How to Create Influencer Roundups: Tips and Tools for Bloggers

Do you want to improve your influencer outreach for roundup posts? Wondering how to come up with a unique topic idea? In this article, you’ll discover a four-step plan to create effective influencer roundups. #1: Plan a Timeline for Your Roundup Timing is everything. If you plan your influencer-driven content in time for the upcoming

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Moz the Monster: Anatomy of An (Averted) Brand Crisis

Posted by Dr-Pete

On the morning of Friday, November 10, we woke up to the news that John Lewis had launched an ad campaign called “Moz the Monster“. If you’re from the UK, John Lewis needs no introduction, but for our American audience, they’re a high-end retail chain that’s gained a reputation for a decade of amazing Christmas ads.

It’s estimated that John Lewis spent upwards of £7m on this campaign (roughly $9.4M). It quickly became clear that they had organized a multi-channel effort, including a #mozthemonster Twitter campaign.

From a consumer perspective, Moz was just a lovable blue monster. From the perspective of a company that has spent years building a brand, John Lewis was potentially going to rewrite what “Moz” meant to the broader world. From a search perspective, we were facing a rare possibility of competing for our own brand on Google results if this campaign went viral (and John Lewis has a solid history of viral campaigns).

Step #1: Don’t panic

At the speed of social media, it can be hard to stop and take a breath, but you have to remember that that speed cuts both ways. If you’re too quick to respond and make a mistake, that mistake travels at the same speed and can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating exactly the disaster you feared.

The first step is to get multiple perspectives quickly. I took to Slack in the morning (I’m two hours ahead of the Seattle team) to find out who was awake. Two of our UK team (Jo and Eli) were quick to respond, which had the added benefit of getting us the local perspective.

Collectively, we decided that, in the spirit of our TAGFEE philosophy, a friendly monster deserved a friendly response. Even if we chose to look at it purely from a pragmatic, tactical standpoint, John Lewis wasn’t a competitor, and going in metaphorical guns-blazing against a furry blue monster and the little boy he befriended could’ve been step one toward a reputation nightmare.

Step #2: Respond (carefully)

In some cases, you may choose not to respond, but in this case we felt that friendly engagement was our best approach. Since the Seattle team was finishing their first cup of coffee, I decided to test the waters with a tweet from my personal account:

I’ve got a smaller audience than the main Moz account, and a personal tweet as the west coast was getting in gear was less exposure. The initial response was positive, and we even got a little bit of feedback, such as suggestions to monitor UK Google SERPs (see “Step #3”).

Our community team (thanks, Tyler!) quickly followed up with an official tweet:

While we didn’t get direct engagement from John Lewis, the general community response was positive. Roger Mozbot and Moz the Monster could live in peace, at least for now.

Step #3: Measure

There was a longer-term fear – would engagement with the Moz the Monster campaign alter Google SERPs for Moz-related keywords? Google has become an incredibly dynamic engine, and the meaning of any given phrase can rewrite itself based on how searchers engage with that phrase. I decided to track “moz” itself across both the US and UK.

In that first day of the official campaign launch, searches for “moz” were already showing news (“Top Stories”) results in the US and UK, with the text-only version in the US:

…and the richer Top Stories carousel in the UK:

The Guardian article that announced the campaign launch was also ranking organically, near the bottom of page one. So, even on day one, we were seeing some brand encroachment and knew we had to keep track of the situation on a daily basis.

Just two days later (November 12), Moz the Monster had captured four page-one organic results for “moz” in the UK (at the bottom of the page):

While it still wasn’t time to panic, John Lewis’ campaign was clearly having an impact on Google SERPs.

Step #4: Surprises

On November 13, it looked like the SERPs might be returning to normal. The Moz Blog had regained the Top Stories block in both US and UK results:

We weren’t in the clear yet, though. A couple of days later, a plagiarism scandal broke, and it was dominating the UK news for “moz” by November 18:

This story also migrated into organic SERPs after The Guardian published an op-ed piece. Fortunately for John Lewis, the follow-up story didn’t last very long. It’s an important reminder, though, that you can’t take your eyes off of the ball just because it seems to be rolling in the right direction.

