Archive for the ‘Influencer Marketing’ Category

How To Hire Your All-Star Outreach Team

Hiring for an outreach position can be fairly difficult, because no matter how impressive an applicant’s hard skillset may look on paper, soft skills are much more critical to success in this role. By learning to recognize the applicant’s key skills and to read between the lines during the vetting process, you can be sure that your new outreach hires will be well on their way to becoming outreach all-stars!

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Because you’re building a team that will impact both your company performance and culture, your vetting process should be very comprehensive (if not rigorous). I would suggest including several steps between the traditional resume → interview process. (more…)

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Embracing an Earned Media Mindset

This is a guest post from Adrienne Erin. Find her on Twitter.

If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind.

That’s true in any industry, but it’s especially true in SEO, where a tiny tweak to Google’s algorithm can turn last week’s surefire search strategy into this week’s surefire way to get penalized. Things change quickly in SEO, and one thing that underscores the constant churning is the recent evolution of link building.

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Once upon a time, you stuck links wherever you could squeeze them. You blasted the pages you wanted to promote with inbound links, and you could put those links on low-quality sites where it was easy to get mentions. You begged and pleaded people to accept links elsewhere, too, and back in those days not as many people saw the danger of giving in.

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Why Relationships Matter: What Cold Pitching Can’t Do

Sending cold pitches is easy and can work well if you have really big news or a really big brand. For the rest of us, cold pitches mean a lot of time spent researching and writing only to achieve limited results.

That’s why before allocating outreach campaign resources to cold pitches, you should send a round of outreach to people you already know. You’ll get immediate results, a better ROI for your campaign overall, and more success when you do send those cold pitches later on.

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Using Google+ Ripples to Find Influencers

Today’s post comes from Amanda DiSilvestro, a writer from SEO company HigherVisibility. Amanda regularly writes on search optimization and influencer marketing.  

Most people know the ten or twenty biggest influencers in their industry, but what many don’t realize is that there are actually quite a few people out there who maybe aren’t quite as publicized and popular, but still have a lot of pull within certain communities. Google+ Ripples is one tool that can help you find these influencers. (more…)

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Webinar Recap: 500 Writers and Editors on How to Pitch

Perfect Pitches

Kelsey Libert, VP of Marketing, and Ryan McConagill, Promotions Supervisor, oversee the Media Relations team at Frac.tl. Libert and McConagill partnered with BuzzStream for a webinar to share exclusive research on what publishers want for content creation and media outreach. They interviewed over 500 writers, editors, and publishers to present a story about a noise:value ratio that has gotten out of whack.

Libert created a survey that helps us master the art of the perfect pitch. Here are her findings:

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How to Find and Analyze Your Competitors’ Campaigns

When you understand what your competitors are saying and doing, you become more confident in what makes your brand different and special. You get better at targeting and create more compelling messaging. An audit of your competitors’ marketing campaigns is a great place to start.

5 Steps to a Competitor Campaign Analysis

The following process will help you conduct an audit of your competitors’ marketing campaigns.

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Targeting Mid-Level Influencers with FollowerWonk and BuzzStream

As marketers, we often talk about building relationships with influencers. Sometimes, though, it makes more sense to connect with the people in the middle. They’re usually pretty persuasive to their small followings, but they just haven’t hit “major influencer” status yet. Here’s a walkthrough of how you can use FollowerWonk and BuzzStream to find and reach them, using a real-life example, a campaign from our recent ebook launch.

 

Targeting-InfluencersTargeting emerging influencers and niche experts can lead to campaign success.

When we launched the Advanced Guide to Content Promotion last month, I created a tiered outreach strategy to promote it, heavily focusing on “emerging influencers” and “niche experts.” Together with some paid amplification efforts, that strategy helped us earn thousands of views and hundreds of shares. I relied heavily on FollowerWonk and BuzzStream to do it.

Prep Work: Strategy, Personas, and Goals

Just like we recommend in the book, I began by identifying and prioritizing target audiences. Getting in front of (and helping) “Forward-Thinking Link Builders” was my primary goal.

Creating the top tier prospect list was easy. I know our industry pretty well and could easily list twenty heavy-hitting SEO super influencers (and, lucky for me, BuzzStream already had a relationship with most of them).

But the bulk of my list needed to be what I call “emerging influencers” and “niche experts.” These aren’t the superstar CEOs, but the people who are a few years into their career. They’re beginning to develop specialities and personal brands. Some of them might be managers, others not, but they’re all still pretty close to the daily work of content promotion, link building, strategy, and outreach.

