Social media is an amazing promotional tool for bloggers – and one of the top sources of referral traffic – but with so many blogs competing for attention, it can get difficult to stand out. With the right social influencers on your side, though, you can reach a bigger audience and improve your traffic and engagement. So, are you using influencer marketing to promote your blog? If not, read on to find out how to get started.
Why use influencer marketing?
As I mentioned earlier, bloggers can use influencer marketing to help them reach a bigger audience and therefore, improve their traffic and engagement. And, if you also have a business, you can use social influencers to promote your products and services to a larger audience who trusts the influencers’ opinions and recommendations.
What to look for in an influencer
Before you start finding and connecting with influencers, it helps to first establish what kind of influencers you want to target.
First, look at the topics they cover on their blog, on social media and whatever other platforms they are using. You need to find those influencers that operate in the same niche as you do and who are targeting a similar audience to yours. This way, your message will reach the right people, which massively increases your chances of getting results from your influencer marketing campaign.
Look at what types of content they share – are they covering the same subjects as you do on your blog?
Furthermore, you need to take a deeper look at their online profiles and how engaged they are with their audience. Follower numbers are not nearly as important as engagement; just because someone has a lot of followers, it doesn’t mean necessarily that they hold influence. It’s only those who actively engage with their audience and have their audience engage with them in return, that are truly influential.
In the case of influencers, smaller is sometimes better; in fact, as influencers grow in popularity and amass a larger following, their engagement levels tend to drop, plus, because they have so many followers, it’s much more likely that their audience is not as targeted anymore.
Create your influencer outreach strategy
Once you’ve established what influencers you want to reach out to (I’ll show you how to find them in a bit!), you also need to put together your outreach strategy.
Set your goals first – what do you want to achieve? Improve brand awareness and get more inbound links through guest blogging? Improve traffic by having influencers share your content?
It’s important to set your goals, because then you will know exactly how you’ll need to reach out to influencers and what to ask for – and you’ll know what you need to measure at the end of the outreach campaign, to determine its overall success.
Now, let’s go into how to find relevant social influencers and the tools that will help you do that.
How to find relevant social influencers
The best way to search for social influencers is to use a tool; otherwise, it can take you a lot of time, as you will most likely need a list of at least 20-30 influencers to start with. If you’re targeting micro influencers (influencers with under 100k followers), in particular, you might need to use more so that you can reach more people. Not to mention, you need to be prepared that some of them will not be receptive to your outreach.
To get you started, you can begin by searching in your own follower list; are there any influencers already following you? These are the best types of social influencers – after all, they’re already familiar with you and maybe even your blog/business, so it’s much more likely that they would respond positively to your requests.
To find any influencers in your follower list, you can use a tool like Agorapulse, which has a CRM feature that automatically tags and influencers following you:
As a plus, you’ll also be able to see if you have any brand ambassadors following you (i.e. followers who have engaged with you repeatedly and shared your content). These can be just as effective as micro influencers, because although they might not have a big following, they do hold influence over their social media friends.
Another useful tool for researching influencers is Buzzsumo. All you need to do is go to the Influencers tab and enter a few keywords to help you find appropriate influencers:
There are a lot of ways that you can refine your search; for example, you can search for influencers based on their type (bloggers, companies, journalists etc.), based on their location (both by country and by city) and you can order your results based on things like their website’s domain authority, their follower numbers or their reply ration. This, I think, is one of the best parts about this tool; by checking the retweet and reply ration you can get a better idea of how engaged the influencer is, so that you’ll know whether they’re worth pursuing or not.
And, if you click on “view links shared” next to the influencers’ name, you will be able to see a list of the links they’ve shared with their followers.
Other useful influencer outreach tools are Buzzstream, Ninja Outreach and Group High – all have tools both for researching and finding relevant influencers, as well as for reaching out to influencers.
How to build relationships with influencers
There are two main options when it comes to influencer outreach: either reach out to them directly via their email, website or social media to ask a specific request, or start building mutually-beneficial relationships with them.
If you have a specific campaign or project you want to promote, it’s worth reaching out to ask them directly; otherwise, it can be very useful in the long run to slowly build relationships with relevant influencers, so that you can reap the benefits of these relationships for years to come. So, if you’re not in a time crunch, outreach through blogger engagement is usually much more efficient.
Start by following their blog and follow them on social media; then, try to engage as much as possible. Share their content, link to their content on your blog (and then send them a tweet to let them know about it, so that they can share it as well), read their blog and leave comments on it, interact with them on social media and so on. As these relationships grow, you’ll start getting more shares and, in general, more support from influencers – helping you improve your brand awareness and getting you more traffic, more followers and more engagement.
There’s a reason why influencer marketing has become so popular in recent years and why so many are using influencers to promote their blogs and their businesses.
Are you using influencer marketing? What types of influencers are you targeting?
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.
Contact info: www.lilachbullock.com