Step #5: Results

It’s one thing to see changes in the SERPs, but how was all of this impacting search trends and our actual traffic? Here’s the data from Google Trends for a 4-week period around the Moz the Monster launch (2 weeks on either side):

The top graph is US trends data, and the bottom graph is UK. The large spike in the middle of the UK graph is November 10, where you can see that interest in the search “moz” increased dramatically. However, this spike fell off fairly quickly and US interest was relatively unaffected.

Let’s look at the same time period for Google Search Console impression and click data. First, the US data (isolated to just the keyword “moz”):

There was almost no change in impressions or clicks in the US market. Now, the UK data:

Here, the launch spike in impressions is very clear, and closely mirrors the Google Trends data. However, clicks to Moz.com were, like the US market, unaffected. Hindsight is 20/20, and we were trying to make decisions on the fly, but the short-term shift in Google SERPs had very little impact on clicks to our site. People looking for Moz the Monster and people looking for Moz the search marketing tool are, not shockingly, two very different groups.

Ultimately, the impact of this campaign was short-lived, but it is interesting to see how quickly a SERP can rewrite itself based on the changing world, especially with an injection of ad dollars. At one point (in UK results), Moz the Monster had replaced Moz.com in over half (5 of 8) page-one organic spots and Top Stories – an impressive and somewhat alarming feat.

By December 2, Moz the Monster had completely disappeared from US and UK SERPs for the phrase “moz”. New, short-term signals can rewrite search results, but when those signals fade, results often return to normal. So, remember not to panic and track real, bottom-line results.

Your crisis plan

So, how can we generalize this to other brand crises? What happens when someone else’s campaign treads on your brand’s hard-fought territory? Let’s restate our 5-step process:

(1) Remember not to panic

The very word “crisis” almost demands panic, but remember that you can make any problem worse. I realize that’s not very comforting, but unless your office is actually on fire, there’s time to stop and assess the situation. Get multiple perspectives and make sure you’re not overreacting.

(2) Be cautiously proactive

Unless there’s a very good reason not to (such as a legal reason), it’s almost always best to be proactive and respond to the situation on your own terms. At least acknowledge the situation, preferably with a touch of humor. These brand intrusions are, by their nature, high profile, and if you pretend it’s not happening, you’ll just look clueless.

(3) Track the impact

As soon as possible, start collecting data. These situations move quickly, and search rankings can change overnight in 2017. Find out what impact the event is really having as quickly as possible, even if you have to track some of it by hand. Don’t wait for the perfect metrics or tracking tools.

(4) Don’t get complacent

Search results are volatile and social media is fickle – don’t assume that a lull or short-term change means you can stop and rest. Keep tracking, at least for a few days and preferably for a couple of weeks (depending on the severity of the crisis).

(5) Measure bottom-line results

As the days go by, you’ll be able to more clearly see the impact. Track as deeply as you can – long-term rankings, traffic, even sales/conversions where necessary. This is the data that tells you if the short-term impact in (3) is really doing damage or is just superficial.

The real John Lewis

Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to someone who has felt a much longer-term impact of John Lewis’ succesful holiday campaigns. Twitter user and computer science teacher @johnlewis has weathered his own brand crisis year after year with grace and humor:

So, a hat-tip to John Lewis, and, on behalf of Moz, a very happy holidays to Moz the Monster!

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7 Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers

7 Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers

Our friends at Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs have released their 2018 B2C Content Marketing Benchmark and Trends Report. As always, it’s stuffed with interesting facts and figures. I have always found this research to have a good pulse on the reality of the content marketing business, and this year is no different.

I encourage you to read the entire report. It’s worth the time.

