Within the social media landscape, there are people who are seen as opinion leaders and influencers based on their knowledge, expertise, experience or notoriety.
These people have considerable clout because their thoughts, insight and opinions are highly valued by a large network of followers, friends, fans and readers.
For companies, the big challenge is identifying these key influencers and being able to effectively reach out to them.
It can be a daunting task because many key influencers are bombarded with requests to review services or products, or offer their views on particular trends or issues. As a result, there’s a lot of competition to get their attention.
So, how do you break through the noise to get your product or service into the spotlight? Here are some tips:
1. Do your homework. If you’re targeting key influencers, it’s crucial to know as much about them as possible – their personal and professional backgrounds, online activities (Web site, social media), interests, likes, dislikes, etc.
This will help to avoid the embarrassment of reaching out to someone with something that is relevant or doesn’t interest them. Many influencers have no problem penalizing these efforts by publicly highlighting them. To do your research, use resources such as Google, ZoomInfo and LinkedIn.
2. Read their blog posts, tweets, etc. It may take some time but reading an influencer’s content will provide valuable insight and guidance into their specific areas of interest.
This will make it possible to tie your pitch into something they have written about or are interested in. It could be something like “You have been writing a lot recently about privacy so I thought you would be interested in a new services that protects someone’s online identity…..”. This personalized pitch shows it isn’t a cold call but something that has involved some work to create.
3. Be Focused: Target a group of people who can offer the most bang for the buck rather than using a shot-gun strategy of going after everyone that could be interested in your product or service. The former lets you be focused; the latter can consume a lot of resources and time.
4. Build relationships: Rather than trying to cold-call a key influencer, it’s a good idea, if possible to build a relationship. This could start by leaving comments on their blog posts or replying to their tweets. If you start by having a conversation, it will make it easier to pitch them with some personal connection.
5. Craft the Perfect Pitch: After doing your homework and research and, hopefully, building a relationship, spend the time to create a pitch that is personal, relevant and interesting.
Given many key influencers like to be stroked, ask for their opinion and advice about your product or service. As well, think about offering a “carrot” such as product/service evaluations or free trials.
What are some of the other ways to effectively reach out to key influencers?