Influencer marketing is the practice of reaching out to individuals or groups whose opinion carries significant weight in your market in order to educate them about your brand. The hope, of course, is that they will make a favorable comment about your products or services. And, when it is read or heard by their audience, they will contact you to learn more. As an experienced Fort Collins marketing firm, we know that taking advantage of this kind of powerful (and free!) advertising can give your company a tremendous lift.
Your Marketing Megaphone
In order be successful in influencer marketing, you have to have a plan. Simply emailing trendsetters in your industry to say, “Hey! Check us out!” will not be effective. In fact, it will likely turn people off. Here are some things you should do:
- Define your goals. What are you looking to accomplish in contacting influencers? Are you trying to get attention for a particular marketing campaign? Do you want to grow your social media following? Is the objective to get more people to sign up for a virtual event? By clearly identifying your goal, you make it much easier to assess your progress in that direction and adjust course as needed.
- Do your research. An influencer will want to see that you know who they are and what they’re about. The better you understand their perspective on your industry, the better you can tailor your message to them. The last thing you want to do is irritate someone who has the power to speak either positively or negatively about your company!
- Start small. From our decades of experience in Fort Collins marketing, we know that in every industry there are gurus who are the big fish, the minnows, and every size in between. In order to get the attention of the most notable names, you will, in all likelihood, have to have had some success with the lower tier influencers.
- Always contact them individually. Influencers have neither the time nor the patience to open and read a mass email. Your initial outreach needs to be specifically written to them. Later, when they’ve come to see the value in your offering, they may sign up for your newsletter or other mass communication. But, initially, you need to contact them directly.
- Be transparent. Influencers don’t get to their position by being easily swayed. Don’t try to disguise our pitch. Be honest. Tell them why you are contacting them and that you are hoping they’ll check out your offering and recognize its benefits.
- Give and receive. It may seem like you have nothing to offer an influencer, but they appreciate a shout out just like anybody else — especially if it grows their audience by even a few members. And there might be other things of value you can share, like an industry survey you paid to conduct, for example.
- Provide what they need to understand you. If an influencer says they want to learn more about your company, have a set of materials prepared that gives them a quick and clear overview. But don’t overwhelm them. Provide only what they ask for and nothing more.
Spread the Word
It will take some time and effort to develop a relationship with an influencer. But once you’ve earned their trust and respect, they can be a very effective advocate for your brand. And best of all, their “advertising” for you is free!
A-Train is a leading Fort Collins marketing firm, with extensive experience in connecting clients with industry influencers. How can we help you? Give us a call and let’s talk about your needs!
Social media has become a powerful tool when disaster hits and humanitarian needs arise.
People in affected areas can use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to let loved ones know they’re alright, stay abreast of response efforts and prepare for escalation. But for businesses and individuals outside afflicted areas, these networks provide another invaluable use: fundraising for charitable giving.
Brands such as Subaru, Coca-Cola, Kellogg Company, and Disney have used social media to raise funds for disaster relief and other worthy causes, from Make-A-Wish Foundation to Meals on Wheels to the National Parks Foundation. Individuals have created impressive results as well: perhaps the most recognized effort, by J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, raised over $37M through more than 209,000 donations by its September 15 deadline.
Today, social users have a growing desire to play an active role in deciding where their donations go and who stewards those funds. This – combined with the ability for users to instantaneously donate and engage when they see a campaign – puts organizations in a unique position.
Once you identify a worthwhile cause you’d like to fundraise for – whether it’s disaster relief for incidents like hurricane relief or a dollar-for-dollar drive for a nonprofit – take these steps to ensure your efforts impact your audience and community.
- Identify a multi-channel approach to reach your audience and to motivate them to act. This can take the form of Facebook advertising, sponsored posts and organic audience engagement on your social channels.
- Establish a deadline for giving and a short, clear call to action. This motivates the audience to take more immediate steps by giving them a clear cause-and-effect.
- Make it worthwhile to act. Ensure that matching donations or action from your organization will also have an impact so users feel that they’re joining an effort, not just financially supporting it.
- Make it easy to act. Don’t ask your audience to donate and then make it too difficult for them to actually do so. With nearly 17 percent of online donations made on a mobile device last year, it’s important to ensure that the donation process is quick and easy by making donation pages mobile friendly. Additionally, embed a clear, large “Donate” button on related pages and emails.
- Engage your audience and follow-up. Once you receive donations and reach your goal, don’t leave donors high and dry. Capitalize on the participation – especially if users submitted photos or videos to trigger a company donation – by aggregating it all. Also, make sure to send a follow-up communication that highlights the success of the campaign.
Whether you take advantage of trending tags such as #GivingTuesday or jump in to raise funds for a more timely event, leveraging the engagement power of social media can benefit both your brand and your community.
For companies that are new to the idea of content marketing and unfamiliar with how the strategy actually works, there tend to be many misconceptions. As one of the top Denver marketing firms, A-Train hears a lot of them. So, while the list is long, we thought we’d set the record straight on some of the most common areas of confusion.
Much-Needed Clarity on Content Marketing
Not sure what to think about content marketing? We’ll clear things up for you a bit by correcting these five common misconceptions:
- Content marketing is only for B2C companies with cool products. It’s true that the content marketing campaigns that go viral and make the news tend to be for consumer-focused companies with “hip” offerings. However, “going viral” is great, but it isn’t the goal. The focus of content marketing is earning the trust, and ultimately the business, of your target market. And, that works for any organization in any vertical.
