How to Continually Engage Influencers & Create Sustainable Relationships
This is the final post of our 6-part guide to making the most of influencers in your PR communications. Brush up on steps 1 – 5 here.
Influencers are never obligated to you. Like everyone else on social media, they can come and go as they please. Bloggers, vloggers, freelancers, and editors are in-demand people and likely operating on their own schedules. How can you be sure you’re making engaging with your brand worth their time? How can you be sure you’re appealing to their intrinsic motivation to connect? Here are 7 ideas to get you started.
Be confident in your initial research
Trust in the fact that this influencer is a fit for a relationship with your brand and that your efforts to find and research them are sound. Without your confidence that you have something valuable to offer – that you know is important to them – you won’t be able to prove it. If you’re unsure how to engage influencers, review their profiles and content again, putting yourself in their shoes. Do they really want to promote your product or service or content? If not, then focus your efforts on another influencer who is a better fit.
Keep the giving and taking balanced
To be sustainable, your relationship must thrive on mutual value. It helps to have a very clear idea of who your influencer is and what they hope to achieve. For this, your thorough, ongoing influencer research will help. Take it from Dr. Konstanze Alex Brown‘s personal philosophy, “I need to understand the mutual value proposition and the joint value creation between my brand and the influencer.” When you’re both clear on what you’re ‘working toward’ with your relationship, you can be sure you’re doing your part.
Add unique value to their community
Fuel the conversations within your influencer’s community with your own unique angle. When you engage with their content, do it in a way that will facilitate the conversation and open many opportunities for others to participate. Be an active community member. Rather than always zeroing in on your one influencer, be sure to speak to others within their community. See who they’re engaged with and follow.
Be early to the party
Show you’re keen to work hard for your influencer – that their content is a priority for you. Keep track of it – subscribe to their blog’s RSS feed, and keep them on a Twitter list of your influencers that you check often. Engage soon after pieces go live. Don’t miss a chance to be the first to comment or “like.” It likely won’t go unnoticed.
Quoting an influencer in your own content and linking back to their blog is a way to show your appreciation for their content and send some traffic their way. Whether you weave a single, timely quote into an opinion piece on your blog or create a roundup of a variety of subject matter experts’ wisdom on a certain theme, the extra exposure you give will be appreciated.
Connect in different ways
While you want to connect with your influencers where they’re most active, be sure to engage across their blog, their guest posts on others’ blogs, and more niche social channels. Your deep engagement will show you’re genuinely interested.
Ginny Torok took readers back-to-basics in a Traackr blog post in which she drives home the point that “influencer marketing is just talking to people.” We can be well-versed in all the “required reading” when it comes to influencer marketing, but at the end of the day, your people skills are what will make your relationships with influencers the quality, sustainable ones they are. Don’t forget that on the other side of every social media profile is a human being.
Keep up to date on the ongoing discussion around making the most of influencers in your PR communications at the hashtag #Influence411, where we’ll be posting and sharing more valuable content to help you do just this.