5 Strategies for Engaging Influencers in Your Industry

January 22, 2017

2:30 pm

Twitter is by far one of the most popular platforms for influencers to connect with and grow their audience. A single tweet can be seen by millions of people. For brands looking to gain some marketing exposure in front of a new audience, this is a tantalizing opportunity.

Just like in an actual conversation, it’s best to start your search for an effective influencer by listening. Brainstorm hashtags related to your business. Next, start searching twitter using these terms and phrases. You’ll find real-time information about what your potential audience is already comfortable engaging in.

It’s hard to hit a target without first understanding where and what that target is. A hashtag search will give you an idea of what things are popular with your niche audience. You’ll also gain visibility on the individuals that are sharing and creating the most engaging content.

Create a Website That Inspires Confidence

Next, you’ll need to establish your brand as an organization that regularly shares valuable information online for your target audience to engage with. Based on the Hashtag search, you’ll be able to target your content and build off the buzz that’s already being generated online.

Invest in a website that is eye-catching and full of interesting content. Every page should have at least 700 words of insightful content. Minimize duplicating the focus of each page or blog post. The idea is to create something of value for your visitor, without boring them as they click through the site.

Make sure your website is extremely mobile friendly. More than 56 percent of the traffic hitting top-sites on the internet is from a mobile device. It’s important for both SEO, and user experience, that your website is mobile-friendly and engaging on a wide variety of devices.

In the next step, as you begin to reach out to influencers, having a strong website and social media presence will greatly improve the chances that you’ll receive a favorable response.

Social Media Is Mission-Critical

Brands that already have a significant following on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are much more easily able to interact with and gain buy-in from influencers. Remember that killer website you created in the step above? Turns out that you can echo all that amazing content via social media.

Invest in quality banners, vector images and stock photos to create a visually engaging social media feed. Every time a blog article is posted on your site, time a social media post to coincide with the hours that your target audience is most active on social media.

To dramatically increase social media popularity, before engaging influencers, there are many ways to get more followers on Twitter. Twitter has galvanized their entire platform to improve the way businesses interact with their most passionate fans. This is a gift. Influencers are far more likely to take your request for their help seriously if you’ve already invested in quality social media content and engagement.

At this stage, you will have invested in a great website, strong social media channels and an active presence on multiple online sites where your target audience lives and breathes. Now it’s time to start directly engaging influencers.

It All Starts With a Follow and a Reply With a Mention

You have laid the groundwork, it’s time to start engaging with the influencers that matter to your future customers. To start, you’ll want to simply “follow” and calmly interact with the information they post.

For example, if I wanted to engage with Neil Patel (@neilpatel), a massive influencer in the online marketing space, I’d start by reading his content and mentioning it in my own social channels. I could build off the information he shares, and add my own twist based on my unique experiences.

DON’T OVER DO THIS PART. Remember the ultra-clingy, desperate for a date, super stalker in high school? Yeah, we all had at least one. You do not want to be perceived as obsessed. You simply want to create a few organic opportunities for the influencer to become familiar with your brand.

Sending the Pitch

After a few weeks of cyber dating your influencer (I jest), it’s time to pop the question (okay, fine, I’ll stop, I promise). Will they check the box, yes or no? (I lied.)

Your pitch message can be sent on Twitter via direct message, or you can send them a concise, well-composed email. Do not expect an immediate response. The best in the industry get millions of requests every month. Their time is valuable, and assuming you’re more important than everything else going on in their life is a recipe for disaster.

After a few weeks, if you haven’t heard back, it’s time to follow-up. Be polite but direct. Ensure that you’re communicating your needs, as well as the benefits of the opportunity to them. FYI, promising them “additional exposure” is usually a bad idea. They already get great organic press and you’re approaching them to help you do the same.

For further reading on creating a compelling Influencer Pitch, I recommend checking out this article by Jay Baer. It’s an excellent read and provides insight on how you can craft a great pitch. Just take things one step at a time. Accept that you won’t always hit a homerun, but never stop putting out great content and communicating with the people that your audience pays the most attention to.

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Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate on covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow his latest posts on Clear World Finance and Forumsmix.com. 

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