I cared most about these guys, because they’d be the ones who would find the most value in our guide. (It was written with them in mind.) They’re also the ones who can be very persuasive inside organizations and on teams. I did hope they’d read and Tweet the guide, but, really, I wanted them to read it, learn from it, and share it with their coworkers and bosses.

 

Using FollowerWonk to Find Influencers

Using tactics similar to what Richard Baxter shared in his 2013 MozCon presentation (this is sort of like what he did, but reverse) and lessons my teammate Matt Gratt learned with targeted Twitter advertising, I decided to use FollowerWonk to build our list of emerging influencers and niche experts.

 

Influencers-Followers

We started with influencers and used FollowerWonk to find their audiences.

 

First, I brainstormed groups of two highly specialized experts for various disciplines (e.g., Paddy Moogan and Jon Cooper for link building; Adria Saracino and Kelsey Libert for content and outreach). I was familiar enough with the industry to do this without the help of any tools, but had it been a new industry, I would have turned to BuzzSumo.

I loaded each duo and the @BuzzStream twitter handle into FollowerWonk to get a list of people following the three accounts.

It was important to me that I only selected people who were already following @BuzzStream, because it meant I could be confident they were at least somewhat aware of us and had, in a sense, opted in to hearing what we have to say.

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We focused on the people who followed all three accounts.

I always chose to pull the triple-overlap group. (If you follow Paddy Moogan AND Jon Cooper AND BuzzStream, you’re probably quite interested in link building.) And, in some cases, I pulled groups that followed only one of the influencers and BuzzStream.

I created a bunch of Excel reports in FollowerWonk and downloaded them all.

 

Cleaning the Data: Filtering the List

I combined all of the documents and then removed duplicates (there were a lot.) Next, I sorted by follower count. A lot of the superstar CEO influencers floated to the top of the list, and I deleted them out, since they’d already been accounted for elsewhere. I also deleted anyone who had less than 150 followers.

Using Excel’s filters, I got rid of inactive accounts by excluding people whose most recent tweet was earlier than Jan 2014 and people who had tweeted less than 100 times. To address spam accounts, I only included people who had a follower number greater than the number of people they were following.

Basically, I whittled down my list until it had about 100 people, which was a reasonable amount of outreach for the time I had allotted.

 

BuzzStream for Outreach and Followups

I saved my doc as a .csv and uploaded it to BuzzStream (Note: I was working in the People section of BuzzStream, not the Website section.) BuzzStream automatically matched FollowerWonk fields to contact records.

I tested a few different outreach templates and personalized them pretty heavily. Since I’m an active member of the community I was reaching out to, it was easy for me to bring up personal connections. I could mention conferences we’d both attended, stuff they’ve written that I liked, friends we had in common, etc.

 

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Sending outreach in BuzzStream.

 

The template that performed the best was personalized, fairly short, and featured a friendly request for a share.

 

Our Results

Response to the guide was very positive. Lots of people shared on Twitter and a bunch let me know that they’d also shared with their teams internally. We got a lot of views, and — with the exception of a small list of things we’d do differently next time — we deemed the project a success.

The outreach has proven successful in other ways, too. So far, it’s led to people pinging us when they have content of their own that our audience might like, a delicious coffee meeting that involved insightful conversation about the industry and our work, and a bunch of shoutouts in presentations and blog posts.

 

Conclusion

Getting linked to or written about on huge sites is great, but sometimes smaller niche blogs make more sense for your business. Going after the mid-level influencers and niche experts can drive the right views from the right people (and great links, too).

How do you create prospect lists? Where do you go to find influencers? Leave a comment below or talk to us on Twitter.

 

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Social Influencer Analysis Smackdown: Klout vs PeerIndex vs Kred

Measuring influence is hard.  It’s more than just Twitter followers, reTweets, and mentions – influence has many dimensions.

Yet at least 3 companies have thrown their hats into the ring to measure influence: Klout, Kred, and PeerIndex.

The Social Influence Smackdown

While researching these companies, I asked myself, “How different are the results? Is this easy? Or is it hard? And if these three companies got into a fistfight, who would win?”

Today I’ll look at how these three companies stack up on some influencer identification tasks:

Heat 1: How Influential is Matt Gratt?

I started with the easiest question: How influential am I?  (The answer is ‘Not Really, At All.’)

Let’s see what our players came up with:

Klout: 51/100

PeerIndex: 61/100

Kred: 705/1000

Outreach Level: 6 of 12

 It appears that I’m most influential on PeerIndex.  I believe these scales are logarithmic (not absolutely certain – doesn’t seem to be in the documentation), not linear, so with a little math, we can make an apples to apples comparison:

Klout: .85

PeerIndex: .89

Kred: .95

Heat 2: How Influential is Aziz Ansari?

