Spreading the News: Finding Fans and Influencers is Easier Than You Think
Guest Post: Steven Southerland of Studyweb.com
Start spreading the news - if you have a post worth sharing, digital influencers can take you from zero to hero in 24 hours. But, enlisting the help of a big-name blogger is tough, right?
Not really. You just have to have something valuable to share.
Getting Digital Influencers to Promote Your Blog
Look Within Your Own Organization
Are there people within your organization that could help you spread the word? Reach out to employees, vendors, and other individuals that are closely connected to your brand - people who already like you.
Ask them to share your latest blog post, guide, or infographic with others in their social network. A few hundred tweets, Facebook shares, or pins is all it really takes for a piece to go viral.
If it doesn’t, it probably wasn’t meant to be. You can always try with the next piece of content, but don’t give up too soon either.
In-house promotion works best when you mention others in your content that have the power to bring your site traffic.
For example, if you mention a favorite vendor in a blog post, and that vendor has a large audience of newsletter subscribers or blog readers, reach out to that vendor and let them know you just mentioned them in your post.
Guess what? They’ll probably be tickled pink and mention you to their audience. If you’re not sure how to word your request, keep it low key:
“Hey, I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know that we mentioned you in our latest blog post. Might be something worth sharing with your audience. Either way, we love the work you do for us.”
It’s as simple as that.
Use Your Email List
Your email list is a great way to get the word out. If you don’t have a blog that’s attracting visitors yet, use this Studyweb guide to help you get up to speed.
Once you’ve got all of the usability stuff in place, build your list using programs like Get Response’s email list builder or, better yet, start reaching out to influencers to build traffic to your new blog.
You could ask an influencer to do a joint venture with you but, unless you already know them well, that’s probably not going to work.
Instead, you could mention the target influencer in a post, and tell them that you did so. They’ll be more willing to share - especially if the content is really good.
Once you’ve got an email list built up, you can perpetuate the cycle of sharing by emailing them with every piece of new content you publish. You will be surprised by the results.
Email subscribers are some of your most loyal fans. If you ask them to share, most of them will because it’s a low-commitment activity. And, it also brings them one step closer to becoming a repeat customer.
Why? Because you’re getting them invested in your business.
They’re helping you build your brand with each share. You become less of a stranger and more of a friend.
BuzzSumo is a great way to find the most shared content on the web. By utilizing this site, you can sort through all of the garbage on the web, find influencers and, more importantly, find what they share most often.
This is a strategy so few employ that if you’re willing to do it, you’ll probably get an immediate improvement on the results you’re getting, almost regardless of what you’re doing right now. Why is relevancy so important?
Because, as obvious as it might seem, relevancy lets you pick up on conversations that are already going on inside peoples’ brains. If you can join that conversation, instead of trying to start a new one, there’s so much less resistance to sharing.
You basically just have to come up with a clever way to say, “Hey, I saw that you shared this piece of content. Would you be willing to share this other piece too?” If you hit them at the right time, odds are they will share it.
With BuzzSumo, a lot of data is either hidden or downloadable. One piece of data that is highly accessible, however, is Twitter information.
You can export it to a spreadsheet, hand it to an in-house outreach specialist (or outsource the job), and let them contact influencers that have already shared something similar to your piece.
Use Social Media
Social media is your friend, provided you’ve already got a lot of followers. But, even if you don’t, reach out to influencers on sites like Twitter. There’s a very low barrier to entry, usually you can get direct-line access to them, and of course you have to have something useful to say.
Facebook is another great place to reach influencers because the platform is more laid back and conversational.
LinkedIn is a professional site, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with influencers. You don’t have to go into the groups (though this is a good idea too). You can try contacting them directly. Link them to some of your best stuff and ask them for their opinion and feedback.
This is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Send Emails Directly To Influencers
Email is so underrated. Most people won’t do it because of the brutal nature of handwriting 250 to 500 emails per post that they publish. Look, if your post isn’t worth emailing 500 people about, it’s probably not that great. Seriously. Why would anyone else want to share it if you won’t put in the effort to do it?
Emailing influencers should be able to yield you at least a few percentage points in response rate, provided that you’ve written something worth sharing. At the end of the day, it’s all about how much work you want to put into it. There’s no magic here.
Neil Patel has some interesting email templates that he uses to attract users’ attention but, beyond that, it’s mostly about being creative. Find out what people want, and give it to them.
Does your favorite influencer have a thing for chocolate?
Maybe you can’t mail them a care package, but you could send them a delicious-looking email with a high-res photo and campy shot of you saying something about how you love their blog.
It’s unique, and they’re bound to laugh - and that’s your “in.”
About the Guest Blogger: Steven Southerland is a sociologist studying the web. He loves writing about his insights online. You can find his articles on many tech and computer websites, including StudyWeb.com, an online resource for blogging and website development.