You’ve done the legwork. You’ve researched the influential industry figures you want to engage. But how do you shift from acquiring background information to actively engaging and co-operating with influencers?

Well, if it’s any consolation, you’ve already surpassed many of the challenges encountered during influencer campaigns. Recent research into influencer marketing indicates identifying the most appropriate influencer was the biggest challenge for 75% of companies pursuing an influencer engagement programme.

But after the research phase, there are three further steps that need to be taken to secure the success of a complete influencer campaign:

First contact – gain that initial awareness

This is where a majority of influencer programmes fall. A poor first contact can result in an enduring poor reputation among key influencers. As such, tailoring your outreach campaign to provide individual engagement strategies for each influencer is a must. A personalised approach allows you to share appropriate content that can demonstrate the benefit of a content relationship to the influencer.

This personalised outreach will be vital in making the first step. The personal approach demonstrates to influencers that you are willing to engage on a one-to-one basis rather than ‘trawling’ for interest. Make sure you have worthwhile content and other benefits to bring to the table.

Cement the relationship

Once successful first contact has been made, the goal shifts to maintained engagement through conversation and sharing curated content. We at IBA build up an asset library as part of a centralised ‘hub’ to help us effectively curate and re-purpose existing material for our clients so they always maintain engagement. By consistently providing relevant, quality content, you can maintain the relationship with the influencer, and indirectly engage with their audience.

Turn your influencers into evangelists

Now your influencer relationships have been secured, you can start securing tangible ROI through third party endorsements, greater positive exposure to targeted audiences, and increased market credibility for your company and solutions.

But this is more than a simple lead generation programme – it is a two-way relationship, so it is important to maintain the content relationship rather than letting it fall off when the benefits begin to arrive.

By investing time and resources into developing a mutual content relationship, you can reach the ultimate goal of turning influencers into evangelists of your business and message. The result? Increased exposure among potential customers, more successful lead cultivation and stronger brand awareness, all courtesy of newly-discovered influential industry figures.

Simon Woolley, engagement specialist, at IBA International

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