But the specific element of this year’s research that I found most interesting is the data comparison between “most successful” and “least successful” content marketers.

Note that these are self-identified labels. If a survey participant characterizes their organization’s content marketing approach as “extremely successful” or “very successful,” they are classified as a “most successful content marketer” in this research. Conversely, if the respondent claims their organization is “minimally successful” or “not at all successful” at content marketing, they are classified as a “least successful content marketer” in the report.

It’s also important to recognize that the participant pool is not vast—195 total for North America. And, while I have no evidence of this, I strongly suspect that people who think they are good at content marketing are more likely to take a detailed survey about content marketing versus people who think they and their company are mediocre or worse at it.

With those caveats in place, let’s look at seven areas where there are interesting gaps between what “most successful content marketers” think and what “least successful content marketers” think.

1. A Commitment to Content Marketing

Nearly all (93 percent) successful content marketers say their organization is extremely or very committed to content marketing. This is a huge contrast with the least successful content marketers; just 23 percent of them say their organization is similarly committed.

This isn’t a surprise, right? If the company believes in content marketing, the chances of that content actually working are likely to be much improved.

Successful content marketers are more than 3X more likely to work in a company committed to content.
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2. A Documented Content Marketing Strategy

The rallying cry of last year’s report was to “document your content marketing strategy.” This seems to have worked, as this year’s research shows a strong uptick in written strategic plans. The gap between the most/least successful content marketers isn’t quite as large in this area as in commitment, but it’s still huge: 59 percent of the most successful say they have a documented strategy, compared to just 18 percent of least successful content marketers.

Again, this adds up. If the company is committed to content, they probably have a documented plan for it. It is interesting, however, that one out of every three successful content marketers appears to still NOT have a strategy, which seems like dancing on the edge of knife, at least to me.

3. A Large Budget

Among the successful content marketers, more than one quarter of total marketing funds (26 percent) go to content marketing. For the least successful, 18 percent. Now, 18 percent of all marketing is still a hefty chunk, and the difference between 18 and 26 points isn’t enormous.

I look at it this way:

Money alone can’t buy you content marketing effectiveness, but it doesn’t hurt.
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However, the least successful content marketers seem to believe there’s a correlation between budget and effectiveness. Why? 45 percent of them plan to increase content marketing spend in the next 12 months, compared to 35 percent of the already successful content marketers.

4. Realistic Expectations

82 percent of most successful content marketers say their organization has realistic expectations about what content marketing can achieve. Fewer than half as many of the least successful content marketers say the same (40 percent).

This one may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the survey respondents themselves may be the ones setting internal expectations. However, it would appear that commitment level and realistic expectations go together in the content marketing success formula, in most instances.

5. Enough Time

Multiple studies of content marketers (and digital marketing on the whole) show that time pressure is the most common frustration for these professionals. This seems similar to the luxury of realistic expectations. Content marketers who think they are successful also universally believe they have enough time to do their job well.

The phrasing in the study is, “Agrees that leadership team gives ample time to produce content marketing results.” When answering that question, 80 percent of most successful content marketers said “yes,” compared to just 36 percent of the least successful content marketers.

Having enough time to create good content is a major factor in content marketing success (new research)
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6. Strong Project Management

This one makes a ton of sense, and the gap between the most/least successful content marketers is Kanye-West-ego large. When asked, “Our project management flow during the content creation process is excellent, or very good,” 56 percent of most successful content marketers said “yes,” versus just 11 percent of their least successful brethren.

Project management acumen (and presumably, software) is evidently a big factor in content marketing success.

7. Quality Is More Important Than Quantity

This one fascinates me. 84 percent of successful content marketers say that they either always or frequently prioritize content quality over content quantity. This is almost double (43 percent) the response percentage among least successful content marketers.

I’m not entirely certain how respondents judge quality versus quantity, as I’d argue that successful content IS quality content. After all, this isn’t a fine arts project, as I ranted about earlier this year.

