I have the best job in the world! While leading Intuit’s Global Influencer Programs I get to work side by side with amazing thought leaders, helping them to build and amplify their brands on the back of Intuit’s strong global brand. Every day is full of new and exciting things to learn and apply. Influencer marketing is by no means a new tactic, but it is constantly evolving, and it’s a challenge to continually create meaningful relationships and develop content that truly delivers value to the right target audience. In my case, the focus is on thought leaders in the accounting and bookkeeping space, an important niche to Intuit and the global QuickBooks brand.
Defining a Valuable Influencer
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes, and reside across all forms of digital and physical media…in virtually every industry that exists. Regardless of the line of business you are in, there are undoubtedly influencers present, with knowledge, insights, and drive to share their passion for what they do. A good influencer is anyone that people want to listen to, and whose content will contribute to a change in opinion or behavior.
In my industry we want people to learn how to serve their clients better and how to use data to make better business decisions. We are always looking for experts who want to share their expertise on topics that tie into our content strategies and objectives.We are always looking for experts to share expertise that ties to our content via @alisonatintuit Click To Tweet
I’ve found most influencers to be problem solvers at their core. They love to tackle new ideas, questions, and concepts, and master them to the point where they are happy to share that expertise with their audience. They are vocal, love to teach, and want to help others grow as people and professionals. I’m proud to say I work with a ton of people that fit that description.
Connecting Content and Influence
I’m always seeking new ways to incorporate our influencers’ material into our content strategy, and vice versa. We typically have a theme or a skill that we are trying to get our audiences to embrace, and the content we create for our blog and social campaigns revolve around those ideas. We will often find a recognized thought leader to help bring these ideas to life. Many times, we’ll bring a topic to an influencer and they already have a piece of content that fits the bill. In that scenario we’re happy to amplify it as is on our channels…with their permission of course. We link back to the original source, so having us amplify their content can send a ton of eyeballs to their sites. It’s a win-win for all concerned when done in the right way. But sometimes we ask our influencers to write original content for us. There are lots of ways that can play out. But we try and ensure that everyone benefits no matter if the content is original or not.
The (sometimes not so) Obvious Impact of Content Recycling
As with the example given above, a completely new and original piece of content doesn’t always have to be created. Creating content from scratch can be a lot of work, and it is sometimes completely unnecessary. As an alternate approach, we sometimes recycle content, which is simply the idea of creating something once, and then reusing it many times in a variety of ways across different mediums and channels.
Take an eBook or white paper for example. You could spend months writing a piece like that, and then launch it to the world, to start generating inbound conversions and leads. But, after the initial launch, then what?
Here’s a few quick examples of how you might recycle an eBook or white paper:
- Create a series of teaser webinars, each one teaching one concept from your book. Once people attend your webinar, you can then market the entire piece to them.
- Take each chapter of the book and break it into a series of blog articles. You can then promote the blogs, driving sign ups for the entire eBook via an embedded call-to-action.
- Turn sections of the book into weekly tweet chat topics. Let all attendees know about the entire book being available on your blog, driving conversions.
These are just 3 examples. As you can imagine there are a plethora of other options to consider. Get creative and you’ll be surprised how far a single piece of content can stretch and still be valuable to the people consuming it.
And don’t forget that the same content can be presented in different WAYS. As example – you can present it as an eBook, or a Webinar, or a Podcast, etc. It’s the same content but different delivery methods.
The recycling tactic can be extremely useful when it comes to leveraging influencer content, especially if you’re just getting started with a program or establishing a relationship with a new influencer. Rather than insisting an influencer contribute something completely original, or forcing yourself to create a brand new piece, take a good look into your archives, and ask them to do the same. The perfect piece of content may already be there, just waiting to be transformed and given new life.Content recycling can be extremely useful when it comes to leveraging influencers via @alisonatintuit Click To Tweet
The Keys to the Perfect Influencer & Content Mix
- Focus on listening first – find the people who are talking about your company, products or services and engage with them first.
- Look at who they listen to as well – engage with the people your potential influencers respect and interact with, this will go a long way to earning their trust and respect
- Keep it real – it goes without saying that your interaction and engagement must be genuine. Approach it the same way you would any other relationships you are establishing
- Give before you ask – be prepared (again) to listen to what your customers or targets/prospects are concerned about. Then create content that helps them in those areas.
- Respect content ownership rights – we link directly back to the Influencer’s site if possible, and we always give author’s credit. Additionally, our Agreements define clearly who owns an original piece and under what scenarios it can be used.
- Thing long – an influencer program is not a short term investment, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Be ready to offer value on a continual basis, and only then can you expect them to reciprocate.
- Ask yourself “What’s in it for them?” to engage with your program – if you don’t have a good answer for that, you probably don’t have a good influencer program.