INTRODUCTION TO INTERVIEWING INFLUENCERS
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, grow your audience, and reach your marketing goals is to partner up with influencers. They can help you prove credibility, reach a bigger audience, and take your business to the next level.
So, take the following steps to find, interview, and feature influencers on your business website and relevant social media pages.
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE
The only way to succeed is to understand your audience because you may work with someone who has millions of followers but fail to reach the right people. So, consider who you want to influence first and then choose the right influencers to work with. Answer key questions; “Who is my target audience?” “What sort of content are they interested in?” And “Which platforms do they spend most of their time on?”
Pay attention to your marketing efforts. What sort of people do you market to? Who are you targeting? And How do you normally reach them? Find out how your target audience gains access to the information they need online. Which articles do they consume the most or which YouTube channels do they follow if they prefer video?
Knowing your audience and studying their online behavior helps you to pick the right influencer.
Once you define your audience and understand their interests, set goals. Determine what you want to achieve from working with influencers to ensure success. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you want to build brand authority? Do you want to generate more leads and conversions? Perhaps you want to boost engagement? Whatever your goal, make sure it’s clearly defined so you can increase your chances of success.
When you define your goals, make sure you target people that will help you reach them. Pick the right influencers. Focus on the influencer’s audience to determine whether or not they match yours. For example, are you targeting the same people? And what sort of message are you both sending out to your followers? If you are marketing to the same audience, go ahead and pursue the partnership. If not, research other influencers in your industry and work with them instead.
Work with the right platform to ensure success. If your marketing strategy involves a lot of images and storytelling and your audience prefers images, use Instagram. If you are in the tech industry, share educational content, or your audience interacts best with videos, use YouTube. Choose a platform that best suits your business strategy and one that your target market favors to get higher conversions.
USE INFLUENCER MARKETING TOOLS
Use influencer marketing tools to find influencers, understand their level of influence, and speed up the entire process. The tools help you easily discover highly influential people, compare the number of followers that each person has, determine authority rankings, the level of engagement they receive from followers, how often they upload content, and so much more.
Some of the best influencer marketing tools to look into are Hootsuite, Followerwonk, BuzzSumo, Klear, and TrendSpottr.
Hootsuite gives you access to a free influencer tool where you can search for social media influencers and gain access to all the information you need. For example, the number of followers and engagement metrics. You can also use the tool to monitor conversations and focus on ones that are relevant to your industry to ensure you work with the right influencers.
Followerwonk helps you find influencers on Twitter, compare authority rankings, determine the number of followers they have, the number of people they are following, how long they have been on Twitter, how many tweets they have, and more. Use keywords related to your niche to search for profiles or bios. Add location, URL, or names to narrow down your search and target the right people.
They have a free plan which comes with limited features. But you can upgrade to premium packages that give you access to more features.
BuzzSumo helps you find influencers on Twitter, Google, or YouTube. You simply go to “Influencers” and click on the platform you want. Search for keywords related to your niche and get an exhaustive list of influencers to consider. You can also search for influencers based on location and topics. Analyze influencer data to determine whether or not they are the right fit for you. Focus on the number of followers or subscribers that each influencer has, compare authority rankings, find out how many posts they have, the total number of views, and so on.
STUDY THE COMPETITION
Study the competition and find out where most of their backlinks come from. For example, which websites or blogs mention or share their content regularly? Use the best competitor analysis tools like SEMRush, Ubersuggest, Sprout Social, Ahrefs, and SpyFu to study the competition, determine the number of backlinks from sites, and know where their backlinks come from.
Find out who writes about their work or talks about their brand on social media platforms? Identify people who promote your competitors and approach them. Use hashtags related to your industry to discover people who regularly share competitor URLs or content.
Working with influencers who promote your competitors increases your chances of getting a yes because they already work with brands related to your niche and are, therefore, interested in the type of work you do.
Consider working with influencers in an industry that complements yours to reach a bigger audience and get more leads. For example, if you own a restaurant and are a food blogger, target influencers in the health and fitness industry. This is key to growing your audience, building industry authority, proving credibility and converting leads into customers.
VISIT TOP BLOGS IN YOUR NICHE
Next, visit top blogs in your niche to find the right people and ensure success. Go to Google and search for in-demand topics or high-ranking keywords in your niche. Focus on top results or the high-ranking sites and browse their content. Pay attention to the number of followers that each blog has and the engagement metrics. Identify at least three articles and find out how many shares, likes, and comments each one has.
Choose at least 5 blogs and study their content to determine whether or not they cover topics related to your niche. Go to their social media accounts to learn more about their social authority. What sort of influence do they have on people? What sort of content do they share? Do they have any viral posts? How many followers do they have? And Do people engage with their content? If yes, how often?
Once you gather enough information, follow relevant blogs and their social accounts. Engage with their content and leave noteworthy comments on their posts. This will make you visible to other readers and cause the right people to visit your profiles.
List top influencers in your industry or come up with an exhaustive list of people you wish to work with. Understand what they stand for, the type of content they share, their target audience, as well as their top platforms before deciding to work with them.
Start with at least 10 people who are highly influential in your field and start researching.
Partner up with someone interested in your type of business and one whose content is relevant to your audience.
Invest in the process and conduct enough research to ensure you pick the right influencer. The kind that will help you reach your target audience and add value to your followers’ lives.