Yet, it’s remarkable that focusing on quality correlates so precisely with the most success/least success divide.

Summary of the Decisive Differences Between Strong and Weak Content Marketers

Strong content marketers have these advantages:

  • Organizational support, as evidenced by commitment to content, a documented strategy, and budget.
  • Practical thinking, as evidenced by realistic expectations and a focus on quality.
  • Robust process, as evidenced by strong project management, and enough time to create good content marketing.

Are some people just better at content marketing than other people? Of course. But, based on this new research, it appears that organizational values, structure, and support are also major drivers of content effectiveness. I see that as a sign of a maturing industry, don’t you?

Good content marketers have more company support, budget, time, and better project management culture
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Make sure to read the entire 2018 B2C Content Marketing Benchmark and Trends Report. And thanks to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs for their hard work in putting this together every year.

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Unlocking A Differentiating Customer Experience

Unlocking A Differentiating Customer Experience

We are living in a rapidly changing world. Business, as usual, is being disrupted on a regular basis by new offerings from players like Amazon. Armed with significant data, these companies are able to exploit gaps in the status quo customer experience. Read more about the gaps between what customers expect and what brands provide.

More than ever, companies are searching for ways to unlock a differentiating customer experience. Sometimes they try new innovations that can change entire business models, other times it may simply involve improving levels of service or finding more convenient ways to offer solutions.

It’s not uncommon for managers to have difficulty figuring out what business they are really in. These disruptive models are focused on customer experiences that are seamless and personal. They deliver unprecedented utility for consumers by harnessing data and feedback.

Why is it that some consumers will pay up to twice the price for a dozen eggs?

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An Instagram Content Plan for Service-Based Businesses

Does your business offer services? Looking for ways to make Instagram work for you? In this article, you’ll discover how to plan and construct Instagram posts to help your service-based businesses establish a strong visual presence. #1: Outline Your Content Mix Social media for service-based business is all about creating connections. You want to help,

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Keyword Research Beats Nate Silver’s 2016 Presidential Election Prediction

Posted by BritneyMuller

100% of statisticians would say this is a terrible method for predicting elections. However, in the case of 2016’s presidential election, analyzing the geographic search volume of a few telling keywords “predicted” the outcome more accurately than Nate Silver himself.

The 2016 US Presidential Election was a nail-biter, and many of us followed along with the famed statistician’s predictions in real time on FiveThirtyEight.com. Silver’s predictions, though more accurate than many, were still disrupted by the election results.

In an effort to better understand our country (and current political chaos), I dove into keyword research state-by-state searching for insights. Keywords can be powerful indicators of intent, thought, and behavior. What keyword searches might indicate a personal political opinion? Might there be a common denominator search among people with the same political beliefs?

It’s generally agreed that Fox News leans to the right and CNN leans to the left. And if we’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that the news you consume can have a strong impact on what you believe, in addition to the confirmation bias already present in seeking out particular sources of information.

My crazy idea: What if Republican states showed more “fox news” searches than “cnn”? What if those searches revealed a bias and an intent that exit polling seemed to obscure?

The limitations to this research were pretty obvious. Watching Fox News or CNN doesn’t necessarily correlate with voter behavior, but could it be a better indicator than the polls? My research says yes. I researched other media outlets as well, but the top two ideologically opposed news sources — in any of the 50 states — were consistently Fox News and CNN.

Using Google Keyword Planner (connected to a high-paying Adwords account to view the most accurate/non-bucketed data), I evaluated each state’s search volume for “fox news” and “cnn.”

Eight states showed the exact same search volumes for both. Excluding those from my initial test, my results accurately predicted 42/42 of the 2016 presidential state outcomes including North Carolina and Wisconsin (which Silver mis-predicted). Interestingly, “cnn” even mirrored Hillary Clinton, similarly winning the popular vote (25,633,333 vs. 23,675,000 average monthly search volume for the United States).

