How do your build influence with blogging? How can you turn readers into buyers? What processes should ensure your content marketing is successful?
When I first met Ian Cleary, 3 years ago he was blogging for Social Media Examiner. At the time, he hadn’t started blogging on his own site. Then all of a sudden his posts started to appear, and they were amazing. In that short space of time, Ian started a blog and become a familiar name to Internet marketers worldwide.
I talked to Ian about how he built his brand so quickly, how he built influence with blogging and the PRISM funnel he developed for getting customers from your content.
Listen To How To Build Influence With Blogging Below
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Should small businesses start their own blog?
Having great content will show you are knowledgeable in a particular area so yes you should have a blog as a place to build your core content.
When Ian started building his business he came up with a list of 100 Influential digital marketers. Then he started building relationships . Having good quality blog content meant that they weren’t just getting to know him, they could check the stuff out and share it with their audiences.
That’s the beauty of influencer marketing, it only takes a few of the right people to share your content to start getting results.
[Tweet “”You need to build your core content and also your relationships with influencers” – Ian Cleary”]
Content doesn’t always have to be written blog content. Ian points out that Steve Dotto uses a YouTube channel for his core content, others use podcasts.
How do you find and attract influencers?
- Understand your target customer and what are they interested in
- Create really good, valuable content based on their interests to attract them.
- Reach out to key bloggers, start getting to know them. Over time they will start sharing your content.
Taking a ‘Pie shop’ in Dublin as an example Ian talked about how he would reach out to influencers:
- Reach out to some of the top food bloggers in Ireland or the world and ask them to share a tip on a specific topic.
- Create a blog post containing all these tips
- Let the bloggers know when it’s published and shared
Because the bloggers have contributed to the blog post they will share it.
- Get you lots of traffic
- Make those influencers (in this case food bloggers) aware of you
Real Life Example – Promoting The Content Mastery Summit
The pie shop isn’t real but Ian is putting this process into place to promote the Content Mastery Summit.
Here are the steps he’ll take:
- Create a blog post containing tips from some of the world’s top content marketing experts.
- Share that post on his social media and promote it with ads to people in his target audience.
- Influencers, those featured in the post, will send traffic to his site when they share it.
- Use the Facebook Pixel to build an audience of people who visit that post.
- Re-target that audience with a Facebook ad.
[Tweet “”If people don’t know about you, then they are not going to buy from you” – Ian Cleary”]
The PRISM Funnel
P = People Build and audience online. This could be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any social channel.
R = Relationships Build relationships with your audience. For the audience at large, this could be just creating valuable and useful content for them. For influencers build relationships on a one to one basis
I = Inbound Traffic Bring people into your website with your valuable and targeted content.
S = Subscribers or Social Media Retargeting When people arrive on your website try to capture them with email addresses. Create a Facebook retargeting audience from those who visit your site for Facebook advertising. This way you can target them even if they don’t give you their email.
M = Monetisation Drive sales by sending a sequence of emails over a period of time. The firs few should add value and then send them an offer.
Read more about the PRISM Funnel on Ian’s website.
How do you know someone is influential?
This is something that a lot of people I talk to worry about. They want to build relationships with Influencers but they don’t know where to start.
Here are Ian’s tips
- Use Google to search for the keywords that are relevant to your industry.
- Make a note of the blogs that come up at the top of these search results. If these people are ranking high they are probably very well read and, therefore, influential.
- Once you have identified one influential person on Twitter take a look at who they are talking to on a regular basis. Ian recommends Twitonomy for this.
- If you have a budget use the paid tool Traackr. This will help you identify influencers.
Is Twitter still the place to reach out to Influencers?
There’s been a lot of talk about the decline of Twitter but I still find it one of the best places to build relationships. It depends on where they hang out and where you can get access to them so for some it could be
Ian suggests that you look at where your Influencers hand out online. It might be Twitter, Instagram or it might even be Snapchat. You may even find it easier to connect on Snapchat at the moment as it is less crowded and there will be less competition for attention.
How can you avoid ‘Impostor Syndrome’?
Impostor Syndrome is a condition many small business bloggers face. They write content but then begin to think they are a faking it. They lose confidence in their knowledge and feel like they are an ‘impostor’
[Tweet “”Your opinion can’t be wrong if it’s your opinion” – Ian Cleary”]
Ian shares an example of a post he created recently:
He’d created a graphic: “Social Media Analytics Compass’ but he wasn’t sure he’d covered everything with it so he shared it on social media channels and asked for feedback.
It turned out he had missed a few things and he was able to edit it to include them. This process validated his idea and made it better. It also meant that he got lots of additional shares as people felt invested in the content he’d created.
If you are unsure of your expertise reach out to your network looking for contributions and validation.
To do this you really need to plan out your content and start collecting information way ahead of your schedule.
How did Ian & Mark meet?
Ian was at a conference in New York and Mark had been someone he’d been following online. He really wanted to meet him so he ‘chased Mark down a corridor’ and their relationship has blossomed ever since.
The Content Marketing Summit with Ian Cleary & Mark Schaefer is happening in Dublin on the 31st of May 2016. You can book your ticket here.
This Week’s Challenge
Ian shared so much it’s hard to narrow it down to just one challenge. I thought we’d start with something simple and easy to achieve. Our first step towards good influencer marketing. So here it is:
- Identify 10 influencers in your field. You are looking for people who have influence over your ideal customers.
If you are enjoying this podcast I’d love to hear about your blogs and how you are getting on with the weekly challenges. You can leave me a comment below and include links to your blogs.
If you want to see more from me you can follow me on Snapchat (I’m Spiderworking) or tune into my new weekly Facebook Live show at 4pm every Friday.
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Ian Cleary says
Thanks so much Amanda, that was fun!
Amanda Webb says
You were only brilliant! Looking forward to May 🙂
Many thanks to you Amanda and Ian, much appreciated.
K.Suresh Rao says
Very interesting conversation with Ian. Happy to learn that Ian is a friend of Mark Schaefer, whom I admire!
Amanda Webb says
They are both superstars!