Every one of the influencers we reach out to we brand with our client’s brand recognition. Maybe your first touch, their very first introduction to the client. There are so many useful aspects to our type of influencer marketing, which is actually more of an influencer PR.
I have been doing long-tail, earned media, micro-influencer marketing, since 2006. Now, I am working with Dan over at Gerris and still offering this service as a PR model instead of an advertising model, which is what 90% of all IM campaigns are these days.
An extremely valuable first touch toward the 7 touches of branding. It’s also essential to remember that Big fish are attracted to what the little fish are doing so we always aim to chum the waters even if we mostly attract minnows, anchovies, sardines, and pilchards (they’ll be 80%).
All those minnows, anchovies, sardines, and pilchards add up towards filling the boat with copious amounts of healthy, fresh, delicious fish, after all. In fact, our influencers have completely acceptable mercury levels compared to most big fish, as well.
When your brand is brand new and you’re on the pad ready to launch, clubs and nightclubs (discotheques) know this: your first 100 customers define who the next 1,000 customers will be. Why not start with bonafide celebs and microcelebs? We only reach out to Internet denizens who have active social media platforms, from blogs to websites, from Pages to Twitter, from the Gram to the Tube, from TikTok to even message boards and forums.
While we do, always, include tier-1 A-list influencers in all of our campaigns (and often do well with them), we include A-Z list celebrities and all along the long tail and are not prejudiced against social media babies. As a result, we have such great success with influencers who are passion-driven hobbyists who have never been kissed yet by a brand.
I won’t lie, when it comes to what we call Earned Media Influencer Outreach, folks online have never been savvier: they appreciate generous affiliate offers and if you offer them access to your products and services, you really do need to give ’til it hurts.
What is earned media? It’s publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising. By which case, it should cost you as close to $250 or more per influencer, no matter where on the A-Z they are. And this is not actual cost or actual fee, perse, but perceived value.
I compare it to bringing a pot of jam or a bouquet of flowers or a nice bottle of wine or spirit when you attend a soiree or dinner party. From my favorite movie:
“When rich people do something nice for you, you give `em a pot of jam.” – Trent, “Six Degrees of Separation”
You can pay more for elephants, but you cannot pay less for mice. Each person has an internal calibration for how much their time is worth and whether or not your offer to them is generous or insulting. If your service costs $150/year then offer the influencer a lifetime free account; if your supplement costs $20 for a bottle, then offer them a year-long monthly subscription ($240).
Being cheapass (technical term) is worse than doing nothing at all. If your running blogger can get better swag from the local 5k from the vendor tents than they’re getting from you, then you’re being cheapass and we can’t work with you.
In addition to the innate value, novelty, quality, prestige, or exclusivity of the product or service in question, you can—and should!—you should always pimp your founders, your leaders, your creatives, and your talent. To podcasts, to email or phone or Zoom interviews, to YouTube channels, to local news, NPR, local radio, national TV, news, and radio, and to even the mice of the content-creation world.
We can offer your media darlings as thought leaders to podcasts, yes, but also to radio, video, the news, etc. We throw out our hukilau net and, always knowing that we always fish in fecund waters, we get what we get: big fish, little fish, but always lots of fish.
At the end of the day, since it’s essentially Social Media PR cum Online Influencer PR, we always need the client to be offering something passion-worthy, newsworthy, timely, or extremely unique and novel. Trendy also works. Our long-tail micro-influencer strategy has a number of powerful effects and side-effects, including a much wider, broader, and deeper penetration into a diversity of demographics and communities; an ability to not only pitch thousands of A-Z influencers but also thousands of potential and future clients.
When it comes down to it, more is more. We cast a gigantic fishing net across a broad swath of influencers, including every single nook and cranny of your dream target audience that you can imagine. Because we don’t snipe influencers with a metaphorical speargun, we can do what you did when you were fishing for blurbs: trawling for blurbs instead of casting out, dropping a bobber, and then waiting for one fish at a time to bite.
What we do, often results in a huge tide of buzz, attention, mentions, and the results can be tectonic, moving the analytic Richter magnitude scales across search and social media, resulting in buzz tsunamis that happen almost all at once.
Since every person we engage possesses a media platform, we can engage them directly, which both influences them personally and also offers each and every one of them the opportunity to share, blog, post, and promote our client’s brand to their friends and followers.
And then, after we reach out to everyone, we follow-up twice more, as a follow-up; then, once we engage them and convert them to becoming de-facto ambassadors, we bird-dog them until they do as they promise.
Then, in the end, you will have a list of thousands of positive and neutral responders that you can then add to your newsletter, whether it’s by adding them to your general list or creating a bespoke ambassadors-only list.
Our interpretation of influencer outreach is a process by which we identify the influencers in a client’s demographic, geographic, and psychographic space and activate them on behalf of our client’s brand. We do two types of influencer outreach: A-List (Tier-1) and Long-Tail (Micro-Influencers). Micro-influencer marketing is one of the services that sets us apart from other Digital PR firms. Most firms focus only on influencer marketing to Tier-1 influencers. While this is effective for getting a lot of eyeballs on the initial post, the story is quickly buried due to the high frequency, fickle nature of posts.
We focus on reaching the long-tail—the micro-influencers. We contact thousands of online influencers in your target demographic and individually interact with every influencer who expresses interest. This results in hundreds to thousands of positive posts across a variety of social media and video channels and on blogs and in other publications about your brand resulting in higher SEO in addition to the broad base of brand awareness.
We always look forward to helping our clients to take their companies, products, services, books, and communities to volume eleven. That will always be our primary goal.