In contrast, Nate Silver accurately predicted 45/50 states using a statistical methodology based on polling results.

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How 9 Companies Drove Signups Through Blogging

How 9 Companies Drove Signups Through Blogging

Is blogging still a powerful way to drive signups?

Apparently, it definitely still is.

According to Hubspot’s latest lead generation study of over 1.4k companies, websites with more indexed blog posts get a massive spike in the number of acquired leads.

Image Source: Hubspot

There’s more where that came from. And as an avid curator of case studies, I’ll list some more of my newfound gems supporting my point.

Read on for my case study roundup of how 9 companies prove that blogging is a reliable channel for increasing signups.

1. Buffer – How Blogging and Focused Promotion Drove Customer Signups

Buffer sang the same praises when they acknowledged how targeted blog posts played a considerable role in referring customer signups to their business.

Refining their blogging efforts drove a 1.5 million traffic spike.

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Here’s What Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Should Look Like

Here's What Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Should Look Like

Influencer marketing came on my radar in late 2013, but it didn’t really start picking up steam as an earned media tactic until 2015. Since then, an entire ecosystem of tools has cropped up to facilitate the identification, management, tracking, and reporting for influencers. For some, it’s moved from an occasional tactic in the marketing mix to a full-fledged, complete, and sustained strategy.

Influencer Marketing Interest

Influencer marketing interest over time

This post features one such company that has infused influencers into all of the marketing it does. It’s a unique approach. In fact, I’ve never seen a company do influencer marketing this way. I spent an entire afternoon with its CEO interviewing him, and what he shared serves as a blueprint for future strategic deployments of influencer marketing for companies both large and small.

A Profile in Leadership and Revenue Growth

One of the biggest complaints in content marketing today is executive buy-in. It’s a consistent grievance that permeates conference Q&As. For those that have executive buy-in, success is much more likely.

While this complaint is common for content marketers, I’ve never heard anyone moan about influencer marketing buy-in. Why? Because most marketers look at influencer marketing as merely a tactic and not a sustained and complete marketing strategy. In fact, many think “influencer marketing” means “round-up posts.” Marketers don’t necessarily need executive buy-in to implement a tactic.

Not only does the below case study have executive buy-in, but it’s the brainchild of the company’s CEO. Below is the profile of the company featured in this case study:

Dearringer credits the recent growth of NewPro directly to their unique approach to influencer marketing. Revenue at this juncture is up 35 percent from last year. Revenue was up 20 percent in 2016, from the previous year. They’re growing so fast from this marketing approach that they just broke ground on a new $4 million warehousing facility.

It All Starts with Blogging

It’s very important to NewPro that its blog is the trusted center of the universe within its industry. They’re trying to be the host of the party that everyone in the industry wants to attend. The content needs to be authentic, helpful, and effective at providing credibility to the company. It should also attract industry decision makers and influencers.

NewPro Containers blog

Blogging has both tangible and intangible returns for NewPro. While it does provide leads, it also helps shape the impression of the brand within its industry. This is critical in executing a complete and sustained influencer program.

Dearringer recognizes that blogging in his industry, and many others, has been a total failure for the most part. Over the years, he’s seen many try and only make it 90 days to 12 months before the blog died. He blames this on one or more of these four things:

  1. Interns: Many companies in this niche (and others) throw blogging at the interns because no one else has time to do it. The problem is that interns don’t have enough experience to write credible industry articles.
  2. Salespeople: In some organizations, sales folks are told to maintain the blog to help them with “social selling” and attracting leads. Sales should be out selling, not writing blog posts. Good salespeople don’t want to blog, anyway—they’re hunters, not creatives.
  3. CEO: Many companies’ Chief Executives are simply too busy to maintain a blog.
  4. Third-party writers: No matter how good the writers are, the posts are never authentic enough because they’re not in the industry. Industry insiders can see right through this.

