David Taylor, Digital Consultant and author of The Business of Being Social, gives his tips on improving your influencer relations strategy.
Top 5 tips for improving your Influencer Relations
- Understand who the influencers are, where you are likely to find them and research what content they are most likely to engage with
- Ensure you have a steady reservoir of quality content to
(a) build the credibility of your brand online and
(b) engage with this audience in a meaningful way
- Use a combination of free and paid-for software to help unearth new key persons of influence
- Build relationships slowly to gain trust rather than rush in with a sales message
- Monitor what works and what doesn’t when engaging with influencers
According to David, the principles of communications haven’t changed, but the two things that have changed, are the use of technology and who the actual opinion formers are.
Social networks mean that many elements of PR, lobbying and B2B networking are now all part of the same overall strategy.
Influencers may now be bloggers, and sometimes, anonymous or pseudonymous people such as Guido Fawkes, who often command greater audiences than traditional media.
The right content, for the right people, at the right time.
In order to mount an effective campaign, David advocates a Plan - Listen - Analyse - Engage approach to formulating a proper influencer relations strategy. (see diagram below)
It has to be relevant, well-written, insightful and engaging. Plus, you need to have a sufficient ‘pipeline’ of content to keep the campaign going for weeks, if not months (more on this in my recent article on creating internal newsrooms).
Who are your influencers?
- Find your "opinion formers" on social channels - search on Google, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+, Linkedin groups
- Develop a target list, like how you would, with traditional media relations
- Adopt social listening and analytical tools that can assist in finding influential bloggers and individuals online - Sprout Social, Adobe Social and Mynewsdesk all offer paid-for software
- Track a #hashtag - Over a period of time you can find your opinion formers here
Want to harness the power of influencers for your brand? Download the whitepaper "Influencer Relations 3.0 - The New Rules of PR Engagement".