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Micro-Influencer Marketing is 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration

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This is a presentation I am giving to Shashi Bellamkonda's Social, Mobile and Search Marketing class at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies (XCPD-732), a fun-filled presentation about earned media micro-influencer marketing on October 14, 2016, ~7pm

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Micro-Influencer Marketing is 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration

  1. 1. Micro-Influencer Marketing is 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration Hashtag: #gtmim Twitter: @chrisabraham Google+: google.com/+ChrisAbraham Facebook: facebook.com/chrisabraham LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chrisabraham Slideshare: http://bit.ly/gtmim XCPD-732 Social, Mobile and Search Marketing Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies Professor Shashi Bellamkonda October 14, 2016, ~7pm
  2. 2.  Principal Consultant  Avid Blogger/Contributor: Your Speaker: Chris Abraham 2 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  3. 3. My Personal Digital PR Philosophy  Find people where they live (and meet them there even if it’s a forum or message board)  Explore the long tail micro-influencers (there are millions of people blogging, sharing, and posting online – and PR tends to pile on the same 100 “influentials”)  “We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as you take one reporter from The Wall Street Journal”  (#83 of the 95 Theses from The Cluetrain Manifesto)  Spoil everyone (like you would Guy Kawasaki)  Be grateful (nobody is required to help you) 3 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  4. 4. Why You Should Reach Past the A-List 4  Influencer marketing tends to focus on only identifying and engaging top-25 influential bloggers  Out of those 25, maybe 3 will cover your story over the course of a campaign  We collect every influencer who has ever had a thematic interest in our customers  We collect them all – all of them – into a "universe" – a list  We reach out to each and every one of them – no fewer than 2,000 but often 5,000 – via email  But then that’s where the work starts @chrisabraham #gtmim
  5. 5. Why You Should Reach Past the A-List 5  The initial blast is akin to speed-dating  Most good pitches don’t require a personal relationship  Success depends on five things:  Freshness & quality of the list collected  Generosity of the “gift” being offered in the pitch  The ability of the email to reach the inbox  The charm & responsiveness of the responders  Following up twice after the initial email outreach @chrisabraham #gtmim
  6. 6. On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog 6 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  7. 7. Campaign Questions  Goal: what is it you need to do?  Monitor: what are you looking to find?  Discover: where are people talking?  Learn: who are these talking people?  Collect: what groups do you need?  Engage: how best to connect?  Outreach: how best to pitch?  Analyze: how did you do? 7 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  8. 8. Goals: What Do You Want to Accomplish?  Build brand awareness?  Increase community engagement?  Prospect new brand ambassadors?  Drive sales, traffic, membership?  Drive conversation volume?  Improve organic search?  Get a feel for your neighborhood?  Launch a new product, service, investment? 8 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  9. 9. Monitor: Listen/Look Before You Leap  Google Search is the best tool to get a feel  When it comes down to it, Google does an amazing job of giving you a 30,000-foot view of the blogosphere  Spend some time understanding the space  It’s not always obvious how people engage with you, your brand, your space, or your industry. Allow your community to lead your exploration; do not be willful: people don’t always use your language  Include message boards, forums, etc., in your recon  Try out all the tools: it’s a buyer’s market  SDL SM2, Radian6, Sysomos, Sprout Social, Lithium 9 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  10. 10. Internet Rule #34: If It Exists There Is Porn of It 10 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  11. 11. Discover: Finding People Where They Live  Social media is much bigger than Facebook  There are a multitude of social networks, self-run message boards, threads deep in reddit, and ad-hoc discussions everywhere online (Dailymile.com, etc.)  If it exists, there is blog of it (Rule 34 variant)  There are more than a billion active blogs worldwide  Always start with Google  Influencer discovery  Traackr – traackr.com  GroupHigh – grouphigh.com  Little Bird – getlittlebird.com  InkyBee – inkybee.com 11 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  12. 12. Discover: Finding People Where They Live 12 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  13. 13. Learn: Do They Want to Be Engaged? And How?  Blogs (including online journalists, curators, aggregators, group blogs, and bloggers)  Can you find their name and email address?  If contacting them is hard, maybe they don’t want to be  Look for a “how to engage/pitch” message  Follow their directions to a T (or don’t engage them at all)  Forums (including bookmark & link aggregators)  Engage forum owners directly, don’t jump in there!  Social Networks (including FB, Twitter, etc.)  Engage before befriending before pitching 13 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  14. 14. Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists  The A-list (the crème de la crème of influence)  Generally professional bloggers and journalists, including the blogs and profiles of mainstream media platforms, celebrities, high Klout scores, high-traffic blogs, authors, actors, scientists, pundits, newsmakers, and people with mad followers  Will blog for free, but only if they’re compelled to (exclusive content, big news, financial releases, new investment, etc.)  Never, ever, include A-list bloggers in a bulk email pitch – hand-written only  Prepare your kid-gloves and your checkbook – find ways to woo them personally (over lavish meals, inviting them to HQ, or meeting them down at one of the many conferences they attend)  Become a persistent “bestie” – either as someone who is a communicator pitching them good, consistent, and valuable content or, even better, a personal friend who doesn’t just collect them as a method of access or a sign of prestige 14 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  15. 15. Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists  B-D-List (the mid-section of the long tail often asks for money)  While not all B-D-list bloggers lead with an advertising rate sheet, many do  Most PR campaigns aren’t budgeted for advertising spend so I don’t pay for posts  Ideally, earned-media is the goal of PR campaigns, so it’s up to you  Many of the B-D-list bloggers can get you what you need for less than a strong ad buy  While disclosures are essential everywhere, they’re doubly so for “advertorial” content  I tend to put any blogger who asks for money into a DNC* list  Midrange bloggers are easier to access, harder to garner earn media mentions from, but a worthy investment of time and attention toward a long-term relationship  People help out their friends, so becoming close may curry favor for earned media pitches  I generally include B-D-list bloggers in general long-tail bulk email outreach *Do not contact list 15 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  16. 16. Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists  E-Z-List (the long-tail, including ~1 Billion online micro-influencers)  While a billion active blogs are well out-of-scope, please remember:  No matter how obscure your product or service, there’s probably a blog about it  The original Rule #34 is: “If it exists, there is porn of it;” same for the blogosphere  Collect email addresses, influencer name, and maybe location only for E-Z-list  While I might be willing to chase down the contact info of A-D-list bloggers via forms or hunting them down via LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger, Dailymile mail, or Twitter DMs, I only engage long-tail micro-influencers if they share their email address gladly  If bloggers don’t make it easy to contact them, they may not want to be contacted; and, if you contact someone who doesn’t want to be, there will be serious blowback  Send everyone in your list a bulk email pitch but be ready to engage in person  Don’t worry, most people aren’t fanboys – a cold-pitch is fine if your “gift” is generous 16 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  17. 17. Collect: Demo-, Geo-, Psycho-Graphic Lists 17 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  18. 18. Engage: Pitch It Slow and Right Over the Plate  Tell, don’t sell  Lead with the news, not the used car  Pitching is speed dating  You don’t need to overwrite  Allow people to be intrigued  Less is more  Attention span is limited  Pre-masticate message into easy-to-understand pabulum  Don’t include attachments or inline content  Don’t BS, brown nose, lie, or flatter  "Please don’t say you read and love my blog, then pitch me on something that I never cover here" -- Mack Collier 18 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  19. 19. Outreach: The Catch Is the More Important Part  The informational microsite  Internally, I call it an SMNR  Social Media News Release  The kitchen sink theory  Don’t limit the SMNR to just the pitch  Influencers are often libertarian contrarians  Give a lot to look through – give them options  Steal me, steal me!  Optimize content to be copied-and-pasted  Pre-embed embed codes  Pre-link and optimize for SEO, etc. 19 www.mizunorunningnews.com @chrisabraham #gtmim
  20. 20. Outreach: The Magic Happens in the Inbox 20 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  21. 21. Outreach: Yet Another Mail Merge 21 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  22. 22. Analyze: It All Comes Down to the Bottom Line  Track using site analytics tools  Google Analytics tracking code in the SMNR  Server-side analytics tools: AWstats, Webalizer  Track both SMNR & target site  Track using media mention tools  I presently use SDL SM2 (Alterian SM2)  Primary, secondary, tertiary, etc., mentions  Lots of free and fee-based tools  Google Analytics is becoming more SM-savvy  Track using specialized landing pages  Using affiliate tricks-of-the-trade 22 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  23. 23. Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 23 133 earned media blog posts, 1,350 Tweets, 40 other @chrisabraham #gtmim
  24. 24. Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 24 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  25. 25. Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 25 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  26. 26. Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 26 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  27. 27. Analyze: The Proof Is in the Pudding 27 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  28. 28. Current Client: Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil  Currently, Gerris Corp is working on an earned media campaign for Skinny & Co. coconut oil. SMNR: skinnyconews.com  Client is the perfect client for earned media:  Product is timely and sexy  Client is generous with all influencers  No influencer floor  Beautiful packaging and top-quality product  Month 1 - 185 product requests, 323 responses, 158 posts  Month 2 - 122 product requests, 203 responses, 121 posts  Month 3 - 128 product requests, 183 responses, 156 posts 28 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  29. 29. @chrisabraham Current Client: Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil  As a thank you to all the bloggers and influencers, we always try to give them all some link love via Gerris and my personal blog.  We encourage Skinny & Co. to thank, engage, comment, Like, share, reshare and retweet any and all earned media content they discover and we share.  While I am far from perfect, I try to do anything I can outside of the product to show personal appreciation. #gtmim
  30. 30. Any Questions? 30 @chrisabraham #gtmim
  31. 31. @chrisabraham Final Words 31 “Hugs not horns” – Chris Abraham “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” – Philo of Alexandria (or Plato or Ian MacLaren or John Watson) #gtmim
  32. 32. @chrisabraham This presentation is already up on SlideShare: http://bit.ly/gtmim Email: chris@gerr.is Mobile: +1 202-352-5051 Twitter: @chrisabraham Google+: google.com/+ChrisAbraham Facebook: facebook.com/chrisabraham LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chrisabraham Blog: chrisabraham.com/blog Contact Me Any Time #gtmim

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