To overcome the above problems, NewPro made an investment and paid influential people (insiders or veterans within its industry) to write original content. It offered $200 a blog post, and half refused it. (NewPro insisted on donating the unclaimed money to a non-profit of the person’s choosing.) In some cases, NewPro would pay a third party to write content and then send it to the influencer to rewrite for greater authenticity. NewPro made it easier for an influencer to say yes.

One of the biggest challenges was getting contributors not to sell anything in their content. Dearringer addressed this by coaching contributors and explaining that they’re speaking to their peers in the industry and gaining thought leadership.

NewPro didn’t have some formal submission process or set of rules. It would take the content any way it could get it, from notes written in an email to outlines and Word Docs. If it was written, it could be worked with, refined, and edited. NewPro made a conscious effort to remove as many barriers as possible, while at the same time providing financial incentive and stroking the egos of the influencers.

Finding Influencers

Marketers have many tools and plenty of software available to them to assist in finding influencers. However, Dearringer takes a more holistic approach. He personally reaches out and asks his best customers to contribute, recruits conference speakers and attendees, has a contributor call-to-action in his email newsletter, and occasionally recruits from his industry Facebook Group (more on this later). In fact, he does 100 percent of the contributor outreach.

Since NewPro is constantly curating content, it’s exposed to many industry writers already. All of these have proven to be fruitful places to discover influencers. Out of the starting blocks, however, NewPro needed its first big fish: its first major influencer.

Introducing the Bug Lady

Dearringer kicked off NewPro’s influencer blogging effort by enlisting a third-party to write the “Professional’s Field Guide: Plant Pest Control.” However, he didn’t stop there. He knew that a third-party writer would not come off as credible to the industry folks he was targeting.

With the guide in hand, he reached out to Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, more prominently known as the “Bug Lady.” He didn’t do outreach on social media or email like most do. Instead, he picked up the phone and called. His request was simple: “Will you edit this PDF guide for NewPro?” He offered to pay her for the service and prominently give her credit as the author of the guide.

Bug Lady influencer profile

She agreed, and he sent her the guide. Dearringer’s concern that third-party written content would not come off as credible was correct. When the Bug Lady got back to him, she said she’d need to rewrite the whole thing because it was not accurate. They agreed to new terms, and she set off to rewrite the guide. The guide included five sections, which NewPro turned into five blog posts, publishing one per week. Each post linked directly to the guide. The best-performing posts were then syndicated on two industry non-profit websites.

Courting the Bug Lady was the cornerstone of NewPro’s complete and sustained influencer marketing program. Her industry clout gave NewPro the credibility it needed to enlist other influential people in its industry. Here’s a post that features many of their influential contributors. Its purpose was and still is to recruit even more influencers.

NewPro influencer content campaign

Influencer Marketing Through Social Media Account Management

As NewPro recruited more and more industry insiders, one thing became apparent: Most of these folks didn’t have much of a social media presence, if any at all, especially on Twitter. Dearringer offered to manage their social media accounts, grow their followers, and post on their behalf—all for free. The only catch was that one-quarter of the posts would be NewPro content. Since the contributors all trusted NewPro and its content, most agreed. Dearringer now controls around 20 social media accounts from influential people in the industry.

It also became apparent that not only do industry folks struggle to maintain their social media profiles, but so do the companies in the industry. As a result, NewPro sends out a curated industry newsletter to social media managers within the industry that struggle to find content to share. This newsletter is separate from its main newsletter. It’s not just NewPro content, either—it’s the best content from across the industry. NewPro provides a valuable service to the industry, all while showcasing the NewPro brand and its content to prospective customers.

Influencer Marketing Through Roundup Posts and Advanced Content

NewPro Resource Library

Many marketers associate influencer marketing with roundup or list posts. While this is a form of influencer marketing, it certainly isn’t the only tactic. NewPro uses roundup posts as a tool to recruit more influencers and solidify relations with existing ones.

