Influencer collaboration offers some absolutely incredible benefits and, when done right, it can actually turn your business around and help you find a new exciting direction.
Neil Patrick Harris is launching a lifestyle newsletter, so what did he do?
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) October 15, 2021
But it is also not easy.
Sure, you can jump onto some influencer marketing platform and connect to everyone there. But this approach is extremely limiting.
Like with any other marketing tactic out there, there’s a vicious circle involved here: If it’s easy, it’s not effective.
In fact, your most valuable influencers are the hardest to get on board for collaboration. They are already successful and extremely busy. In their eyes, your brand is just another business that’s trying to make money off them.
These influencers don’t have time to join any special platforms connecting them to businesses because they have no shortage of businesses pitching their products to them.
To get top-ranked influencers to collaborate, you will need some creative approaches and conversation starters. Here are a few ideas:
So you know exactly who you’d like to work with to promote your project. You’ve emailed, followed, and even sent a public message tagging that influencer. There was no reply o. Or maybe there was a quick reply stating it was not a good time.
In both cases, trying the same outreach method makes no sense. This is a good time to check if you have any common connections who can help.
Nothing works better than a personal introduction, even in our globalized world of virtual relationships.
In my previous article on influencer marketing tools I’ve mentioned how Linkedin can be a useful tool for identifying common first- and second-tier connections.
Yet, Linkedin won’t work for any niche or any influencer. Twitter is a better option which would work for just about anyone. Twitter will show your common connections (if you have any) when you land on the influencer’s profile:
While this is a good indicator that your influencer and you have much in common, these are people you follow who also follow that influencer. These are not mutual connections.
You can click through to the “Following” link on your influencer’s profile and manually find who of those people follow you as well:
But what if you don’t really have any common connections?. What if your business is new and your Twitter is not that well connected to have anything in common with influencers?.
This is where you can use a tool called Twiangulate that identifies common friends of any two Twitter accounts.
Now all you need is a quick intro from a friend or his/her help to reach out to a common connection.
Another great trick to get an influencer’s attention for collaboration is a timely message:
When things like that happen, you are bound to get under your influencers’ radar.
How to time your email or post well?
Set up a tool called Visualping to track changes of your influencer’s About pages or Home pages. Visual Ping allows you to select an area of any page to monitor, so you can even monitor your influencer’s bio on Twitter or Instagram:
You can choose how you want to be alerted: Via email, text and/or Slack. I recommend choosing email, and using Gmail for that because it conveniently stores automated notifications in a separate folder, so you will see them only once. Helps to avoid clutter! Here’s a detailed overview of the tool’s features and capabilities.
Finally, another great way to become your influencers’ best friend is to send traffic to them: Interview them or review their product. Ranking a page for a branded query is pretty doable because the competition is often manageable.
All you need to do is to create content with your influencer’s name in the title tag and in the article. You do need to give it some time to rank, and you will likely need to send some links from your own site, at least.
When creating content for the influencer-driven page, try running their name through Text Optimizer which will suggest concepts Google is associating with that name:
Another solid advantage of this tactic is that you will associate your site with a well-known niche entity which will help Google identify you as a brand as well. Google is using lots of ranking signals, so this one is just a piece of a huge puzzle. However every bit helps!
Once your page is ranking in Google, chances are your influencer will reach out, or you can use that page as a conversation starter.
Good influencers are hard to find, so make the best of those connections you manage to build!
One of the most effective ways to keep your influencers motivated is to invite them to join your affiliate program, especially if you manage that right!
It is a good idea to treat your affiliate and/or influencer marketing program as part of your community building strategy. Getting your influencers on board isn’t enough. You need to keep them in love with your product, and this is where your relationship management efforts will come in handy.
Set up a Facebook group to keep your affiliates connected to your brand and one another. Set up a separate site where you could integrate your ticket system, a discussion board, and even a private blog to keep your affiliates updated on your company’s news.
A lot of brands treat their affiliate/influencer program completely separate from their main industry. SEMrush is just one example.
This gives you more freedom as to how you want to collaborate with your newly acquired promoters:
Some connections are hard to build but any connection is worth the effort. From experience, the strongest partnerships arise from multiple touchpoints here and there, and the most valuable connections always need some work. Good luck!