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  1. Influence Marketing: How to Amplify Your Content with Social Leaders



    Do you amplify your content through Influence Marketing?

    You’ve written a great blog post. Now you need to get your article seen and read by your target market. But how? Use Influence Marketing.

    In part three of this three part series on Influence Marketing, I’ll now show you 3 top methods (and a bonus tip) of getting your content shared by your Influencers - and read by their readers.

    If you missed them, check out part one:  how to find your social Influencersand part two: how to build relationships with social leaders and drive traffic to your blog of my Influence Marketing series.

    Tweetable Takeaways


    (click to tweet)


    1. Write Quality Content


    This should be a given. If you want to get your content seen and shared by top social Influencers, create good quality blog posts.

    Think about it, social Influencers want to keep their own Fans and Followers coming back for more, right? Create the good content they want to share. Reach out to your Influencers with your solid industry know-how, and it’s more likely your content will get shared and seen by the larger niche audience of your Influencers.

    Quality content also goes a long way in developing trust for you and your brand.

    Tips for writing good quality content:

    • Size matters: Keep an eye on your word count. Articles that are longer tend to have more substance, and will be more liked, and shared by your Influencers.
    • Readability: Most readers these days skim articles. (No, it’s not because we don’t read anymore - it’s that there’s so much to read we can’t possibly take it all in!) Format your articles with easy to skim headers, bullet points and images. Bold important content within the body of your article, too.
    • Head turning headlines: A headline can make or break further reading of your article. Use keywords that your readers, and Influencers are interested in. Use blog title formulas that work, such as “How [your field] is like…”, “The Secret Trick to [niche keyword] Success…” or “10 Things You Need to Succeed…”
    • Know your stuff: Write about your area of expertise. Do lots of research to fill in your knowledge, include statistics to back up what you say, and link to other blog posts to give readers further information.
    • Show your stuff: 67% of consumers build trust through images. Including relevant and informative images in your blog posts makes your articles more likeable and shareable, too.


    2. Mention Influencers


    If you want your blog posts to be amplified by the power of your Influencers, mention them in your articles.

    Show you value their knowledge and expertise by quoting and sourcing experts in your niche.  Then let your industry leaders know how much impact they’ve had on you (and your own readership) - get in touch to let them know you’ve sourced them.

    Let’s face it, Influencers like to extend their reach too. Stroke their deserving egos, and they’re more likely to share your article with their fans.

    Topic ideas for mentioning Influencers in your blog posts:

    Create a “best of” post:

    • Compile a list of best resources for your niche.
    • Follow your leaders’ blog articles through an RSS feed.
    • Set up a social bookmarking site, and compile lists of best articles for a specific industry related topic.
    • Make a blog article summarizing each article, and giving a shout out to the experts who wrote it.


    Here’s a “best of” post example of top resources for social media, Small Business Guide: The Top 21 Resources on How to Sell on Social Media


    Show best practise examples:

    • When you’re writing an article, give examples from your Influencers.
    • Link quotes and summaries from their blog articles.
    • Mention their names too, of course!


    Write a “best advice” post:

    • Take the concept of a “best of” post, and make a “best advice” article
    • Email influencers to ask for their advice on a topic (say Facebook ads or Facebook contests)
    • Compile the quotes of advice of say 20 Influencers (you may only get 1 or 2 responses for every 10 emails you send out)
    • Write a post with their quotes
    • Tell them when it’s posted - and thank again for sharing their advice to your readers


    Create a “round up” of great blog posts:

    • Follow your industry experts through RSS feeds
    • Bookmark their best blog posts throughout the month
    • Compile a monthly (or bi-monthly) blog post summarizing their best articles for your readership
    • Keep the topics varied, but all relating to your industry
    • Tweet the experts to let them know you showcased their know-how


    Note: Most social savvy Influencers monitor their brand mentions with Google alerts, or other monitoring tools. To make sure they do see your articles in which you mention them - and to broaden your relationship - send them a Tweet. (A Tweet also makes it easy for your Influencers to share with their followers.)


