Do you want to feature an influential industry expert in your next awesome piece of content but not sure how to nail it? You are not alone!
When promoting your content, getting endorsed by key influencers in your target market can open floodgates of traffic and shares. Something as simple as a mention or retweet by a trusted blogger, for instance, could amplify your message.
However, finding and connecting with industry experts and reaching out to them with a pitch they just can’t turn down, can be challenging.
Getting to know these experts, gaining visibility and nurturing relationships could take months. Finally, if you fail to pitch it correctly, your brand could end up leaving a bad taste in their mouth, which is the last thing you want.
In order to maximise your content marketing ROI and get the results you are after, you need to make sure you get every element of your outreach campaign right.
So, what should you do the next time you want to ask for advice from an expert?
Let’s find out…
- Start with irresistible content
No one wants to endorse something they don’t believe in and this applies equally well to influencer outreach. That’s because experts associating their name with poor quality content can taint their reputation and dilute their own brand.
If you are planning to feature some great advice from an expert in your blog post, host an interview with them or get some backlinks to your site, your content must be good enough though.
What defines good content? Useful, in-depth and engaging content will get likes and shares from influencers even without asking for it.
Take a look at this post from BufferApp:
Now imagine reaching out to a podcast expert with this title and showing your interest to feature them. Who would turn down an opportunity to get their name in a list of Top 7 experts, especially from a high authority website like Buffer?
That’s not all… Note that the post is unique as it talks about the lessons the author learned from it. You won’t find this kind of information anywhere else.
- Be strategic with your approach
Yes, Hugh Jackman is influential, but he might not be the best person your audience turns to for advice. The experts you choose to grow your own influence need to have relevance with your audience, even if it means giving up the massive followings you can tap into otherwise. These are called micro-influencers.
So, if you are doing a blog post on SEO, consider who the experts are in that niche, where they hang out and what’s in it for them.
This post from FlypChart about growing an engaged Facebook Group is a great example of being strategic about the type of experts you include in a post.
One simple way to find the right experts in the niche you are targeting is by running an influencer search on FollowerWonk or BuzzSumo! Another great tool is NinjaOutreach that lets you search for key industry bloggers.
- Work on building a relationship
Be willing to give more than you can ever expect to get.
Relationships are built one step at a time and if you want to get the attention of key influencers in your niche you must first prove your worth.
Here are some of the things you can do to step up your game and get noticed.
- Follow them on twitter.
- Share their content or backlink to it.
- Drop value-adding comments on their blog.
- Attend their webinars.
- Write a review about their product or services.
- Make content their audience might be interested in.
- Write a blog post about them.
This is an example of writing a blog post about an industry expert. You just can’t go wrong with something like this, aan you?
Once you get into the flow, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your outreach campaign and make sure you are moving in the right direction.
- Make the perfect pitch
Here comes the tricky part. Your pitch must not sound too salesy to be able to spark interest and quickly tell the influencer what’s in it for them.
So, what exactly should your perfect pitch look like?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this, take a look at this template from BlueWire Media, that pretty much sums up everything your blogger outreach email should look like.
Notice that every time you plan an outreach campaign, there are some key ingredients that your pitch must have.
Here are some bonus tips in order to increase your chances of success:
- Make the subject line personal and interesting enough to get clicked.
- Don’t shy away from showing off your personality a bit.
- Do your research to know as much about the person as possible and make sure it shows.
- Get to the point and show how your brand can benefit them.
- Offer them something they want. This could be your latest research on a topic that interests them or may be one of your blog posts in which you have already mentioned them.
Consider the following example:
- Getting the outreach ‘Round Two’ right
So, now that you have received the expert answers you wanted to feature in your next blog post, what’s next?
How can you get the most out of the effort you put into finding these experts, getting to know them, getting noticed and finally reaching out?
Your outreach Round Two starts here!
Let the expert know when the post is published and thank them for the help they extended. Not only that, explain how the collaboration has been mutually beneficial.
In fact, the Round Two of your influencer outreach could be more powerful than you think.
This is your chance to tap into the huge audience pool the expert has to offer by encouraging them to like the post, link back to it, comment on it or share it with their network.
Finally, end on a note that strengthens your bond and opens new doors for future collaboration on similar subjects.
On the other hand, you should also keep in mind that influencer marketing can be slower than you think.
In case it’s been more than a week or two and you have still not received a response, what is the best way to follow up without sounding too pushy?
Consider your influencer’s busy schedule and the fact that your email might have ended up in their spam folder.
If you are not getting a response still, it’s possible that your offer might not have sparked enough interest. Make sure to tick off all the steps above and try again later.
Getting noticed by influencers and reaching out for their expert advice needs strategy and persistence. While there is no surefire formula to your outreach success, it all begins with your genuine interest in harnessing a mutually fruitful relationship.
What other tactics have you employed to excel at your outreach campaigns? We would love to hear about your success stories.