- Prioritize: Don’t think too broad, hone in on a specific initiative or subject.
- Focus: Narrow the scope to each initiative’s core message or topic.
- Search: Do some preliminary web searches and social media searches for each topic area to find the key discussion areas, bloggers / influencers, etc.
- Segment: Focus on no more than 5-10 influencers per topic, and do not automatically default to the major influencers like analysts. Instead, focus on bloggers that work for companies in your target market segment, or run their own segment related blog.
- Listen: Start compiling discussion topics, comments, etc. to learn what the hot buttons are, where your value prop fits, where you could add real value to the conversation.
- Engage: Begin posting comments on related blogs and in social media to establish a relationship and with the influencers you have identified and fellow readers and commenters.
- Contribute: Build upon those relationships by providing information and content that informs, educates, even entertains.
- Share: Leverage influencers content into our own online articles, blog posts, tweets, etc. and link back to them as the source.
- Schedule: Carve our an hour or two of your day to dedicate to listening, engaging, contributing, and sharing.
- Measure: Track using analytics, refine where needed, and stick to it
Keep in mind, this takes time, patience, and dedication. It may take 3-6 months to establish a trusting relationship with influencers, because it’s not about traditional marketing. It’s about making new “friends” that trust what you say, with a mutual respect for each other’s opinion.
Isn’t that what being “friends” is all about? It’s no different in the B2B world.