First, change your thinking. Online influencers have a constant need for interesting content to share with their readers.
Create the right content, send it to influencers and I guarantee some of them will take notice and send you traffic.
Here are 9 tips to make that happen:
1: Build Relationships with Influencers – This is the old school method, and frankly also the best method of all.
Rather than trying to find a ‘back door’ route to their audience, you might take the long-term approach of building a relationship.
You can start by supporting the influencer in what they’re currently doing by mentioning them on social media and your blog.
Do round-ups, where you send an interview question to several different influencers and then include them all in a featured post.
Quote them in your blog posts – this is hugely flattering and will get you noticed, especially when you call their attention to it.
Support them and their brand, and you’re well on your way to building a two-way relationship in which they reciprocate and mention you to their audience as well.
2: Actually MEET Them at an Event – Again, this is an old school method that works really, really well.
If you think about it – who are you more likely to support: The stranger who sends you a few emails, or the person you had lunch with at your last conference?
This is the number one reason to attend networking events and look for influencers that you can help, and that can potentially help you.
Always approach them with the attitude of what YOU can do for them and not the other way around.
I say this because 95% of people who approach them at these events are asking for favors.
So, when you offer to HELP them, they will be relieved to have finally encountered a true professional and not someone who is just out to use them.
3: Provide Free Samples – First, you find the industry influencers in your target market.
Next, you reach out and offer them a free product in exchange for their review.
In the beginning, target mid-level influencers. They don’t get approached as often and will likely be more willing to try your product and write a review for you.
And make sure your influencers are following the FTC guidelines for disclosing they received a free product in exchange for their review.
4: Give Free Products to the Influencer’s Audience – Once your influencer shares their review, they can host a product giveaway on their post.
How this works is up to you and your influencer. It could be a contest where people have to enter, such as joining your list, publicizing your contest on social media or submitting a reason why they should get the product for free.
The influencer can be responsible for picking winners and you send out the free products.
Personally, I like to simply ask for their email address to enter the contest, and then I give them the option of sharing the contest on social media to gain themselves several more entries.
This builds my list and makes the influencer happy, especially if I’m giving away several prizes to their readers.
5: Publish Unique Research – According to Sumo, only 20% of visitors will read your entire article.
Worse yet, the average visitor will only read 25% of an article.
Which is why you’ve got to stand apart from the crowd. What’s trending or new in your industry? Can you create a study or poll around it?
You might take polls on social media or your email list, creating unique content for your readers. This will make influencers take notice and possibly even create a viral effect of getting mentioned by others.
6: Niche it Down and Go Deep – Anyone can post about broad topics like, “How to be a better gardener.”
But “How to Grow Miniature Roses indoors in Northern Climates” will stand apart from all the other info in your niche because of its specificity.
Find ways to go beyond the basics and create several pieces of content that cover different angles in depth.
7: Be the Devil’s Advocate – Somewhere inside your niche or industry are controversial topics. This is your chance to find unique perspectives that no one else has covered before.
Tips on how to do this without alienating your core audience:
- Write from an angle that resonates with your readers
- Back up what you say with data
- Write in the tone of, “Have you thought about this…” rather than, “This is how it is, period.”
- Be open to different views while standing by your own. In other words, believe in what you’re saying and be prepared to defend your stance without acting like a jerk.
8: Sponsor a Post – Some blogs will accept a ‘paid-for’ post that’s written either by you or the influencer herself.
You might do a walk-through of your product, showcasing the value to the audience.
A great way to do this is to explain how to do something step-by-step, and then offer your product as the easy, ‘done-for-you’ solution.
9: Be a Blog Sponsor – Some influencers also accept sponsorships for their website.
You can negotiate what this covers, but it could be a sidebar ad, mentions on specific pages, or even mentions on social media and through email.
As a sponsor you have an easy ‘in’ to talk to the influencer about additional ways your products or website might be featured, as well as potentially doing joint ventures.
No matter which methods you choose, consistent action is key.
Not every blog owner you contact will be open to your proposals, but when you…
- contact enough of them
- remain consistent in your efforts
- always think in terms of what you can do for the influencer first
…then you will get the results you seek.