Every roundup post features a call-to-action for new contributors. Industry veterans with titles and clout not currently featured want to be showcased by NewPro because their peers already are.

Dearringer doesn’t stop at roundup posts. He also creates copious amounts of advanced content (guides, ebooks, etc.) by stitching together prudent influencer articles. For each one, he gives complete authorship to whichever influencer’s content is featured. This advanced content is shared with the influencers, who in turn promote their new ebook on the NewPro website. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Influencer Marketing Through Newsletters

NewPro newsletter

NewPro’s weekly newsletter, “Your Weekly Cup of NewPro,” isn’t your typical email. It’s kept simple and has a very strategic purpose. Each week, NewPro chooses three articles to feature: two really good articles from other industry websites and the best-performing NewPro influencer article of that week.

This newsletter serves a few purposes. First and foremost, NewPro wants to deliver only the best content to its audience. It also gets the attention of the other industry writers that create great content and entices them to become contributors to the blog. Lastly, it solidifies relations with current contributors by prominently featuring their work in front of the NewPro audience.

How successful is it? This newsletter boasts an open rate north of 30 percent. It’s so popular within the industry that Dearringer often gets contacted by CEOs requesting he subscribe their entire company staff. On several occasions, he’s been sent entire spreadsheets with all the employee information necessary to subscribe them all.

Dearringer described being at an industry non-profit board meeting recently when a conversation about industry content came up. One guest at the board meeting claimed that if it wasn’t in the “Weekly Cup of NewPro,” she won’t read it. Unbeknownst to her, the NewPro CEO was right there in the room and is one of the board members.

Influencer Marketing Through Print Magazines and Tradeshows

For the last two years, NewPro has put out an annual print magazine called Modern Plantscaper. While this company isn’t the first to put out a print magazine, it’s one of the few to incorporate it as part of its sustained and complete influencer marketing strategy.

Each issue features the best influencer blog posts from the previous year. Dearringer makes sure each contributing influencer gets multiple copies of the magazine to show off their work to peers and other industry folks. It has a subscribership of over 600 in an industry that only boasts about 500 significant companies. At tradeshows, NewPro’s magazine flies out of the booth.

Dearringer described crowds of people around his humble booth wanting a copy of the magazine and wanting to talk about all the cool content NewPro publishes for the industry, all while surrounded by the “big money” booths with little to no action. These kinds of events are an opportunity for both sales and influencer recruiting, and NewPro takes advantage of both.

Influencer Marketing Through Paid Promotion and Facebook Groups

When it comes to social, NewPro invests the most time and resources in Facebook. Every single influencer article that’s posted gets a paid boost. Dearringer spends $20 a post and targets users with appropriate interests and job titles. This paid promotion helps solidify relations with the influencers due to the heightened exposure.

In addition to Facebook promotion, NewPro set up an unbranded closed Group called Interiorscape.com. The decision to create an unbranded group was strategic. Facebook pages have very poor organic visibility, but Groups fare better. Since it’s unbranded, the Group doesn’t feel like a self-serving tool for NewPro to push its wares.

To date, it has over 730 members, all folks within the landscape industry. Engagement is very high. The group also serves as fertile ground for recruiting new contributors and influencers for the blog, and combing through the comments helps Dearringer identify leaders and influencers within the industry.

Group members also help identify hot topics and challenges that NewPro should be covering on its blog. When Dearringer uncovers these opportunities in the Group, he immediately sends the individual an email asking for their take. Most of the time, the answer is enough content to craft into a blog post and feature the person as a new contributor.

Influencer Marketing Through Newsjacking and Influencers

As many in the US are aware, 2017’s hurricane season was pretty disastrous. Hurricanes impact most everything in their path. Growers and nurseries, a core client base for NewPro, were hit particularly hard this year.

