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Many marketers called 2015 the year of influencer marketing, but now we’re at the end of 2016 and interest is still growing:
Even more marketers are starting influencer marketing this year, because the numbers don’t lie:
- 92% of consumers trust online word-of-mouth recommendations
- Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth generates twice the sales of paid advertising
All the interest in influencer marketing does create a problem though – everyone is vying to get the attention of the same influencers.
So if you want to really stand out, you need to do more than just retweet their posts.
Here are 22 proven tips I’ve gathered for getting influencers’ attention.
1. Make content better than your competitors
Simply put, the best way to get your influencers’ attention – and the attention of anyone else interested in your niche – is by creating content that is better than everything else out there.
Here’s an example from this blog:
Create a comprehensive resource that other bloggers can’t easily replicate. If it’s really something that offers value to your influencers’ audiences, they’ll feel compelled to share even without you asking.
2. Share your influencers’ content
If an influencer just posted a blog post, they probably have a close eye on their analytics. Set up a notification or add their blog to your RSS feed to make sure you’re one of the first to share their content after it’s published.
This will help them identify you as an influencer – and increase the chances they’ll return the favor and share your content as well.
3. Comment on their blog
The best bloggers (and influencers) make a habit of responding to comments and questions on their blog posts.
Be a conversation starter by commenting on their blog posts – your influencer will appreciate it. Make sure you have a clear name and photo on your Gravatar account, so the influencer will recognize you on other platforms as well.
4. Link to their content
Strong online influencers pay attention to where their traffic comes from and what kind of links they’re building.
Link to your influencer’s content from your own pages, and they will see your domain show up in their backlink analysis.
They’ll probably get curious about the context of the link and click through to your site.
At the same time, if your links start generating real traffic for their blog, that’s a favor they may want to return.
5. Lead a discussion
A common influencer marketing tip you hear is “engage on social media,” but a lot of people miss the point. If you’re going to tweet at them, you need to say something relevant that encourages them to continue the conversation.
Avoid saying things like “Great post yesterday!” and instead bring up questions or comments that encourage discussion.
Even if your influencer doesn’t respond directly, their followers might, leading to a big discussion your influencer will notice.
6. Write a blog post about them
You know what kind of content people can’t resist sharing? Something about them.
Write a blog post that features your influencer or their site (e.g. Top 5 [Niche] Blogs to Read in 2016).
Then reach out to them and tell them they were featured. Provide a link to the post to make it easy for them to share.
Here’s an example of one I was featured in recently:
7. Give them something of value
If you’re looking to get the word out about a product or service you offer, try giving your influencers a free sample, a sneak peak, or a free trial.
This tactic won’t work with just anything. You need to offer something that’s actually useful to them, so they’ll be interested in testing it out.
Also make sure whatever you offer is exclusive. Influencers will be less enthusiastic about a free trial if it’s available to everyone.
Giving an influencer exclusive access to your product or service encourages them to write a review about it and share their experiences, especially if the product piques the interest of their own audience.
8. Create content that link builders target
The best way to target influencers is to draw in people who are looking for influencers themselves, or who want to build partnerships for other reasons.
For example, you can target link builders who are trying to build their SEO. Do this by creating content that link builders try to get featured in, like weekly roundups of “Top 10” content.
Doing this will increase the chances that they reach out to you, because they want to appear in your content. If you say yes, they’ll become an easy influencer – more than happy to share.
9. Attend their webinars
If your influencer hosts any webinars, Google Hangouts, or other opportunities to communicate one-on-one, this is your best opportunity to stand out.
Attending their online event shows you have genuine interest in them and their work. And because these events tend to be more exclusive, your influencer is more likely to remember you after.
10. Ask them to contribute to your content
Sometimes the best way to get the attention of an influencer is to ask them to become a partner instead.
Your audiences are related, which means you can create some valuable content together by pooling your resources. You can poll your audiences and create a joint research report, or work together to create a comprehensive guide.
Neil Patel makes these kind of partnerships all the time on QuickSprout:
11. Make yourself relatable
Your influencers spend all day talking about their niche. Engaging with them about related topics is a great way to draw attention.
But sometimes, the best way to stand out is to make the conversation more personal.
If your influencer has similar hobbies as you, for example, or also has two daughters, take advantage of things in common to make your social conversations more personal.
