8 Steps To Building A Super Influencer Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

Influencer Marketing is crushing it in 2016!

If you research “how to effectively bring a product/service to the market in 2016”, you’ve probably come across Influencer Marketing. Although this strategy is growing fast, the concept is not new. Connecting with individuals that have an influence over a crowd has always been an effective market strategy.

The only difference is now we have lots of influencers online. These influencers can be bloggers, podcasts, thought leaders and video bloggers. We also see a huge emerging market for micro-influencers! (This will be a huge strategy in 2017).

If you’re new to influencer marketing, this blog was written for you. I’m going to show you EXACTLY how to connect with influencers that have a huge audience. This has been one of the most effective strategies for getting website traffic to this GDM blog you’re on right now.

But before we go into how to execute an effective Influencer Marketing Strategy, you might be asking “Why Should I Care?”.

Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?

Three words.

Word of mouth.

You’ve probably heard of this term before. This is known as the “holy grail” of marketing. If you can create enough brand advocates, you can build a healthy business development ecosystem.

92% of buyers say that word of mouth has an influence on their purchasing decisions.

Influencer Marketing Flips The Funnel

These images by Flip My Funnel illustrate the difference between traditional marketing and influencer marketing.

On top of all this, it’s important to know if the market is ready for this strategy, so let’s check out Google Trends!

This is a graph of how often the keyword Influencer Marketing is being searched into Google. The term Influencer Marketing has increased 733% in the past 2 years, and based off of the data and my experience, this is the next big marketing opportunity.

What does this means?

It means you could miss one of the largest opportunities in marketing!The masses will be here within the next couple years, I’d bet my entire business on this fact!

1) Set Influencer Goals

Before you jump in and put lots of hours of work into this strategy, decide what you want your influencer strategy to do for you. It blows my mind how many people skip this step.

Here are a couple examples:

  • Tons of website traffic!
  • Warm leads.
  • Make sales.
  • Engagement on social media.

Quantify these goals with specific KPI’s and benchmarks.

It’s important that you identify these goals because there are different types of influencers out there that help companies accomplish different things.

2) Identify Relevant Influencers

This step is important. Influencer marketing can take much time to build quality relationships, so you want to make sure these relationships are strategic. A great way to find thought leaders in your industry is to use websites like Traackr& Klout.

Here are the different types of influencers:

Image Credit: www.garyvaynerchuk.com

Celebrities

Connecting with celebrities can be rare for the everyday folks. While they have a very high reach, they also have tons of people reaching out to them every day. Not this is not to say it is impossible. Gary Vaynerchuck prides himself by connecting with everyday folks all the time.

Image Credit: Backlinko

Authorities

Authorities have huge influence, however they’re easier to connect with and often they encourage connection. You will often see them speaking at conferences, writing books and blogging. An example of an authority would be Brian Dean.

Image Credit: John Rampton

Journalists

Journalists are care about two things.

  • Traffic to their article.
  • Exclusive information.

When reaching out to a journalist, always ask yourself how you can help them achieve their goals. Also, show excitement in your message. Give them a reason to care! Things like “I’ve got 15,000 people who joined my beta.” or “A Tweet teasing your product that received hundreds of Retweets”.

You want to prove to the journalist that people will read your story!

One more thing: Keep it short and powerful.

Some examples of journalist could be Murray Newlands or John Rampton.

Image Credit: mrpreneur

Connectors

These are my favorite types of influencers! They can be difficult to find because you can’t see their work, but they have a huge impact to your bottom line. I’ve found podcasters fit in this category since a lot of them have 1 on 1 conversations.

I place myself into this category alongside Paul McNeil and Jayson Gaignard.

Image Credit: Pauline Cabera

Bloggers

There are a vast amount of bloggers online, and this is where a lot of micro-influencers land. They are a great resource to tap into, however their reach in typically limited to their blog audience.

