If you asked people where they get their content these days, you might be surprised by how many rely on social influencers and viral platforms like Uplift and Humankind to hear from their favorite brands.
Although commercials still rule when it comes to disseminating a message, we’ve definitely come a long way from the “Mad Men” days of advertising and marketing. In fact, social influencers are having more of an impact on ROI than ever. The reason? People want to believe the marketing they see is authentic, while also relating to the influencers and platforms doing the amplifying.
Here are some ways you can utilize these nontraditional media tactics to enhance audience engagement:
Build relationships with influencers
So you and your team have decided to pursue influencers as a way to drive your social media marketing efforts. The best way to connect? Reaching out in a friendly way that proves you understand their story and have engaged with their content. Here are some go-to tips:
- Before approaching influencers with an immediate ask, demonstrate your knowledge of their brand. It’s an important way to begin to build your working relationship. Say something that indicates you know who their target market is and what their business represents; “Hi, I really enjoyed your post on XYZ,” can be a great way to start.
- Make sure you have a clear set of goals and expectations you can give someone who agrees to work with you. Your team should treat influencers as they would any other paid media strategy, and be able to track the return on this investment. You’ll need to iron out specific language (hashtags, links, phrasing) and also establish a way to measure the results of the influencer’s reach. You’ll need to build strategic insights into your campaign’s lifecycle.
- Don’t lose sight of the fact that influencers are people, too! Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to reach out to the top influencers with millions of followers, starting small and finding a niche topic or industry is a good approach. You can also find ways to build on your relationship with creative incentives like free memberships or discounted services that will drive your rapport. Leveraging your company’s benefits is a great way to convince an influencer to become part of your team’s social media efforts.
Find viral platforms
Another strategy to help your brand see results is to push out content on viral platforms. If your earned or paid media strategies are only relying on traditional, go-to channels like advertising or national outlets, then you may be missing out on millions of views.
Viral platforms like Upworthy or Humankind can get the right eyes on your content. Because these platforms have a specific type of story they promote, you can be confident that your message will foster engagement that is in line with your goals. As always, it’s important that any content creation is amplified by your team, so securing contacts at these nontraditional media sources is a great way to give your stories a boost. Here’s how:
- Before reaching out, understand the platform’s mission. For example, Humankind focuses on stories of kindness, special relationships and triumphs. Just like with traditional pitches, you’ll need to demonstrate how your story will succeed on their platform.
- Use analytics to measure your success. This will help you determine which viral platforms are working for your brand or your stories. Some might not take off right away, but when they do, you’ll have the insights to replicate the results in the future.
Is your content team ready to revolutionize the way you amplify your stories? With these tactics, adopting new media practices isn’t as daunting as they might seem. In fact, these innovative strategies may actually take your stories to new levels.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, an award-winning creative agency that specializes in content-focused public relations, content marketing and national media exposure for major brands. Connect with Lisa on Twitter: @LisaArledge