    3. Guest Blog


    It takes time to write a blog post - even for Influential bloggers. Guest blogging offers a mutual opportunity for you and for high page ranking blog sites.

    Build relationships with Influential bloggers in your niche (both offline and online). Approach Influencers with a pitch to write a blog on their site.

    Guest blogging gives you a wider audience, partnerships for future sharing (and business), and more links back to your site (which increases your page rank/ SEO)

    Tips for pitching:

    • Soften the pitch: Build your relationships with your Influencers by connecting with them through social sites, webinars, and their own blogs. Then approach them with a pitch to guest blog on their site. They’ll be much more receptive than if you only contact them when you want something.
    • Reciprocate with bloggers: Offer other bloggers in your niche the opportunity to guest blog on your blog site.  Have them reciprocate. This is a great way to develop relationships in your industry, and get more backlinks to your blog site or homepage.
    • Do your homework: When you’re pitching a guest blog post idea - research the Influencer’s site. Would your articles resonate with their readership? Tone your article to so that it will.
    • Make your pitch specific: When you’re pitching, give a summary of your article. Make it specific, and tell why the article would benefit the bloggers’ readership.
    • Show your stuff: Give the bloggers links to your previous articles (which is why you need to be writing quality content in the first place). The better the Influencer knows you and how awesomely you can write, the more of a chance they’ll publish your guest blog post - and future ones too!


    Bonus: Email vs. Twitter: Contacting Social Influencers


     

    I’ve been talking about connecting with social Influencers to develop relationships, and get your posts shared. Connecting with Influencers through social sites is a good way to introduce yourself. But is the best way to pitch your articles, or connect with Influencers when you’ve mentioned them?

    Coming from a background in PR, I know the traditional route has been to contact prospective media Influencers by email and even - get this - the phone. In the past few years, however, I’m finding more successes by pitching through Twitter, and even sites like LinkedIn.

    Email is still a number one sources of lead generation. But, social sites are the best way to continue to nurture your relationships. Use both and determine what works best for your niche of Influencers.

    Tips for connecting with email:

    • Subject line: Always, always in email, the subject line matters. Make it concise, but witty and intriguing. Use your copywriting skills to the message opened.
    • Personal: Make your emails personal. Even if you’re sending out 20-30 emails with basically the same message - you need to make it personal. Include the blogger’s name. Share what you like about their site. Use a lot of “you” and “me” in the body of your email. Most bloggers get lots of guest blog post requests, so make sure you at least sound like a fan.
    • Specific: Get to the point of your request. Influencers really don’t have all the time in the day to read what you’ve got to say. In your email, get to the call to action. Summarize your article concept. Include links to your previous blog articles (but don’t post them directly in your email, or send them as attachments).


    Tips for connecting with Twitter:

    • Be short: On Twitter, you only have 140 characters to express your request. Keep it to the point. Be complimentary of the Influencers’ work, and be clear about your call to action.
    • Relationship build: Send Tweets to Influencers to request a guest article. But engage with them prior to your pitch. Retweet their articles, mention them in tweets - particularly if you’ve written about them. Carry on the dialogue when you approach them with your guest blogging pitch.
    • Link your work: Send Influencers links to your previous work - just as you would in an email. That way, they get know your talent, and will be more willing to engage with you on their blog too.


    Conclusion


    Getting your articles shared by your industry Influencers amplifies your content, extending its reach to new readers, and potential customers. Build your relationships with top and middle Influencers. Entice them to share your content with great articles, showcasing their talents, and guest blogging on their sites.

    This article is part three of a 3 part series on Influence Marketing. Read parts one and two:


    For additional reading on driving traffic to your blog, check out:


    What do you think? Do you use Influence Marketing? How do you engage your social Influencers to share your content?  Do you guest blog? What tips for success do you have?

    Written by Krista Bunskoek @ Wishpond