Ways to build relationships with them is to offer a guest post, linking to their site, and driving traffic to them. The most effective way to form relationships with them is to take their advice, test it out, and when something works share the results with them. They LOVE this and many times will feature your company in blogs, sending referral traffic to your website.

I almost guarantee you’ll get a response if you send them something like “I read your article and implemented the advice you shared. These are the results that I achieved.”

Bloggers would include Adam Connell, Pauline Cabrera, and Johnathan Dane.

If you don’t know which category your influencer fits in, here is a cheat sheet created by Vengage.

3) Do Your Research

After you’ve identified some of the thought leaders on different platforms, you want to research and understand the style and main message of their content and social media posts.

At the very least, this means reading their blog, subscribing to their channel and checking our their social media posts.

Use Epic Beat to find the influencers most successful posts. After you’ve signed up for an account, you want to type in an influencers website and target posts that have the most amount of shares and posts that have the most amount of comments. Targeting these comments is a great opportunity to join the conversation and make a good first impression with the influencer.

4) Engage Influencers

After you’ve identified 10–20 influencers, engage with them very frequently on a consistent basis. I prefer to engage on Twitter because it’s easier to stand out, however if you’re looking to connect with influencers on another platform, that works just as well.

Ways to engage include:

  • Social media likes, retweet/share and comment. Putting the influencers into a Twitter private list is a great way to isolate their feeds. This is how I am able to streamline this process.
  • Commenting on their blog (or Medium) posts. A practical way to find where conversations are happening is to use Epic Beat and filter the search by comments. This is a great tool. Another great tool is be on Disqus. If the influencer uses this comment platform, and most do, it’s a great way to keep up with conversations.
  • Downloading assets, such as Ebooks or checklists. Email them saying what you specifically valued from that asset. If you don’t know their email, you can find it using Email Hunter. This tip gets great engagement!

5) Develop A Collaboration Idea

“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar

The most effective collaboration idea to connect with an influencer is to take something that the influencer has written and implement it almost exactly. As you implement the advice, track your success. Tell the influencer about the success you’ve had and that you’d like to write a blog about this and would love it if you could collaborate on that piece of content.

This needs to be strategic.

You need to give just as much value as the influencer would be giving you. This means if you don’t have a strategic position for the influencer you might have to pay them; which is also a great strategy.

The piece of content still has to align with the influencers strategy. If it doesn’t, most big influencers won’t collaborate even if you offered them $10,000. To them that money is not worth risking the trust of their audience. One bad post could ruin their reputation and breach the audience’s trust.

6) Email The Influencer

This part is very simple, but I thought it might help to provide practical advice to help you execute. You don’t have to just use email. You can reach out through Twitter, Instagram or another social media. I find reaching out on email or LinkedIn has provided the highest response rates.

Write something likes this:

Hello John,

We haven’t connected before but I am a blogger and I have enjoyed your blogs about (Topic x). I’d love to collaborate with you about (Content Idea Y). I think my audience would love to hear from you.

David Gabriel

Find influencer’s emails by using Email Hunter.

7) Create and Promote Collaborated Content

After the influencer has agreed to work with you, make sure they have a great experience. This means keeping meetings focused and emails concise. They don’t have time to waste.

After you’ve created your collaborated piece, you want this post to be shared in front of a large audience. Do what you can to make this piece go viral. You want to really impress the influencer. This will make them want to work with you again.

8) Track and Analyze

This is so important! If you can put a CPC or CPA, you can prove the ROI on the most effective marketing strategy! You can track the ROI on Word Of Mouth!

Final Thoughts

It’s the marketers job to bring a business into unfamiliar territory before the masses get there. Influencer Marketing is a huge opportunity that businesses are just starting to fully maximize.

If you’ve started a business and brought it to success, you understand that timing is EVERYTHING. Being ahead of trends, but not too far ahead, is key to creating extremely influential strategies.

We are entering the influencer marketing age.

Hope this guide helps. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.