When everyone else is talking about niche topics, you’ll stand out because you’re relatable on a personal level.
12. Get face-to-face
Heading to an industry conference this year? If possible, figure out who else in your industry will be attending beforehand.
Even if you’re a small fry in your industry, meeting someone face-to-face can make a big impression. So make a point of interacting with big players in your niche at conferences or events.
Attend their speeches, and try to strike up a conversation if you can. Ask a question about something they mentioned, or bring up some of their previous work you admire.
While everyone else is hiding behind their computer screens, you’ll have a face to a name.
13. Follow them on other social networks
Twitter seems to be the main focus for a lot of influencer marketing these days. It’s a valuable platform, but if you really want to stand out, you should seek your influencers out on other social networks as well.
Repinning their pins on Pinterest or rescooping their curated content on Scoop.it will make it easier to stand out, since there’s less engagement noise on these platforms. And seeing that you follow all their social profiles will show them you have real interest.
14. Write a review of their product or service
Does your influencer offer a product or service that you’ve used? If so, they’d probably really appreciate a review.
Review their business on Google My Business, Yelp, or other third-party review sites. If it’s a really nice, positive review, your influencer will remember it, and may even ask your permission to host a version of it on their site, or a testimonial.
15. Offer to guest post on their blog
Guest posting on their blog is a great way to build a relationship before you ask them to become an influencer. And since a guest post is hosted on their blog, they’ll definitely want to share it!
Look and see if your influencer has a “Write for Us” page or something similar. If not, reach out to them by email, and pitch a topic you think their audience would love.
If you guest post regularly, it’s easy to build a relationship so they share your other content regularly as well.
16. Find them where they hang out
Social media platforms aren’t the only places where you can connect and engage with your influencers.
They’re probably out there commenting on blogs, posting on Reddit, and engaging in industry discussions on forums and Q&A sites.
Finding where they hang out will require a little Google stalking on your part, but it creates plenty of new opportunities to join the discussion and become memorable.
17. Create content for their audience
Influencer marketing is all about getting others to help you. Some people forget the key to success lies in being valuable to them.
Scour their blog, and look for any gaps in their content topics recently. Then, create content that brings value to both of your audiences.
When you reach out to ask them to share, you will genuinely know that the content can help their audience. Your influencer is likely to notice this as well.
18. Repurpose their content for them
Your influencers probably have some amazing content from previous years that’s gathering dust on their blog.
Bring their post back to life by repurposing it into a slidedeck, infographic, or video. Scott Scowcroft does this by repurposing Hangouts on Air (HOAs) into small, informative pieces of content:
The people who made the original content appreciate his synopses and are often happy to share them as well.
19. Help them out in other ways
There’s a lot more you can do to be an asset to your potential influencers than just sharing their content.
Look for ways you can be helpful beyond becoming an influencer, such as:
- Sending them business referrals
- Pointing out broken links or other site issues
- Making them aware of helpful tools or opportunities (that aren’t yours)
A lot of the biggest players in any industry aren’t too worried about getting rich from influencers. Bring a different kind of value to the relationship to really stand out.
20. Prove their methods work
A big influencer in your niche probably has a lot of actionable advice. Prove their advice works and write a post about it, and they’ll be more than happy to share.
For example, say they have a post called “10 Steps to Grow Your Twitter Following.” Put it to action, document your efforts, and demonstrate the results!
21. Don’t be pushy
Getting influencer attention by stalking them online and filling their social feed won’t make you look good.
You should definitely try multiple strategies to get noticed, but pace yourself. Appear too pushy and you’ll get a negative response or be ignored.
22. Ask them to be an influencer
This tactic is seriously underrated. Most marketers jump right to the advanced tactics of getting an influencer’s attention, and they forget the value of being blunt and asking them directly for help.
One of three things can happen in this scenario:
- They say yes. (Great! Your work here is done.)
- They say no. (Time to take your efforts elsewhere.)
- They don’t respond. (Time to try out some of the other strategies in this list.)
Know any other tips I should add to the list? Tell me in the comments:
Guest Author: Aaron Agius is an experienced search, content and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Target and others, to build their online presence. See more from Aaron at Louder Online, his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+and LinkedIn.
Images: Google Trends, JeffBullas, Majestic, Twitter, Growth Everywhere, QuickSprout, Twitter, Kissmetrics, The Scott Treatment