How to Make Time for Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing can be an effective strategy to help boost awareness about your product or service, drive traffic to your site, and ultimately shorten your sales cycle.

An influencer marketing (or influence marketing) strategy targets few key individuals or groups of individuals who have influence over your target segment. Influencer marketing is an updated approach to marketing and public relations where you target the people to whom your prospects turn for information. It may add a nice component to your marketing mix and provide amplification to your overall content marketing strategy.

OK, you get it.  You want to start engaging with influencers. But how do you make time for another strategy when you have such a small team?

Influencer marketing can seem daunting to marketers with limited experience with this strategy. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 5 tips to help balance your influencer marketing activities with the rest of your marketing mix:

  1. Start small.  If you have a small team and cannot dedicate enough time to your influencer program, get your feet wet by focusing your efforts on 10-15 influencers.  If this number proves too many, then scale back some more and set your sights on 5-8 influencers.  If you need help with identifying influencers, check out my post on how to identify industry influencers quickly.
  2. Set aside 20-30 minutes a day.  This is basically your daily homework assignment.  Use this time to subscribe to your influencers’ RSS feeds, read their blogs, and see what they are up to on social media.  Use this time to figure out an appropriate contact rhythm.  For example, if your influencer blogs once every 10 days, reaching out to him or her on a daily basis may be overkill.  Really take the time to read what they are writing before doing anything else!
  3. System to track.  Even if you are just getting your influencer program off of the ground, it still makes sense to set yourself up for success from the start.  I recommend using a tool like Salesforce.com for your influencer program but I have heard about teams that use Excel effectively.  The main things to keep in mind are to track who your influencers are and how you interact with them.
  4. Start interacting.  Once you are ready to add something valuable to the conversation, speak up!  This can be in the form of a tweet or retweet, comment, email, etc.  The main point is to share your viewpoint with the influencer.  Continue steps 2 and 3 often!
  5. Share something.  Once you have the influencers’ attention (note: this typically doesn’t happen overnight!) and when the time is right, share some content you have created and ask for some feedback.  As I mentioned a while back, content marketing and influencer marketing go hand in hand.

Have you started incorporating influencer marketing into your organization?  What issues have you faced?  Can you share any tips I have missed?