Engaging with Industry Influencers
Engaging and building relationships with industry influencers creates an opportunity for your brand to become more visible to a wider audience. Industry influencers create unique presentations that give their audience proof your brand is recommendation-worthy, and also improves your SEO rankings. Many successful marketers include a budget for the steadily growing influencer marketing business, as part of their marketing strategies. It can be a little daunting to establish your first influencer relationship, so here are some tips to help you successfully develop your strategy.
RESEARCH AND DEFINE YOUR INFLUENCERS
Research is the first step in building successful influencer outreach. Do research on the top influencers in your market and determine who fits your brand the most. The people you work with should elevate your brand, while maintaining its integrity. Ask yourself, who do you want to reach out to? Who is relevant to your market? Do they have a good reputation? How can they best help you achieve your goals for your brand? Both you and the influencers you want to work with should benefit from the partnership. Once you define who you want to reach out to, follow them on social media to get a better understanding of their personality. By learning more about their interests and personal traits, you can better determine if they are the right fit for your brand.
FOLLOW AND ENGAGE
Following influencers on social media is the next step – now it’s time to engage. Strike up a conversation with them by asking a couple questions and leaving occasional comments on their posts. Sharing their content shows that you value their opinions and your brand values align with theirs. Keep on the lookout for any updates they post, so you can plan for the best time to make your pitch. Doing this in the early stages of your relationship shows that you are genuinely interested in their content and working with them in the future, and makes them more likely to notice you and want to work with you. Joining virtual networking events is an opportunity to become more personable and further develop the relationship with your future business partners.
DEVELOP HELPFUL CONTENT
The content you produce should be endorsed by the influencer and align with their brand. Now you’ve established your niche and identified where your brand fits in the market, how do you get them to promote your business? Adjust your content slightly to suit their followers. By developing unique, eye-catching content that engages their followers, it shows the influencer is up-to-date with the trends and validates their status as an influencer, while your brand gains further traction and more visibility. It helps to share your content with the influencer before you share it with your audience – this makes them feel more included in your brand development, and puts you on their radar for future collaborations.
OFFER MUTUAL BENEFITS
Since this is a business partnership, there should be mutual benefits for both parties. Start with smaller requests and focus on investing in the relationship first, like asking for feedback or advice on a post. This is a good way to get their insights and develop the relationship. When pitching your proposal, keep in mind that influencers get up to four business proposals a week, so be sure to offer something nice in return. Sending out free product samples helps to strengthen your pitch and further prove there is benefit in promoting your brand.
Engaging with industry influencers requires a good strategy. Do your research to determine who you want to work with. Invest in the relationship by promoting their content and asking for their valuable insight on something you want to post. The benefits should be mutual in your business ventures, so be sure to highlight what’s in it for the influencer in your proposal. Remember to show gratitude by sending gifts of your appreciation!