FOLLOW TOP BLOGGERS
Once you identify the right influencers, focus on forming meaningful relations with them first before sending your pitch. Follow their profiles on various social media channels and interact with their content to capture attention. Find out how you can raise interest and get them to notice you.
Like and share interesting posts. Keep track of their posts, answer questions, and leave positive comments on their blogs. Appreciate the work they do and say “Thank you so much for your work and dedication. Your content has helped me achieve ABC in the past and I’m still benefiting a great deal from the information you share. Please continue with the exceptional work and know that we are here to cheer you on as your fans.”
Give the influencer a reason to notice your comment and respond to it. When you get the response, look for ways to keep the conversation going. Hit “like” or leave another constructive and noteworthy comment on a different post. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to annoy him or her or appear like a stalker. Post strategically and effectively.
Identify your targeted influencer’s interests and appeal to them. For example, let’s say the influencer enjoys traveling. Mention it in one of your comments and talk about the interesting trip you recently had. Remain relevant. Make sure you mention traveling as one of your favorite hobbies where applicable.
Once you form relations, focus on what the influencer will benefit from the partnership before sending your pitch. Aim to create a win-win situation and highlight the benefits in your email.
Write a persuasive email that’s impossible to turn down. First, prove that you’ve done enough research and know who they are as well as what they stand for. Talk about their work, expertise, and knowledge. Mention how it will benefit your target audience. Talk about your business mission and what you are trying to accomplish. Explain why they are the perfect fit for your audience.
List at least 3 things they’ll benefit from the partnership to convince them to agree.
Add links to your blog and other relevant social pages to show you are committed to your work. Add your contact information to make it easy for them to reach you and get answers to any questions they may have.
Ask for an interview once you outline all the benefits, specify your goals, and provide social proof.
Mention other influencers you have reached out to in your email to raise interest and inspire action.
Highlight mutual goals to capture attention. For example, mention how the influencer will get a chance to tap into an untapped market, reach more people and grow their audience.
LAND THE INTERVIEW
Go through their content to understand their values and land the interview. Watch their videos, read their latest publications, and listen to their past interviews and podcasts. Focus on what they are great at. Their area of expertise, experience level, content quality, beliefs, opinions, and the way they respond to interview questions to perfect your pitch.
If you fail to get an interview, look for other ways to get the attention you need. Find effective ways to prove you are worth the influencer’s time. Show that your brand or content is worth mentioning.
Host an online event and invite the influencer to be one of your guest speakers. Create a budget and decide how much you are going to pay him or her for speaking at your event to arouse interest. Find out how other influencers charge to attend events and make the right offer.
If you can’t afford to pay the expected amount, look for other ways to compensate your guest. For example, if there’s a service that you offer that can benefit them in some way, do it for free. Incorporate your guest into your affiliate program, if you don’t have giveaways or can’t think of any exciting rewards.
When they agree to speak at one of your events and you manage to host a successful event, ask for an interview again. Mention that it will last for 30 minutes or so and won’t take too much of their time. Highlight mutual benefits to increase your chances of getting a yes.
Once you get the interview, structure it right. Come up with a list of questions to ask and make sure you ask the right questions that will benefit your listeners. Answer key questions; “What do I want to achieve?” “What do I want my audience to benefit from this interview?” And “What sort of information is valuable to my listeners?”
Generate questions that the interviewee will be interested in answering as well as ones that will retain your audience’s attention, and keep the conversation going.
Some of the questions to ask are:
• What does your normal day look like?
• What do you love most about your work?
• What tools do you use to accomplish demanding and repetitive tasks?
• How do you balance work and social life?
• What are some of your greatest accomplishments?
• What challenges have you had in the past and how did you overcome them?
• What books do you enjoy reading?
• Who are your top 3 influencers and why?
• What advice can you give to someone who wants to achieve what you have achieved?
• What’s next for you?
IMPLEMENT THE BEST PRACTICES
The best way to succeed is to come up with an effective influencer marketing strategy and implement the best practices. So, before searching for influencers, become an authority in your niche or create high-quality content that piques interest to convince them to work with you.
Define your target audience, understand their needs and interests to ensure you choose the right influencers. Build an engaged community, share interesting posts, and make your followers see the value of your content. Come up with an effective content marketing strategy to get more followers and retain them. Be responsive on social media platforms and always appreciate the feedback you receive.
Look for their contact details and use the right communication methods to contact them with your pitch and ensure a quick response.
When you get the interview, create a checklist to ensure everything is in place. Organize your questions for accessibility and to avoid scrambling your notes at the last minute. Test the technology you will use to make sure everything works fine and determine whether or not there are any technical glitches.
Send constant reminders to the influencer to confirm the date and go over the necessary details.
Shape the conversation when the interview starts and move it in the desired direction. Structure your questions right and know which questions to ask when the interview begins and which ones to save for later. Avoid addressing controversial issues the minute you start the interview. Save debatable questions for later.
If the interviewee goes off-topic, change the topic politely and bring the conversation home. Interject with a relevant question or comment on what the interviewee is saying and find a way to connect it to the next question on your list.
When the interview is over, express gratitude and appreciation. Send thank-you notes or emails and remain connected. Continue to engage with the influencer’s content on social media and share their posts with your followers.
Mention the interview to your audience and ask them to listen to it, and share with their connections.