As a small to midsize business owner, you need to make the most out of a limited budget. And because you often have to compete against industry giants, it can be a challenge to achieve visibility and build up your brand. One way to circumvent this pain point is to leverage influencers within your industry: Form strategic partnerships that allow your company to grow distribution for your marketing campaigns and collect feedback that you can transform into actionable, strategic insights.
Here are three tips to guide you:
1. Work With Influencers to Create Your Business Content
If you don't have the resources or skills necessary to develop new content in-house, you should consider working with an influencer who is looking to reach the same audience. These influencers likely have their own unique industry insights. As a small to midsize business, you're in a strong position to provide a platform for them to share these insights.
As a case study, you can take a look at Skillshare, an education company that works with independent subject matter experts to create course curricula. Teachers can create classes on topics in which they are skilled. The company then distributes this content to their own email lists and networks.
But you don't need to run an education company to leverage this model. You can work with experts in your specific industry to create marketing content. Then you can collect feedback from both your own circle and your influencers' circles that will help you improve your messaging over time. In this way, leveraging influencers allows you to reach a larger audience and gain a wider spectrum of insights and opinions.
2. Create Resources That Influencers Will Want to Cite or Promote
The most direct way to leverage influencer relationships is to offer valuable content with which they will want to engage. Even if you're a bit strapped on the budget front, you can create resources using your existing assets. For inspiration, take a look at RJMetrics. The marketing analytics company regularly publishes data using its own proprietary systems, including The State of Data Science and the 2015 Ecommerce Growth report. Both reports contain valuable industry information, which has led them to receive mentions in notable, influential press outlets.
If you're not in a position to create this type of content, you should consider another incentive, such as a free product, promotional code or upgrade. Just be sure to choose options that are relevant to your target network.
3. Translate the Performance of Your Influencer Marketing Into Insights
The biggest benefit that influencers offer your business is access to an expanded audience. By reaching new potential customers, you can collect data outside of your existing customer base. Monitor this information closely as trends may influence your strategy for reaching and engaging new markets.
As you begin to leverage influencers in your marketing plan, you should try to focus on the learning opportunity. Even if a campaign falls a bit shy of your goals, you can use the performance data that you are generating to help improve and course-correct in the future.
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