When it comes to growing your business, collaborating with an influencer to market your business can be one of the best strategies you can employ, that is until you become an influencer in your own right.
We're in an age of edutainment, i.e., people seek to be educated and entertained, and being social creatures, we trust those we look up to, such as industry professionals, for information about products and services.
And our prospects rely on social proof, i.e., the recommendations of those advocating for brands they say they know and love.
If you’re at the point where you need an influencer to broaden your potential customer base and improve your online reputation, follow these tips created with the help of Richard Wilson at Guild of Bloggers to find the right influencer for your brand.
1. Produce Great, Consistent Content
Just as B2C businesses cater to consumers with their site content, you should appeal to your ideal business prospects via great content as well.
But more than that, you should use your content to convince influencers that not only are you knowledgeable about your niche but that you have something of value for them when they become your customer.
Influencers don’t want to promote products and services to their large audiences without the confident that what they’re recommending is a good thing.
After all, if an influencer recommends your brand to other businesses, and those businesses find out they're just in it for the money, that influencer stands to lose some of their own audience.
To find the ideal influencer in your industry, start by creating high-quality content that targets the right keywords.
Just enter your seed keyword and receive alternative keywords that might work for your content.
In addition, find out information about the keywords such as:
- Estimated search volume
- SEO and paid difficulty
- Average cost per click
- SERP analysis of websites already ranking for those keywords
After you’ve worked hard to publish content with the right keywords that inform, educate, and entertain customers, focus on sharing that content on platforms other B2B businesses frequent.
For example, LinkedIn is one of the most well-known places B2B businesses go to network with others, share their content, and expose their brand to new customers.
It also happens to be a place where influencers engage with their own target audience.
If an influencer you’d like to work with is on a platform like LinkedIn, post links to your content, interact with others and answer questions to show those influencers what you’re all about.
This can be the start of a great business relationship, and give you the chance to start a dialogue with an influencer that can help you grow your business.
Just make sure that your website is optimized for speed and performance before you start sharing your content and encouraging people to visit your site to read what you’ve published.
For example, use a CDN to deliver site content to people all around the world instantly.
A CDN is a network of servers spread across the globe that store your site’s content on them.
When a potential customer or influencer clicks on your website to read your content, the server located geographically closest to them will deliver the content without delay.
Show your influencer that you have killer content to share with their large audience base and that you prioritize the user experience too.
2. Use an Influencer Tool
Phlanx is a really great influencer tool if you have a list of potentials that you might want to work with.
Just pick the platform your influencer is on that your target audience is on as well, and enter their name to find out things like:
- How many followers do they have
- The number of comments each post gets
- How engaged their audience is
If you like the numbers you see, hop on over to the platform and see for yourself whether they are still someone you’d like to work with.
Take a look at this example and see how a highly popular influencer in the fashion and style industry uses their 3.1 million followers to promote hair products:
The point of working with an influencer is to expose your brand to an audience you may never have had contact with on your own.
That’s why finding influencers with lots of followers, that post regularly, and get their audience involved is the best way to spread the word about your brand.
Keep in mind, however, that micro-influencers can be just as effective as influencers with millions of followers.
3. Publish a Roundup
Working with an influencer is a two-way street. After all, there has to be something in it for your influencer. They aren’t going to promote your brand to their audience for fun.
Luckily, you can create a roundup post that includes content and links back to your influencer’s website easily on your own site.
Doing this not only shows your own audience that the influencer you want to work with can be trusted, but it also shows your influencer you’re willing to showcase them and help expose their brand too.
Basically, a good roundup post of valuable information is beneficial to your readers and gives credit to influencers.
If you aren’t sure what type of roundup to publish, use the tool Answer the Public.
After entering your idea, Answer the Public will reveal actual queries people are entering into searches:
From there, you can see the type of questions people want answers to, round up a list of valuable resources from around the web (including some from your influencer), and post it on your site.
Make sure to have social share buttons on your blog posts so people can share your roundup with others.
Also, post links to your roundup on your social media accounts and even get involved in popular forums like Quora.
Of course, this is only half the battle. Just because you promote the work of an influencer on your site doesn’t mean they’ll work with you.
That’s why you should invest in an email service provider such as Keap to send out email campaigns to influencers you want to work with.
In this email, you can ask your influencers for quotes to add to your roundup post.
In addition, you can ask them if you can guest post on their website to begin building a relationship, or ask them outright if they’d be willing to work with you as an influencer for your brand.
Here are some best practices for your influencer outreach emails:
- Personalize them so they know you haven’t cut and pasted a template
- Make sure to include how you’ll add value to them if they agree to help you
- When you make a request, always keep the influencer’s interests at heart
- Explain how you plan to promote the influencer’s work
- End your email with a personalized email signature, so you leave a lasting impression
Remember, influencers receive tons of outreach emails every day.
If you don’t receive a response right away, don’t give up. Continue to engage on their website and social media platforms. Send a follow-up email after a few days.
Even tag them in your own social media posts to let them know you’ve mentioned them on your website.
They may not end up working with you as an actual influencer, but they may mention your blog post on their social media accounts or link to you in their blog content, which can be just as beneficial.
Finding an exceptional B2B business influencer doesn’t have to be challenging.
But it does require that you do a little research, publish high-quality content, and build relationships without being too pushy.
That said if you can get someone with a large following to agree to help promote your brand, expect to see your traffic numbers and sales increase in no time.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.