Acquire more customers and convert them into advocates with influencer marketing best practices from Chad Pollitt
Over the last few months, I’ve partnered with Torchlite to create the most comprehensive tactical templates for influencer marketing today. When combined, these templates form a complete influencer marketing strategy. This strategy was deconstructed directly from a company that saw a 35% bump in revenue in 2017 as a result of this strategy.
What makes influencer marketing so useful today is its propensity to drive incremental traffic, conversions, leads, and business over time. It’s long been realized across many industries that the amount of owned media on the web has exploded. So much so, that failure to promote content via earned and/or paid means can cause it to go unconsumed. It’s not a publish and pray world anymore.
For every one dollar a television advertising executive spends on creating content they spend an additional five dollars on it’s promotion and distribution. Based on my own research, content marketers do the complete opposite. Implementing an all-encompassing influencer marketing strategy helps marketers focus more time, energy, effort, and budget towards actual promotion and distribution of owned media.
Influencers provide two major benefits for marketers – expertise and a built-in audience. When influencers are involved with a brand’s content it automatically provides a layer of trust that it will be expertly produced.
The other benefit is the built-in promotion channel. Influencers have an audience for their content already. When they collaborate with a brand there’s a vested interest in assisting with the promotion and distribution of the end product.
Influencer Marketing Templates
With the value proposition and benefits of influencer marketing out of the way, let’s explore all five templates. Each were produced by examining the practices of a company that has seen much success using influencer marketing.
1. Influencer Round-Up Post
Share thought leadership from several industry influencers on your blog to drive earned media traffic and brand awareness
This is one of the more common tactics many have been exposed to. It’s also a good way for a brand to introduce themselves to influencers. They don’t necessarily like to do a lot of free work, but many will give a paragraph or so of thoughts around their expertise.
If a brand can tap into five, 10, or even 25 influencers the resulting content can be significant and valuable. There’s also a very good chance that the participating influencers will share the resulting post with their audiences, too.
2. Blog Contributors
Recruit industry influencers to write original content for your blog
This was at the core of the award-winning digital publication that I helped co-found, Relevance. The vast majority of content published was from influencers and up and comers trying to build up their influence. Everyone that contributed content had a vested interest in its success.
Therefore, they shared it on their social media platforms and email lists. We also invested a little bit of budget to socially amplify much of this content so contributors would see the impact their articles were having on the site.
The key here is to make it as easy as possible for influencers to contribute. The harder it is for them to submit and/or publish original content the less likely they will be to contribute. There will come a tipping point where you have so many contributors that others will start to contact you.
3. E-Book Partnership
Successfully partner with an influencer on an e-book project
One of the recurring themes in influencer marketing is to always make it easy for the influencer. This particular tactic is no exception. Rather than asking an influencer to sit down and write a whole e-book or guide, consider writing it yourself and enlisting the influencer to edit it. Offer to pay them a reasonable editing fee and offer them 100% authorship.
The example above is from the company all these templates were based upon. They hired a writer to write Professional’s Field Guide: Plant Pest Control. Next, they reached out to “The Bug Lady” (a well-known influencer in the space) and requested that she edit the guide for a fee and authorship. She later came back and told them she’d need to rewrite the whole thing. They renegotiated her fee and she rewrote it.
4. Contributor E-Book
Take articles by one or more influential contributors and turn them into an e-book
For those who have regular outside contributions to a blog by influencers and/or micro-influencers, this tactic is a great way to produce advanced lead generating content for a resources section. Marketers can curate content around a similar topic on their blog and massage it into an e-book. It doesn’t necessarily matter if it’s all by the same contributor or a combination of them.
The example above is a conglomeration of blog posts written by Luke Kintigh of Intel IQ. I simply wrote a forward for it and handed it off to my designer and viola, an e-book was born. More than 2,000 people have downloaded it over the last two years.
Lastly, take note: Luke was given full authorship credit for this piece. Not only because he wrote the content, but because I wanted him to feel vested in the project so that he too would promote the e-book. Always give full author credit.
5. Email Content Endorsement
Get influencers with relevant email lists to endorse e-books, guides, and other content to their audience via email
This is one of the most underutilized influencer channels in marketing. Many influencers have their own email lists and they’re likely the exact lists that marketers would like to tap into. I have personally reached out to several different influencers over the years and got real endorsements in their newsletters for my content. Below is the resulting increase in email traffic from them.
I’d request endorsements for things like e-books, guides, etc. On more than one occasion the endorsements led to over 600 new incremental leads within a few days. There’s two ways to request an endorsement – offer a trade or pay the influencer to do it.
If a brand has a decent-sized (depending on the industry) email list, it can simply request a quid pro quo. The brand can endorse something for the influencer so that person will endorse something from the brand in return. It’s a win/win for all.
It’s these five templates that make up the Influencer Marketing Playbook. A PDF version is available for free, but so is a digital version that integrates directly with Torchlite’s marketing orchestration software. The proven methodologies featured in the templates are a recipe for influencer marketing success.
WRITTEN BY CHAD POLLITT
Chad Pollitt, a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former Army Commander, is VP of Audience and Co-founder of Relevance. He was named a top five content marketing thought leader and top 20 CMO influencer, he continues to innovate by leading the emerging industry of online content promotion and distribution.
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