Today’s customers make most of their decisions on the basis of recommendations. They ask friends and colleagues for advice and they follow experts in their fields to see what they recommend. One of the best ways to get your product, service or content in front of potential customers is to have it recommended by an influential blogger or social media personality in your niche. Sounds simple, right?
Well, not really… Influential people are also busy people. They don’t have time to read everything and try everything. And they are careful not to give out advice unless they have verified the information first, since their reputation depends on it. If you send an email to an influential blogger out of the blue, chances are you won’t receive a response.
But don’t give up yet. There ARE ways to engage and interest influencers.
The first step is, of course, identifying the influencers. Use keywords to search the blogosphere and the social media space for people who are making a splash in your niche. SEO tools like the Moz Open Site Explorer can show you how influential a blog is, by showing you the number of incoming links the blog has.
You can also check the number of followers and amount of engagement on social media accounts to see who is really making a mark.
Connecting with influencers is not a one-time deal. Forge a relationship with the people you want to connect with:
- become an active part of their communities
- follow them on social media
- comment occasionally on their posts and tweets
- read their blogs regularly and leave comments when you have something to add
Once you have developed a relationship, send a brief email (brevity is key) with an elevator pitch introducing yourself and your company. Ask the influencer for one thing – and one thing only – and make it as easy as possible to accomplish. Provide a draft of a text, include pictures, etc. so your influencer does not have to work too hard.
I would love to send you a sample exercise DVD for you to try out and review on your fitness blog. The “Workout for Beginners” DVD takes you through the 5 essential steps you need to get yourself up off the couch and into a fitness routine that will leave you stronger, healthier and more energetic. I am enclosing some of the information from our brochure – feel free to use some of the wording in your review. I have also attached three screenshots from the DVD which you can post on your blog as well.
Please let me know your address so I can send the DVD.
If you’ve gotten what you want, don’t shut down the relationship. An influencer who has recommended you once may well recommend you again – even without being asked. So stay in touch:
- Send a thank you email to acknowledge your appreciation
- Continue to be an active member of his or her community
- Offer help in return if the opportunity presents itself
Treat influencers like you would treat your friends, and the marketing value will come naturally.
Submitted by Hadassah