In last week’s blog post, we discussed how to create your own exclusive social media influencer for your brand in order to gain access to their audience. But this isn’t necessarily an option for every brand, especially one that is still just starting out. In that case, your first move instead should be attracting the attention of industry influencers through roundup posts.
You work hard to create great content. You do your research, make the post extremely valuable, and then when you publish it — crickets.
Ok, maybe you get some views on it. You get a few hundred or even a few thousand visitors to it. But that’s after spending hours promoting it.
And then you see Tim Ferris tweeting someone else’s post and they get all the traffic. One tweet was all it took for some other post to go viral while yours crawls along.
It’s easy to chalk that up to luck. And it’s easy to think that you’ll get your fair share of luck soon, and suddenly some influencer will promote your content after stumbling across it.
But the fact is the other person or business followed a strategy to get that influencers’ attention instead of simply hoping for it.
The Real Answer to Getting Influencer Attention
In this post, we’re going to look at one powerful way to get the attention of several influencers and have them promote your content. It’s called an influencer roundup.
A roundup is a compilation of content from various people in one post. By sourcing content from multiple influencers, you can get their attention and their tweets. You can simply link to them, or you can go a step further and get them to write something new for you.
Ready to find out how it’s done? Here are the steps to getting social media influencers to share your high-quality content.
Think of a Topic
You can create a short roundup post of five to 10 influencers, or go big with an e-book of over 50 influencers. Obviously, the more you get in your roundup, the bigger the impact of their promotion.
But before you go around looking for social media influencers, you need to come up with a good topic. It needs to be related to your industry. If you’re writing about food, pick a topic like “15 recipes for breakfast,” and include recipes from other bloggers. If you’re writing about Snapchat marketing, go with something like “10 strategies to grow your Snapchat following.” Then get 10 Snapchat influencers to contribute one strategy each.
I recently did a roundup post of the top 50 authors in my industry, but my best campaign was an e-book of 50 e-commerce growth hacks, each sourced from a different influencer.
So let’s say you picked the Snapchat topic. How do you find Snapchat influencers?
A quick way to get a list of them is to find other roundups. Chances are someone has already done a roundup of social media influencers in your industry, so a quick Google search can get you a bunch of lists.
If there aren’t any existing roundups, then just search for Snapchat marketers instead. You can also search LinkedIn and Twitter for profiles and select those who have the most followers.
Because I’m very active in the digital marketing space, I already knew which influencers I wanted to include in the book on e-commerce growth hacks. It becomes easier to generate a list of influencers for a roundup when you know enough about your industry to name at least 10 influencers without researching them.
To keep your list organized, I suggest using a spreadsheet. List all the names in one column and their email addresses in the next. You can usually find emails from their websites or LinkedIn accounts. Browser plug-ins like FullContact and Rapportive are also useful tools for gathering emails.
One thing to keep in mind is that some influencers are just too busy to respond to your email, no matter what you do. So make sure to select only the influencers who you think will be most likely to respond.
Contact Social Media Influencers
Now comes the most important part of the campaign, contacting the influencers. Even if you’re just doing a link roundup, I suggest contacting them in advance so that they are aware of your project ahead of time.
For example, for my growth hacking e-book, I searched for the most valuable excerpts from their previously written posts and combined them in the book.
If you contact the influencer afterwards to let them know that they were mentioned in the book, your message may be lost in hundreds of others along the same lines.
So instead I began by reaching out to the influencers asking if they wanted to be included. Those who said yes were guaranteed to be included in the book and were more likely to later share it with their followers.
Some Guidelines to Maximize Responses
Now, if you want your email to stand out and get a 100 percent response, you need to follow a few guidelines. First, keep it short and sweet because they’re likely short on time. Start with a line introducing yourself and letting them know that you appreciated one of their recent articles.
Next, let them know you’re planning a roundup and state your goals very clearly. If you want them to contribute 100 words, say so. If you want to include one of their articles, let them know.
Finally, close with a deadline, especially if you’re asking them to contribute something original.
Here’s an example of an email I recently sent out. I had already connected with these influencers before, so I skipped the introduction.
“I’m reaching out regarding a roundup I’m doing for our blog and I wanted to include you in it. The topic is: <insert topic>
I just need a short paragraph from you by Monday. I’ll link to your website and social profiles.
It’s really short and simple and takes only a couple of seconds to read through. At this point, the influencer can knock out a couple of sentences because I’m not asking for too much work.
Publish and Promote
Hopefully, you’ll have enough responses by the time your deadline comes around. Feel free to send out a reminder email in case some influencers forgot to write back. And for the ones who say they can’t contribute, don’t worry; just find someone else to replace them.
Now, it’s time to put the post together. This is the easiest part, and most of the time I only need to add a short introduction and conclusion, and then paste in all the answers.
Sometimes, I’ll add in headshots from the influencers just to make the post more personable. I’ll also link to their social profiles and websites.
When the post is done, hit publish and let the influencers know. All you have to do is respond to their emails thanking them for contributing and then let them know the post is live and giving them the link. They’ll be happy to share it around because they’ve already invested time into it.
And voila, like those other posts you’ve seen go viral on social media, you just got some really influential people to share yours! In fact, some of them might even link back to your posts in the future.
I tried to make it easy for influencers to share by sending them direct links to my social media posts, so that all they needed to do was a couple of clicks. For my e-book, I had thousands of shares and leads within the first week of launching it.
That’s a huge lift compared to a regular post that would get maybe a 100 shares and a handful of leads in the first few days.
Start Rounding Up
Now it’s your turn. Stop waiting for someone to notice you. Instead, get them to notice and share by being proactive and reaching out to them. By doing this regularly, you’ll grow your traffic by leaps and bounds.