Before the Internet existed, we relied on board games for entertainment. While visiting my grandparents, I found myself gravitating towards the board games cabinet – and as I choked and coughed on decade-old dust, I spread out the games and looked at all the available options. With so many games, how did we choose? As tensions escalated, my mom would intervene and pick a game for us. Having too many choices gives a child anxiety.

Picking a game runs in the same vein businesses face with content marketing. Content marketing is the written, creative element of SEO that has a huge impact. Business to business marketing, or B2B, use content marketing 93% of the time. With so many options, people have trouble deciding. People like being led in the right direction to make their decisions. What they need is that parent to help them. What your startup needs is influencer outreach.

Influencer outreach is the process of finding public figures with a loyal audience to promote a business. Outreach has a dramatic effect on the convertible exposure of your content. Influencer’s steer people in the right direction, right to your content.

Attracting influencers isn’t easy. Influencers are constantly bombarded with outreach attempts, making it vital for you to formulate a concrete strategy. Luckily, you’ve already learned how to deal with influencers, sitting around the table with some old fashioned board games.

Does your Influencer…?

Hungry Hungry Hippos was one of my favorite games. Gobble up the most balls and you win. Simple. Fast. Easy. Back then it was a blast, but this approach isn’t going to win over influencers

Many startups reach out to as many influencers as possible, with their efforts being noticeably lackadaisical. Finding the right influencers takes time. Winning in influencer outreach is finding the best fit. Outreach isn’t a game of chance, rather an elimination game.

The game, Guess Who. Your opponent, your ideal business. The faces on the board are your influencers. Finding the right influencers forces you to ask yourself about your business’s position.

Research your influencers. What do they write about? Do they fit your desired audience? If they don’t match your requirements, flip them down and look over your new list.

GroupHigh is the go-to resource for me. With a seemingly infinite database, filter influencers until you have a group of solid leads. Shorten your list from factors such as the social network influencers operate, the amount of followers, to their most recent blog post.

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You Sunk My Battleship!

I always loved the concept of chess, but as a kid the strategy was out of my grasp. Battleship was a game more on my level. A game of wits and tactical attacks, slowly closing in on your opponent. Facing your potential influencers is like a game of chess, or Battleship for startups beginning their outreach enterprise.

Influencers are people, and people like being talked to as if they’re people. Most startups make the mistake of sounding too robotic. Personalize your message catering to the influencer’s strength. Compliment them on their articles and tell them how it’s relevant to your startup.

Being obvious in any strategic game hurts you. Don’t go broadcasting your thoughts. Time is an asset to businesses and influencers alike, time that won’t be wasted reading over your detailed message. Be direct and make sure all words have an impact.

Neil Patel, a leader in the SEO industry, devised an outreach template in one of his blogs. Now, I wouldn’t advise following this model to a tee. I believe you should exhibit your own stylistic prose. However, he provides the foundation of an exemplary outreach email.

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If you aren’t getting an answer, don’t give up. Influencers have different ways of being contacted and maybe you’re not using their primary form. Try their LinkedIn or Twitter account before moving on.

Drawing The Fine Lines of a Relationship

Once your influencers are onboard, the last opponent is yourself. Finding the best route for both parties is something startups fail to grasp. Your influencer is the most at risk. An influencer has their audience at stake, and securing them is much harder than losing them.

Pictionary is a game of creative collaboration, interchanging roles. Sure, maybe your influencer is more creative and can draw better but you have the better eye to see what they’re doing. The relationship has both parties contributing. Being cognizant of your influencer’s prowess optimizes your relationship’s potential.

Despite this, many startups see their relationship as an authoritative one, forgetting they are the ones that reached out. Your influencer is not an employee but a partner. To make sure you don’t deviate from a collaborative relationship, map out both your expectations so there aren’t any grey areas.

The End Game

Contact marketing will continue to be a strong factor in business to business marketing. Startups face the growing concern of not finding a place for their content due to the high volume produced.  Influencer outreach is strategically the best way to build a foundation for content. Securing influencers takes time to find, persuade, and sustain a relationship. Just remember you’ve been working on this since childhood, huddled around your table on evenings and rainy days, fighting over who got to be the purple hippo.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]