Once you’ve put all this time and effort into growing your list of LinkedIn connections, you might then start to think about how you can use them to market your business, your website or your blog.
This is where ‘influencer marketing’ comes in – a relatively new term in the world of internet marketing but also one of the most powerful and important strategies that you have available to you.
Essentially, influencer marketing straddles the line between conventional marketing and networking and combines them in a truly powerful way.
What’s more, it can save you countless hours when it comes to promoting yourself and getting ahead on the web. As it happens, LinkedIn is actually perfect for influencer marketing and is perhaps the optimal tool for doing it effectively.
What is Influencer Marketing?
So how does this idea work? Basically, influencer marketing means that you’re going to stop trying to reach as wide an audience as possible with your marketing and instead you’re going to focus on the quality of the audience you market to. This might mean focusing on one individual and getting them to retweet or promote something you have to say.
So if you were to take conventional marketing on Twitter, you might spend countless hours trying to build your number of followers and then trying to create new content that would help increase your engagement. Over countless hundreds of hours spread over months or years, you would build enough of a following to become an influencer in your niche and to start getting more business each time you post.
With influencer marketing though, you would skip this step. Instead, you would focus on creating a relationship with someone who already had a huge amount of influence. Let’s take Richard Branson for instance.
If you could somehow reach Richard Branson and get him to Tweet about your product (and to include your username) you would likely get thousands of new follower’s overnight and gigantic sales for your book or your services.
In other words, you could leapfrog all of the competition by going directly to a key influencer who has the ears and hearts of your audience. This way, one single retweet, guest post or shootout could be an order of magnitude more effective than hundreds or even thousands would regularly be.
How to Reach the Big Influencers
Problem is, Richard Branson probably doesn’t want to shout out to you on social media and in fact you probably have no means of contacting him…
This is where that ‘degrees of separation’ thing comes in again. You see, if you could find someone who knew someone, who knew someone, who knew Richard Branson, then you would be connected by 3 degrees of separation. And anyone who is connected to you by that many people, will then show you your connection to them. In other words, you would be able to go onto LinkedIn and you would be able to see the two people who you need to go through to get to Richard Branson.
What’s more, if you’re connected to someone by three degrees, then you will be able to send them ‘InMail’. This is a message that they’ll receive in their LinkedIn inbox and which statistically has a higher chance of being opened.
Suddenly, it becomes all the more possible that you could reach a big influencer in your niche – especially if you’re working hard to grow the prominence of your website. Get big enough and you might be considered an E-lister. That might be enough to encourage a few ‘C-listers’ to contact you to potentially do business together. That in turn means that you now have the opportunity to directly contact some of the biggest thought leaders on the planet.
This is powerful stuff.
Content Marketing on Linkedin
Influencer marketing was one fancy marketing buzzword, now it’s time for another: content marketing. Like influencer marketing, content marketing is not just a ‘buzz word’ but rather an incredibly powerful marketing tool. In fact, content marketing is somewhat considered as the natural evolution of search engine optimization and is now an integral part of almost every business’ marketing strategy.
Essentially, the objective with content marketing is several fold but it all revolves around developing high quality content (not surprisingly). Traditionally, this content will then either be uploaded to your own blog or to the website of someone else in your industry (where it is known as a guest post). We’re going to focus here on uploading content to your own blog – and yes, even if you run a B2B or commercial business, you should still have a blog which you can use to add content to your site and to build a relationship with your visitors. This is also very important for your SEO and the more content you add to your site, the more there will be for Google to search through and index.
When it comes to LinkedIn marketing, content marketing is all about offering value to your visitors through your blog. Essentially, you’re going to add lots of new content to your blog or website and you’re going to make sure that it provides real value to your LinkedIn network. This means it needs to be interesting, useful, entertaining, engaging… or all four. Preferably the latter.
Essentially, what you are now doing is converting your LinkedIn connections into potential fans and regular visitors for your website. This might also lead to some people signing up to your mailing list or even becoming direct customers/clients if your site is good at converting.
At the same time, if you keep posting great quality content to your LinkedIn network, you’ll find that they generally start to regard you as someone who knows what they’re talking about with regards to that subject or niche. This is the other huge benefit of content marketing – it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and give your visitors a ‘free taste’.
Eventually, they should come to consider you as a leading authority in that field and as such they might seek out your opinion when looking for products, services and other ways to spend money. It’s at this point you become an influencer yourself and give yourself a ‘platform’ through which to launch your various business ventures.