Influence Marketing – Part 2 – Making Contact
Welcome to part two in our series on Influence Marketing. Last time we shared a few tools to help you identify those personalities you need to be in good contact with. Today, we’re going to give you a few tips for making and maintaining that contact.
What Influencers Expect
Once you’ve compiled your list of potential influence marketing candidates, it’s now time to get in touch with them – the right way.
This is the part of influence marketing which requires a real sense of tact: A large number of these influential personalities also have their own careers to pursue, so it’s highly unlikely they’re sat waiting to be harnessed into a random company’s marketing campaign.
For this reason, you have to ensure that your chosen influencer fits with your brand or market area – it’s got to be clear why you’ve chosen them for your company. So before you even think about making contact, make sure you spend time intensively looking into their areas of expertise. Consider how any work or cooperation between you could be structured so that both parties benefit. If, for example, you intend to contact a well-known blogger, it goes without saying that you should have read their blog.
According to research by Agure, Influencers expect the following:
- Support for the content creation
- Exclusive background information
- Invitations to events
- Free product samples
- Financial inspiration
From this list, it’s worth emphasising the importance of the exclusive information and material. These are the offers which – in the end – will help the influencer to work on their own content, in exchange for financial recompense.
Don’t forget: Influencial figures are using their own platform as a possibility to improve their reputation and need to ensure their community are provided with good, useful content. By providing exclusive insider-information, such as infographics, E-Books or interviews will support your influencer in their activities.
Whatever it is that you can offer, the value for your influencer has to be clear – everyone involved needs this to be a win-win situation.
How to address an Influencer
When it comes down to making contact, it’s important to consider which channels are best suited for getting in touch. The experienced communications expert, Klaus Eck, advises in his German article on PR-Blogger (http://pr-blogger.de/2013/03/06/corporate-blogs-fur-die-influencer-relations-nutzen/) to capture your influencer’s attention through the use of high-quality content on your corporate blog. If it’s worthy of reading and of high quality, your corporate blog should provide you a logical conversation opener, the perfect gateway to make contact with influential figures.
The Agure study has revealed that a large number of companies contact their influencers via email, with Twitter coming in second place. Many companies also chose the influencer’s own blog as a way to make first contact. Telephone and social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ tend to play a smaller role.
So what should you say?
When contacting influencers, it’s very important to introduce yourself personally (your company and your role in that company). Briefly mention the background information and your reasons for making contact, outline the cooperation you have in mind and signalise that you’re open to discussions. You should definitely avoid launching into advertising your company at this stage.
It’s advantageous for any influence marketing endeavours to ensure you’ve got high-quality content ready – whether this content is for engaging influential people in the hopes to gain their support, or just to provide your community what they need.
Establishing a successful relationship with influential figures requires some serious hard work, tact, as well as bucket loads of patience. That said, a good relationship with the right person can be incredibly valuable for a company – whether it’s for when new products are launched, for content seeding or even just for help managing crisis situations.