge audience. However, this also means that it would be harder for them to notice you in the midst of people clamoring for their attention.
Start with influencers who are recognized in your specific niche alone. Yes, the number of followers may be less than those who are already well-known in bigger circles. But a specific niche would also mean that you have a more specific round of topics you can talk to the influencer about. There is also a better chance of you being noticed.
2. Follow them religiously.
Subscribe to their blog or newsletter. Follow them across every social media channel they use. Share their posts and make comments. Trust me, they pay attention to who their followers are. This means that they are bound to notice how engaged you are with their content.
3. Comment on their posts.
It could be their social media posts, or their blog entries on their own site. Wherever their content may be, try to post comments. Of course, you also have to make sure that your comments contain substance.
Don’t limit yourself to stuff like “Great post!” or “I enjoyed reading this!” Tell them what you liked most about their post, and what your own opinions are about the topic. You can also ask questions related to what they discussed. This will show that you are truly interested in the work they do, and are not just following them for the sake of trends or just to do what your peers are doing. This is also the perfect chance for you to show your knowledge and passion about the field.
4. Be nice.
I’m not just talking about your attitude towards the influencer you’re trying to woo. I’m talking about the influencer’s other followers as well.
Remember that you should not just be building a relationship with the influencer. You should be building relationships, period. If anybody posts a comment that completely contradicts your stand or that of the influencer’s, don’t be mean. Be nice about it. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Remaining nice in the middle of conflict is also a great way for you to show what kind of character you have as a person. This can make you even more likable in the books of the influencers in that specific forum, group or thread.
5. Know your limits.
Yes, I asked you to follow them. But this does not mean pestering them every chance you get. Know your limits. Comment only on topics you are most passionate about. And if you don’t have anything nice or substantial to say, then don’t say anything. You want to be recognized as a peer in the field – not a desperate know-it-all.
Start looking for influencers who can benefit your work the most, then start looking for ways to connect with them. From here, as your interactions increase, you will eventually find an opening where you can present your work and find ways to collaborate with the influencer.