- Content marketing sounds so easy that there must be a catch. The problem here is that people sometimes confuse “easy” and “effective.” Content marketing requires focus, resources, and consistent effort (so it’s not easy, per se), but it delivers outstanding results. No catch!
- Content marketing is about SEO, and we’re good there. While consistently producing high-quality content and making it available on your website will definitely help you in the search rankings, that’s not the sole focus of content marketing. As noted above, it’s really about earning trust by making a name for your company as one that has expertise and is willing to share it freely.
- When you’re just giving your content away you can’t track how effective your efforts are. This one is just plain wrong. Analytics are easily captured in content marketing. In fact, using data to refine your content and determine how and when it is best presented is at the core of content marketing strategy.
- Content marketing is expensive. Also not true. Create an infographic, post it on your website, mention it on social media, and voila… you’re a content marketer. Now, of course, as you scale that process, it can be very helpful to work with one of the leading Denver marketing firms. But how much assistance you get from an agency like A-Train is entirely up to you.
The Truth Shall Set You Free!
If misconceptions about content marketing have kept you on the fence about it, it’s time to dive in! And if you’re researching Denver marketing firms, we encourage you to talk with us. We’ve got nearly two decades of experience in helping clients achieve their marketing goals. Give us a call and let’s talk about what our full-service agency can do for you.
If your organization is like most, you conceive, draft, publish, and refine your content with one group in mind: your target audience. However, as one of the leading marketing firms in Denver, we remind our clients of another group of consumers they should keep in mind: their own staff. Why? Read on…
Benefits of Sharing Your Content Internally
As you’re working to get that excellent content you’ve created in front of the right people, don’t forget that your own staff can take advantage of it. Here are some of the many benefits of having them check out what you’ve created:
- Get everyone on the same page. If you want your prospects and customers to trust you, you have to be sure that they are hearing the same message from all areas of your organization—sales, support, the C suite, etc. Your marketing content can help with that. Although it isn’t created for the purpose of standardizing how your staff talks about your products and services, it can have that unintended benefit if people are encouraged to read it.
- Smash your silos. Not only can consuming your own content ensure that your employees communicate accurately and effectively with your prospects, it can help them communicate more clearly with one another. It’s easy to believe that everyone in your organization has the same understanding of your products and services, but often that’s not the case, as each department sees things a little differently. Promoting your content internally can help break down those walls.
- Ensure clarity and consistency. While your content surely goes through review and approval steps, that quality assurance process is probably performed by a few people at best. Encouraging your employees to consume your content puts many more well-trained eyes on your material and can help you catch inaccuracies.
- Generate new content ideas. As you’ll hear from any of the leading marketing firms in Denver, more often than not if you ask someone in your company for ideas for new content, they’ll struggle to come up with any. However, when they start paying attention to the material you’re producing and can come to you with ideas as they arise, you’ll likely get many more suggestions.
- Get more help. As people start to understand how good, and important, the content you’re producing is, it becomes easier to get assistance from subject matter experts. Not only do they understand that they are making a significant contribution to the company’s marketing efforts, they know that people around the company will see what they’ve helped produce, and take a sense of pride in that.
It’s Time for Some Home Cookin’!
You’ve worked hard to create killer content. So, be sure that you’re getting all the value you can out of it. This includes “feeding” it to your own coworkers. If you’ve got questions about how best to leverage your marketing content, give us a call. As one of the top marketing firms in Denver for nearly two decades, we’ve got answers.
Content curation involves finding, organizing, and displaying information on a particular topic or area of interest. Companies that use a content marketing strategy can take advantage of curated content to augment their own content creation efforts. As all of the leading Denver marketing agencies will tell you, a mix of original and curated content will help you build a loyal audience.
7 Content Curation Considerations
Follow these guidelines to get the most out of your content curation efforts:
- Always give proper credit. Let’s be clear: content curation is not stealing or plagiarism. Rather, it should be seen as the helpful sharing of content created by others. That said, you must clearly indicate the author of any material that you share with your audience. And, if an author requests that their material not be shared, you must respect that request.
- Curate from a variety of content types. Your audience will take the greatest interest in your curated content if you give them variety. Companies new to curation may think it always involves the sharing of written materials, but you can use any type of material — video, infographics, audio recordings, you name it!
- Add your perspective. When you select a piece of content to share, it should be something you find interesting or informative. Telling your audience what you like about it provides them with helpful context and also brings the attention back to your company.
- Provide a sample only. When you curate content, give your audience a sample of another’s work, not the entire piece. Ideally, the curated material should highlight some aspect of your own original work.
- Look to others in your ecosystem first. One of the best places from which to curate material is your business partners, vendors, etc. For example, a printer might look to the Denver marketing agencies with which it does business. Not only can you be sure you’re providing information your audience will find relevant, you’ll also be doing a favor for the author who will, hopefully, do the same for you one day.
- Track a piece’s performance. You should monitor how your audience receives any piece of content you put out, whether it includes curated material or not.
- Be a taker, and a giver. If others approach you about using content that you’ve created — or simply use it and indicate you are the author — you should give them your blessing unless you have a compelling reason not to. What goes around comes around!
Making Use of the Amazing Content Out There
With so much great content available in the world, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of some of it periodically. And, your audience will thank you for it. Have questions about how to integrate content curation into your outreach efforts? As one of the leading Denver marketing agencies, we can answer them. Contact us today!