6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

6 Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists

As some of you regular TopRank Marketing Blog readers may know, before making my way into the world of digital marketing, I was a journalist covering the wild news happenings in a handful of Twin Cities metro towns.

While I wore many hats during those days—from reporter to managing editor to social media maven—building strong community connections was probably the most important hat of all.

Truly, the people I engaged with were more than connections. They were lifelines. They represented untold stories, interesting perspectives, inside scoops and friendly gateways to new sources, allowing me to craft quality news pieces that people actually wanted to read, share and talk about.

Now as a digital marketer, my community connections and sources often go by a new name:influencers.

Influencer marketingis booming—and it’s not hard to see why. Influencers lend authority and credibility to your content, and connect you with new audiences. In addition, influencer marketing content delivers 11 times the ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing, according to a2016 studyby TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

But the secret in the sauce here is that your strategy, content and the influencers you choose have to be quality and relevant to your audience.

Thankfully, there’s a few pointers marketers can take from journalists to ensure that quality and relevance is there.

As the old journalism adage goes, you’re only as good as your sources. Before reaching out to any potential influencer, you have to do your homework. This will ensure that you’re presenting them with a relevant ask, as well as help you personalize your message when reaching out.

Use journalism’s “5Ws and H” model (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to answer essential questions for each influencer:

“Before reaching out to any potential influencer, you have to do your homework.” Click To Tweet

The most compelling stories feature unique voices that add insight, inspiration and a little entertainment. But in order to draw out those voices, you need to show them they play an important role in your narrative.

When reaching out to influencers, lead with the value proposition to show them what’s in it for them and that you see the value in what they can contribute.

When reaching out to influencers, lead with the value proposition Click To Tweet

For nearly three years, every Tuesday evening you could find me at a local city council meeting, taking feverish notes on what was going down. I got to be a familiar face, which helped me further the phone and email relationships I had with many city officials. I also got to schmooze with concerned citizens and pick up new story ideas.

To get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts, you have to be present and engaged with your influencers. Follow, monitor and engage your influencers on social media. In addition, listen for opportunities to be thoughtful, send them referrals if you can and reach out with them with new opportunities for collaboration. The regular interaction will keep you or your brand top-of-mind, as well as maintain and grow your relationships.

To get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts, you have to be present and engaged. Click To Tweet

For a journalist, there’s nothing worse than losing out on an exclusive interview because you weren’t quick enough. For marketers, there’s nothing worse than reaching out to an influencer and hearing nothing but crickets.

As mentioned above, lead with what’s in it for them in your initial outreach, and keep your message clear and short, but compelling. In addition, if this is your first connection, don’t ask for too much right away and risk scaring them off.

“There’s nothing worse than reaching out to an influencer and hearing nothing but crickets.” Click To Tweet

From clickbait headlines to misrepresenting facts and quotes, journalists sometimes find themselves in hot water with readers and their on-the-record sources.

When it comes to influencer marketing, be honest with your influencers about how their insights will be used and give them the appropriate credit, and don’t use their contributions to mislead your audience. If you fail at any of these, you could not only ruin your relationship with an influencer, but also damage your credibility in your audience’s eyes.

“Be honest with your influencers about how their insights will be used.” Click To Tweet

Journalists can never have too many insightful and credible sources—and the same goes for marketers when it comes to influencers.

Below are some tips to help you grow your network of influencers:

Journalists can never have too many insightful and credible sources—and the same goes for marketers. Click To Tweet

When it comes to your influencer marketing efforts, where do you look to for inspiration? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post 6Influencer Marketing Lessons Marketers Can Learn from Journalists appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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