I’m going to talk about a certain kind of influencer marketing. I’ve used it in a range of B2B markets and it has worked every single time.

Here are just a few of the benefits:
– You will never get your hands on better content
– It’s quick
– The marketing of the content will be done for you
– It will give you bags of credibility
– It will lead to frequent sales opportunities for you

 

So what is it?

Is it holding events for industry experts, giving away free products to YouTube influencers or paying bloggers owners to feature your brand? Nope, far simpler.

The process looks something like this:
1. Identify a list of authorities in your target market.
2. Pick up the phone and call them (that’s the bit that stops most people).
3. Explain that you think they’re awesome (presumably you do or otherwise they shouldn’t be on the list) and that you’d love to interview them. That’s the key, who doesn’t want to be interviewed?
4. Make it easy for them. “It can be in person or over the phone, at the time of their choosing, keeping it as short as possible as you know how busy they are, etc…”

You’d be amazed at the success rate. Seriously, I reckon 85% of people I target I get in front of.

And how does a simple interview lead to all those benefits?
Content – by capturing the best insight from leading influencers you are getting your hands on the best advice from the best in the field.
Promotion – by definition these influencers a) have the audience you want (usually via social media), and b) know the value of good self promotion.
Speed – I don’t know about you but it takes me at least 3 hours to create a decent blog post. By interviewing an influencer you’ll have all the content you need in 30 minutes. Okay, it may require some restructuring and polishing, but the whole process should never take more than a couple of hours. That’s quick.
Credibility – Just think about it – The Michael Parkinson Show, The Jonathan Ross Show, The Graham Norton show – a great interviewer can often attract as much of the spotlight than the interviewee themselves.
Sales opportunities – interviewing people is a great way to build rapport, so you may be surprised at where these conversations lead. Some of our biggest opportunities in the last year have come off the back of these meetings.

This model is common in some markets but absolutely non-existent in others. Here are a few nice examples, some of which I’m involved in directly.
The Fitness Network:
At the fitness network we interview the leading entrepreneurs, marketers and innovators in fitness and share it with the rest of the sector. In doing so I’ve met serial entrepreneurs, olympic legends and celebrities, captured awesome insight and generated a ton of credibility for myself in the market.
Tim Ferris:

You’ve probably heard of Tim Ferris. Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading self help gurus, Ferris is also a New York Times best seller, angel investor and public speaker. He has achieved an awful lot over the last 15 years, and what is his primary marketing method? It’s a podcast where he interviews the world’s leading actors, performers, investors and business people and captures their tactics and tools.

With every major influencer Tim interviews his reach gets larger and larger. In fact this is now the most successful business podcast on iTunes.
The BDLN:

This is very similar to The Fitness Network. We no longer have any hands on involvement but as you can see they do an amazing job getting in front of some of the biggest names in the professional services sector. It doesn’t hurt that this is driven day to day by one of the best telemarketers I’ve ever worked with, but the basic principles of the site are simple; get in front of the top 1% and share it for free with the 99%.
HFE:

This is a client blog that takes its content extremely seriously, and as such influencer content fits perfectly. We’ve interviewed one of the world’s top nutritionists as well as several high profile personal trainers, and can use this awesome content for both articles and promotional infographics.
Business Shapers:

Elliot Moss is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. After a hugely successful career in marketing, Elliot was made the Head of Business Development for the law firm, Mishcon De Deya in 2009, and by 2012 Elliot was listed by the Financial Times as one of the top 10 most innovative individuals in the legal sector. In fact the last I heard Mishcon De Reya had become the fastest growing law firm in the world. How has he done it?

Well aside from being hugely charismatic, Elliot has made sure he’s always in front of his target audience. His website BusinessShapers.co.uk captures insight from leading entrepreneurs, and he even has his own radio show on Jazz FM in which he interviews the biggest names in British business.

A few simple rules to conducting and publishing a great interview

Write it for the reader – During the interview you can let the person talk about whatever gets them excited, but when it comes to writing the final piece you need to remember that the audience only cares about actionable advice.
Try to identify one strong theme – This is for business people and they are reading this article because the headline promised them serious value, so focus on delivering that promise rather than meandering around various interesting but unrelated topics.
Be true to the way the person speaks – It can be tempting to try and make the interviewee sound more articulate than they really are, but it will irritate them and probably end up making the piece sound less authentic and engaging. After all, the best content sounds more like a chat down the pub than an academic thesis. Use short paragraphs, sub headings, bullet points and highlight key phrases as large quotes. Basically do anything you can to make it more visually interesting and digestible.

Cheers,

Dan