Influencing the Influencers - probably the most important phrase in digital marketing.
Whether you are a small business trying to influence the one or two key influencers in a niche business (journalists, bloggers, advisers) or whether you are a global brand trying to reach a huge audience through celebrities or a new category of celebrities - YouTubers, then this should be a key part of your digital strategy.
Search Engine Watch have written an excellent article on How Influencer Marketing benefits your SEO strategy. This article outlines how influencer marketing will help to develop links to your web site, which drives SEO as well as how it builds visibility, engagement and keeps content updated and fresh. I would 100% agree with their views on this. The chart below is from that article and outlines the power of story telling as part of your content strategy.
Story telling is crucial. People will remember and empathise so much more if you can tell a compelling story in your content. How can you humanise the message. Google Fibre wanted to emphasise the speed of their cabling. Nick's First Pitch is the dramatic story of how Google revolutionized Nick Le Grand's life through technology.
Once you have your message, now you need to focus on finding influencers. I use a free tool called Followerwonk to help me to find influencers. Try putting your Twitter account into the tool to see who is the most influential follower you have. What I love about the tool is that you can put any Twitter account into it (even if it is not your account) to see who their influential followers are. You have to pay if the account your analysing is large. Remember, that is you are influencing a younger, more digitally savvy audience, then the key influencers will be YouTubers, Bloggers and Gamers. They may well not be traditional media celebrities.
Finally, think about how to approach the influencers. What is in it for them? They are getting more media savvy and more commercially minded all the time. Do you need to pay them? Can you help them to reach a wider audience? Can you provide them with credibility or unique content? Remember, they are trying hard to develop unique content that their audience wants to engage with too.
And let your desire for control of the message go a little too. Influencers will write their content in their style. The more editorial control you want, the less desirable your news is for them to share. The more corporate the feel, the less engaging and trustworthy it will be to the audience too.
If you have any great stories of influencer marketing, I'd love to hear them...