Aziz Ansari is a famous and incredibly funny actor and comedian, best known for playing Tom Haverford on Parks & Recreation, Randy in Funny People, and appearing in Flight of the Conchords, I Love You, Man, and many other entertaining programs.  He is also really, really good at Twitter.

Klout:

85 of 100

PeerIndex:

 

74 of 100

 

Kred:

Influence: 988 of 1,000

Outreach Level: 6 of 12

Now this ranking begs the question, “What does it mean to be influential?”  For example, if Aziz Ansari tweets he has a new comedy special, I’ll buy it immediately. However, if Aziz (for some strange reason) decides to start a display advertising platform, I would not be moved by his endorsement.

Heat 3: Who are the Most Influential People in Business Intelligence?

In this heat, I’m using a business case:  Who are the most influential people in business intelligence? If I ran marketing at a BI company, who should I build relationships with?

Klout:

Klout produces a list of ten influencers.  In a quick analysis of the ten influencers, 4 were vendors (either marketers at vendors or corporate accounts), 2 were consultants, 1 was an analyst, and 3 seemed to have no relevance to business intelligence.  So in that search, 3 useful results were obtained.

PeerIndex:

PeerIndex doesn’t have topic pages – they have these ‘coming soon’ pages.

 

Kred:

To get a Kred page, I had to search on the hashtag #BusinessIntelligence.  Then I got this page back.  Using the same rubric as before, I see two analysts and eight others who appear to have no relevance to business intelligence.

Note I didn’t use any of the companies’ paid products in this test – I only used their free versions.  I understand their paid versions are more robust, particularly at influencer identification.

As you can see, while this tool category is rapidly developing, we’re still far away from reliably sourcing influencers from social media data alone. 

Thanks for reading- What’s your favorite social media influence assessment tool? How do you use it?

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The Problem with Influence Scoring

Jeremy Porter has a post on Journalistics today about influence scoring and the challenges associated with it.  Jeremy’s post does a nice job of pointing out some of the challenges with trying to use influence scores like Klout, PageRank, etc..  Most notably, when looked at them by themselves, they’re not particularly useful because, unlike a search engine that includes both relevance and influence/trust in its algorithm, there’s no contextual relevance.  So Justin Bieber may have a Klout score of 95, but if I’m selling fly fishing equipment,  the guy with a klout score of 20 who only writes about fly fishing and who is very active in a number of fly fishing community sites is much more important to me.

I don’t think this problem is unique to klout…this is a very difficult problem to solve.  Frankly though, given the changed face of media, I’m not convinced it’s even a good idea to rely on fine-grained scores like this at all.  Knowing that one influencer has a score of 64 while another has a score of 78 might be useful in a world where a relatively small set of traditional outlets have significant reach (and you’re going to be extremely high touch with a small number of outlets), but when you have a completely fragmented landscape, you just don’t need to be this fine-grained.  It’s a bit of a dirty word, but frankly in a world where everyone is an influencer and where links and social mentions drive search performance, the biggest issue is scale – like it or not, you have to build a lot of relationships in order to move the needle for the business and spammy approaches just don’t work.  So the challenge is this – how do I build REAL relationships with LOTS of people without hiring an army of people to do it?  When you rely on these fine-grained scores, inevitably you get caught in the discussion of  “is this person really more influential than this person in my niche.”  It’s a total time suck and it really shouldn’t impact how you engage.

Given that you need to engage with a lot of people in order to have an impact, I think you’re better off thinking in terms of broad groupings – i.e., a person’s level of influence is either high, medium, or low.  Then you can focus your efforts on the thing that really matters – developing the processes and tools that will allow you to engage with more people (in a real, relationship-oriented manner).  Specifically, you need to reduce the time required to: 1) find out when influencers are talking about the topics you care about (so you can engage), 2) keep track of the conversations you’re having with influencers (so your conversations are more meaningful and relevant), and 3) engage with more people in less time without sacrificing personalization and relevance.

So, given this, you’re still left with the challenge of developing a methodology for classifying people into the “high/medium/low” influence categories as a starting point.   I think the details for this are probably best covered in another post, but at a high-level I think there are three things you look at:

  • Are they relevant?  (using tools like listorious, alltop, google searches, monitoring, etc)
  • What percentile do they fall into for some of the key engagement and reach metrics? (e.g., average comments, uniques, retweets)
  • Who’s in their network (i.e., do they have relationships with some of the known influencers in the space)?

All of this info is available, the key is developing a way to quickly aggregate it and leverage it to classify people.  I’ll cover this in a follow-up post.

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