An influencer is an individual with an online presence who can influence the opinions and behaviors of your target audience. Influencers have built audiences over time by providing valuable content–through blogs, podcasts, videos, etc. In short, influencers have gained the trust of their audience.
There’s an opportunity to work with influencers in your industry, if you know how.
5 Ways to Work with Influencers
The key to receiving help from an influencer is providing them value in exchange for their help.
Free Stuff and Product Reviews
You have a great product and a decent-sized audience. You follow several blogs and podcasts with a similar target audience that’s much larger than yours. How can you get them to influence their audience to check you out?
Give them something for free. If, for example, you produce a running shoe blog and sell footwear to runners, you could send a free pair of shoes to someone who runs a coaching blog for runners. If the product is good, you might get a shout out or a positive review.
Before you start shipping out free products, make sure you only connect with those who produce quality and value for your audience. And just because you gave something away doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get editorial treatment. The best mention from an influencer is a sincere positive statement, not one done out of obligation.
Sponsored Blog Posts
When you pay another blogger to write a post about your products or services, it’s called a sponsored post. Although you can highlight what you want the post to cover, it’s best to let the paid blogger write in her own voice, the voice her audience recognizes. Sponsored posts provide recognition and backlinks from authoritative sources.
The FTC requires that writers of sponsored post mention that they have been paid for producing the content.
Similar to giving away free stuff to influencers, a contest that allows an influencer to give away something you’ve provided brings exposure to you and benefits to the influencer. Here’s how it works: You contact an influencer. You offer to provide a certain number of items that he can give away as a contest on his own podcast or blog. His audience thinks he’s awesome for giving stuff away and they go to your blog to check out the product.
If you have value to contribute to an influencer’s blog, video, or podcast, then guest posting can help both of you. They get great content. You get authority and trusted backlinks. Setting up guest posts requires research. You need to know which blogs accept guest posts. Once you find a blog or two that accepts guest posts, you’ll want to research their editorial guidelines. Influencers are busy, so make sure what you have conforms with what they want.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
The key to getting influencers to work with you is providing value for them. One way is to provide monetary reward for sending buyers to your site, similar to paid advertising. Pay can be done on a pay-per-sale model or pay-per-click. Establish the terms before you enter the agreement.
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