I’ve talked with many businesses who regularly publish press releases only to be left shaking their heads wondering why their stories aren’t picked up by journalists. Their desire to make press releases work for them is understandable. Who wouldn’t want to share a brief snippet of their story through this public relations tool, and have journalists fight over the opportunity to write a clinching story on their behalf that reaches the masses?
The reality is that journalists are working for their own interests to get the first opportunity at writing a story about the next piece of breaking news. They probably won’t feel that a story about the new hire in your operations department will take their career to the next level.
But are traditional journalists even the best people to promote your brand to new audiences? Perhaps non-traditional journalists, such as bloggers, are more specifically who you want to connect with. These talented people have developed loyal readers, and they just might want to work with your brand, thereby placing your company in front of their audience.
How do you get influential bloggers to work with you? There are three key steps to get your influencer marketing running:
1. Identify the right influencers.
What identifies an “influencer”? Is it just someone who has a large following online? Is it a Hollywood celebrity? An influencer that your company needs to work with is someone who has the ears of your market. These influencers may not be well known outside their niche, but they do lead their readers to action. And these readers are likely just the market you are trying to reach.
Spyglass Digital uses a combination of influencer-finding software as well as existing relationships to find the right influencers for our clients. Software helps us filter through the chaos of online content and social media, honing in on the metrics important to what determines an influencer.
In addition to software, we work with our clients to identify their networks and tap into our own relationships at the agency to see which existing connections can help get our clients in front of the right people.
2. Develop strategic relationships.
In our outreach, we always remember that people are busy, and influencers regularly have businesses trying to get their attention in order to expand their brand’s reach. So we first seek to develop a relationship with influencers before asking for favors. Makes practical sense, right? Have you ever run into someone at a business event who immediately starts asking you for things? Kind of a turn-off, right? Don’t be that person—even online.
Instead, understand an influencer’s work and show your interest in that work before asking for favors. Sometimes lack of time requires expediency, and in such cases, you should handle your interactions with care. But generally, it’s best to plan ahead, find influencers relevant to you, and get to know and promote their content before you focus on yourself.
3. Provide them with great content.
Once you’ve identified influencers and have developed relationships with them, then you can consider sharing your content with them. As you reach out to people, remember that they are influencers because they regularly share great content with their audiences. If you have great content that their audience would value, feel confident in inviting them to share it!
What kind of content are influencers most likely to be interested in? Think about opportunities that only your brand can offer. Are there exclusive events, tickets, interviews, or product previews that you can give an influencer access to? They might then share about that opportunity online and in so doing, give your brand some exposure.
Or maybe you want to co-brand a research report or white paper with the influencer. They get the benefit of your resources and expertise while also adding their experience and promotional power to get the word out about that content.
Want more insight into how influencer marketing is the new PR and how it might work for your company? Here’s a fun video to show you. To get started building an influencer marketing strategy, contact us! We’d love to help!