July 12, 2012
Marketing to influencers is an important part of your business’s success. Strong relationships are at the heart of your professional success. Take it one step further and cultivate and maintain relationships with people who are influential in your Industry.
Influencer marketing is not a new strategy or way of thinking. It has been around for a very long time. Business people have recognized its value for ages and the way in which you use it will determine how successful your business will be because of it. There are many things to think about when it comes to targeting influencers. The first thing is that you need to identify who the influencers are and connect with them so that you can start to build meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with them. An interesting point is that the people who are the strongest influencers for you today may not be the same people tomorrow. Because of the rapid advancement of technology and how that affects businesses today, they are connected to the tools that are being used for business on a consistent and regular basis.
Making Influencer Marketing a Part of Your Overall Online Marketing Strategy
You may be asking yourself why you would want to incorporate influencer marketing into your marketing strategy. Of course, just as traditional marketing can have a positive effect on your business (and certainly should), influencer marketing can have an equally positive effect. The following positive results will become apparent very quickly:
Getting Your Influencers to Interact
You should try to get your influencers to write guest blog articles, get involved with podcasts, or do interviews with you. That will serve several purposes. It will impress others to know that your influencers support your business and believe in your offerings. It will also keep things interesting and your efforts to continue to bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table through your influencers will make other people want to continue to be involved with you and your business.
Earning More Mentions Online
If you can get your influencers to speak about you and your business online, through their efforts, you will be strengthening your reputation and increasing your exposure. Where you are mentioned is not nearly as important as how often you are mentioned (as long as it is in a positive light, of course).
Increase Your Traffic
If you can tap into their audiences, you will be able to increase the amount of online traffic that comes to you. That can only be a positive thing for your business.
Determining the Value of Your Business and Your Offerings
A great way to know how valuable you are to other people is through the communications that others express among themselves. It is one thing that you totally understand how valuable your products and/or services are and quite another for other people to understand it. You are the one person who is not allowed to sing the praises of your business.
Earning Credibility, Trustworthiness, and Selling More
If you have the support of the influencers behind your business, other people will take you seriously, will consider you credible and trustworthy, and will want to buy what you are selling.
Setting Up Your Goals
There are several goals that you should have in mind for your business before you target any influencers
First of all, you need to establish exactly what you are trying to gain from your marketing: You absolutely must have goals as part of your marketing plan before you do anything. Those goals will keep you focused and will help you to become successful. Your goals will help you to understand exactly which influencers are right for your business.
Create a target list: It will be simpler than you think to build a list of influencers. The way to start is by doing a keyword search. There are several available tools that can also help you to identify influencers. You will need to learn how to use metrics appropriately and it is important to understand that a high score is not the only important determining factor when it comes to choosing influencers. When choosing, you need to look at everything at once and then you will know if that influencer is right for you.
Reach out: You shouldn’t expect to automatically form a relationship with a given influencer the first time that you communicate with him or her. It will take sometime (just as it does with any relationship). Remember that relationships require work, nurturing, caring, and a great deal of give and take.
Build a solid foundation: Before you begin the influencer marketing aspect of your business, you need to feel secure in the idea that you are starting with a solid foundation when it comes to your business as a whole. Once you have everything you need and are interacting with your influencers, make sure to work consistently at maintaining those relationships and helping them to grow.
Influencers are critical to the success of your business. They will help to strengthen your online reputation and they will help you to eventually reach your goal of yourself being considered an influencer in your niche or industry. Remember to truly listen to what they are telling you so that you can mimic that if it works for your business. The relationships that you share with your influencers must be real, authentic, and mutually beneficial. Marketing in the most appropriate and effective manner is essential to your ultimate business success.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).