Creating good content is simply not enough anymore, you need a solid promotion strategy to help people find your content. Influencers who can help amplify your content play an important role in the success of your content marketing efforts.
So how do you go about finding influencers and what tools can you use to find them? Before we get into that, let’s first take a look at some of the common myths about influencers, so you know exactly what (and not) to look for in an influencer.
Myth #1: Influencers are anyone with lots of followers.
An influencer who amplifies content is not necessarily someone who has a huge following. The influencers you want to look for are those who respect your work and content, and are passionate about the topics your content focuses on. These influencers should also have an audience who is interested in the types of content you create, and they should be an engaged, active audience who regularly replies and retweets others’ posts.
Myth #2: Social shares solely depend on influencer sharing.
The number of social shares a piece of content receives depends more on the domain where it is published than on the influencer sharing. When it comes to amplification, influencers who have a stronger domain distribution are more powerful in driving traffic to your content than simply having them share it socially.
To prove this, Steve Rayson from BuzzSumo tested out with two of his own posts published on Social Media Today and the BuzzSumo blog. He found that his blog on Social Media Today on average had over 500 shares, whereas the post on BuzzSumo had about 155 shares. It’s not necessarily because the content on Social Media Today is better, but simply because the domain Social Media Today has a much larger, engaged audience who is actively reading and sharing content.
Steve also looked at the content produced by Rand Fishkin, the founder of Moz, who has over 250,000 followers on Twitter. In the past year, Rand has published his articles on several sites, and on average they received 1,639 social shares. The articles Rand published to the Moz blog, however, received an average of 2,688 shares, which is 1000 more shares than the other sites he posted to. Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, also saw significantly higher shares for his posts on Inc.com than on the WordStream blog.
These examples show that an influencer’s publishing domain and blog authority matter more than the follower count when it comes to content amplification.
Myth #3: Social reach is everything.
Reach shouldn’t be the only number you look at, engagement is even more important when it comes to amplifying your content. As Mark Walker, Head of Content Marketing at Eventbrite, has said, “Someone with an engaged following of 1,000 will do more to amplify your content than someone with 10,000 social connections they don’t engage with.”
Influencers who have a higher retweet rate have a bigger impact on content amplification compared to those who have a huge following but a less engaged audience.
Now that you know what to look for in an influencer to help amplify your content, how do you actually go about finding them?
4 Steps To Finding Influencers
There are lots of tools to help you find influencers online, such asBuzzSumo, ContentMarketer.io and Triberr. Whichever tool you choose to use, you need to find influencers who are passionate about the topics you write about and are willing to help amplify your content. Here are 4 ways to help you find them:
- Find amplifiers of heavily shared content.
You can do this with BuzzSumo’s top content search or other similar tools. If you are using BuzzSumo, click on the “View Sharers” button for a top shared post. Sort sharers by Average Retweets and you will find the amplifiers who have the highest average retweet rate. Finally, click on “View Links Shared” to see if this individual regularly shares content related to your topic. If they are passionate about your topic, they would be sharing a lot of content related to it. You can also just type in a keyword and click on the “Influencers” tab.
- Find authors whose content is heavily shared.
If an influencer is really passionate about your topic, they likely write about it too. You can also find these influencers with BuzzSumo top content search. This time, look for authors of heavily shared content. If you have a paid version of BuzzSumo, you can run a Top Authors report for a specific topic or domain, and this will give you a list of the most shared authors, the number of articles they have written and their average social shares.
- Find influencers who have high domain authority, distribution and retweet rates.
Using BuzzSumo or other similar tools, get a list of influencers relevant for your topic, and look for those with a strong domain authority as well as high retweet rates. These are influencers who can truly help amplify your content.
- Find influencers who amplify your content and your competitor’s content.
Use ContentMarketer.io, Triberr or other tools you’ve chosen and look for influencers who are already amplifying your content as well as your competitor’s content. These are amplifiers who you want to build or maintain a relationship with.
Now that you have your list of influencers, you should reach out and ask them to help amplify your content, right? Wrong.
Building Relationships And Winning Influencers
If you don’t have a pre-existing relationship with the influencers you’ve identified, the most important thing to do first is to build that relationship. Follow and engage with them on Twitter, share their content, and even try to connect with them in real life if you can. Invest time in helping them, whatever their objectives may be. Be as helpful as you can to these influencers, give and don’t ask.
You may also want to target second-tier influencers first. They may need your help more than the big influencers with large following. Those big influencers are approached by people very frequently, so by focusing on the second-tier influencers who are really passionate about your topic, you will likely have greater success with connecting and building a relationship with them.
You can approach your identified influencers to help with content amplification once you have developed a trusted relationship with them. One of the best ways to do this is by involving influencers in the content creation process. While your ultimate goal is getting influencers to amplify your content, the co-creation project should focus on creating value for influencers as well.
Creating Original Content Worth Sharing
While influencers can help amplify your content, the key to ensuring people will read and share it is creating valuable content that is worth sharing. This means conducting your own research and writing original content on your chosen topic, and becoming an authority and expert in that space.
This is hard work, but in the end, you’ll have quality content that people will actually want to read and share, including your influencers.