How to use influencers in your content marketing distribution strategy in 2017.
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has become a natural addition to content strategies all around the world. And while this tactic is a good way to bulk up your content marketing efforts, it’s now also become an integral part of content distribution strategies for many businesses.
Distributing your content on your own online platforms is no longer enough if you want to capture your target audience’s attention, which is why it’s time for more brands to partner with influencers in order to expand their reach.
92% of consumers turn to people they know for referrals above any other source, making influencers a key part of content marketing success.
The benefits of using influencers for content distribution
A study by eMarketer found that over 84% of marketers are now using influencer marketing tactics.
In a May 2015 study by Schlesinger Associates for Augure, identifying the right influencers was the biggest challenge according to marketing and communication professionals worldwide when rolling out an influencer engagement strategy.
So why do influencers make such a big difference to content marketing and why should your brand use key personalities and professionals to distribute your content?
- Benefit from word-of-mouth marketing. The influencers that your customers follow are people they trust. According to McKinsey, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 – 50% of all purchasing decisions. This is because consumers will generally turn to people in their social circles before deciding to make a purchase. By taking the time to research whose opinions matter to potential customers your brand can start benefitting from that trust by partnering with people who matter.
- Increase your reach. When an influencer agrees to distribute your content, you automatically double or even triple your reach because the content will be promoted on your platforms as well as theirs.
- Put your brand in a different light. Most consumers are used to brands reaching out to them through advertising and while advertising is still a necessary and effective tactic, when an influencer who offers them interesting content speaks highly of your brand, there’s a better chance that they’ll sit up and listen. Influencers help put your brand in a new light, which should increase your sales.
- Benefit from authoritative inbound links. When sites with high authority link to your website it sends excellent signals to search engines. Partnering with influencers will help you boost your search engine rankings and the traffic to your website.
- Add a little authenticity. It’s generally easier to connect with a person than with a brand and by partnering with an influencer, you give your brand more authenticity. It makes consumers feel like they can really engage with you.
93% of marketing professionals are seeing improved visibility because of influencer engagement strategies. This stat alone indicates that incorporating influencers into your content marketing distribution strategy is a must.
How to get influencers to distribute your content
Below are the steps to follow if you’re looking to partner with influencers in order to expand your content’s reach.
Develop a strategy
Like any other marketing tactics, influencer marketing requires a strategic approach. Create guidelines for approaching and working with influencers to ensure that you’re not only partnering with the right people but that both parties are benefitting from the relationship.
Create buyer personas
In order to be clear about the influencers that your brand should be working with, it helps to create buyer personas. This will help you determine how your customers spend their time online and who they follow.
When analyzing whether an influencer is the right match, keep the following in mind. The best influencers:
- Are passionate about a specific topic or industry
- Have an engaged audience but not necessarily a very large audience
- Are very active online
- Share your brand’s values
Read through our article on how we define an influencer for additional guidance.
Finding the right influencers will require a qualitative and quantitative search. Qualitative factors would look at areas such as their presence on social media and how talked about they are in the industry. Quantitative factors would look at their online engagement rates, traffic numbers, and the number of followers they have. Language and location are also aspects that need to be considered when deciding whether an influencer is a good distribution match.
Upfluence has developed an influencer search tool that makes this process a lot easier. It works with a database of 1.2 million+ influencers in over 250 industries on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and blogs. Your search can be as detailed as you need it to be because you can include over 20 criteria.
Build a relationship
Now that you know who you would like to approach about distributing your content, you need to begin the process of building relationships with them.
Before you approach an influencer, you need to outline how you’re going to bring value to this relationship. How will they benefit from distributing your content and what will their followers get out of it?
In order to show that you’re already committed to offering quality content and building relationships with the right people, it helps if your brand is already mentioning influencers in your content and engaging with them online. Make sure that if a potential influencer has to search for your brand online that they’ll find your content on a variety of quality platforms.
Your approach needs to be sincere if you want to attract the right influencers; people who are also looking to build mutually beneficial relationships.
With so much information available online, it’s not difficult to get hold of an influencer’s contact details but it can sometimes be a bit of a tedious process. Upfluence has a tool that can help make this process a lot easier. We give our clients access to our database that contains full contact details for key influencers. This includes their personal email and social profile. All of the data is exportable so that you can work with it in a way that’s convenient for you.
Influencers already have their followers’ attention, making them a crucial part of content distribution strategies. The right influencers are the best solution for attracting new customers, driving traffic to your online platforms and increasing your sales.
There are a number of different free and freemium solutions that your brand can use to identify key influencers in your industry but these are never as effective as professional search tools that help you both identify and contact influencers.
If you’re like 34% of marketers who want to develop a more consistent content strategy, influencers are one of the best ways to reinforce your content marketing efforts.