Knowing the NewPro blog is a trusted resource within the industry, Dearringer decided to enlist one of his influential contributors to shed light on the disaster while providing a resource for readers to donate. In addition, NewPro waived/credited all open invoices for all areas impacted by the hurricanes and the fires on the west coast. Recognizing the community it created, NewPro sought to make a positive impact on its industry by producing timely content with an influencer that led to real tangible outcomes for some victims.

Influencer Advertising, the Influencer Marketing Shortcut

Turning influencer marketing from a tactic into an all-encompassing marketing strategy didn’t happen overnight. NewPro is entering its third year of executing this strategy. It started off slow with initial cash investments, but as the momentum picked up, NewPro achieved its goals and revenue grew.

For those with less time and patience, there’s another solution to consider for ramping up influencer marketing: influencer advertising. NewPro went 100 percent organic in its influencer recruitment effort and did not tap into any of the paid solutions described below. However, if speed to market is important, these networks help facilitate influencer relationships for marketers.

Not every solution will be ideal for all deployments, so do research prior to partnering with one of the platforms below.

  1. adMingle: Connects brands and influencers globally.
  2. Adproval: Connects brands with social media, blog, and video influencers. USA.
  3. Bideo: Connects brands with influencers, journalists, vloggers, and musicians. Global
  4. Blogsvertise: Connects brands with bloggers for sponsored blog conversations. Global.
  5. BrandBrief: Connects brands with influencers. Industries include fashion, beauty, food, wellness, tourism, and gyms. Mobile interface. US, UK, Australia.
  6. BrandPlug: Connects brands with influencers. Pay per impression pricing. Global.
  7. Buzzoole: Connects brands with influencers. Pays in discounts, offers, credits, and Amazon gift cards. Global.
  8. Content BLVD : Connects consumer product brands with YouTube influencers. Global.
  9. Izea: Platform for marketers to discover influencers, pay them, and manage content workflow. Global.
  10. Linqui: Has over 100,000 “power-middle” social media and blogging influencers. USA.
  11. Liquid Social: Connect brands with social media influencers. Pays influencers for shares, clicks, and views.
  12. Markerly: Platform for brands to build their own influencer network via campaign management and CRM. White glove service. Global.
  13. Megan Media: Platform for custom content delivery, influencer activation, and digital media campaigns. White glove service. Global.
  14. Nevaly: Connects brands with influencers. Gaming and mobile only. Global.
  15. Peadler: Connects local businesses with influencers. Pays in rewards—products or services. USA major metros.
  16. Style Coalition: Connects brands with lifestyle influencers. Includes analytics and content tracking. Global.
  17. Sway Group: Connects brands and agencies with the largest network of female bloggers on the web. Full-service influencer management. Global.
  18. The Flux List: Connects brands with influencers using their proprietary FLUX Compatibility Index.
  19. Unity: AI-driven technology platform that connects influencers and brands that share the same passion.

Influencer Marketing Strategy Takeaways

There’s a lot to take away from the NewPro example featured above. However, when you peel away the story, you’ll find eleven specific takeaways that can have a major impact on moving influencer marketing from just an occasional tactic to a full-fledged, complete, and sustained strategy:

  1. Don’t think tactically: think strategically.
  2. Get executive buy-in.
  3. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
  4. Don’t be afraid to..

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Are you a busy social media marketer? Looking for tools to improve the way you work? In this article, you’ll discover 10 apps and browser extensions to streamline the way you create content, write copy, and organize research. #1: Speed Up Your Writing With TextExpander TextExpander (available for Windows, Mac, and iOS) will match frequently

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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10 Useful Tools for Creating Content, Writing, and Researching

Are you a busy social media marketer? Looking for tools to improve the way you work? In this article, you’ll discover 10 apps and browser extensions to streamline the way you create content, write copy, and organize research. #1: Speed Up Your Writing With TextExpander TextExpander (available for Windows, Mac, and iOS) will match frequently

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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