Four Ideas to Collaborate with Influencers on Your Content

Influencer marketing has been on the rise for many years now, but how many marketers really understand how to use the tactic effectively? It’s not really about buzz.

A traffic boost is fine, but how often can you really reach out to niche influencers to collaborate on something? They have their own lives and they are pretty busy people.

Influencer-driven projects cannot happen too often. You cannot build your site on them (in most cases), and those traffic boosts they trigger are only temporary.

But is it possible to use influencer outreach to improve your bottom line? How can influencers help you get more sales, sign-ups, and leads?

Here are a few ideas on how influencer marketing can actually build your income or at least your email list:

1. Paperback book

This is one of my favorite examples of influencer marketing because it was such a great idea and resulted in so many great assets. David Bain reached out to over 100 influencers and invited them to his live show to share one marketing tip they were planning to implement.

The live show was live-streamed on Facebook and was a great success. It was also recorded and published on David’s YouTube channel and re-purposed as a podcast on his iTunes feed.

More importantly, David took all the shared tips, broke them into categories, and turned them into a paperback book using all the free multimedia content assets to support the launch of the book:

Lessons to learn:

Expert interviews are getting old: Think about going a few steps further and turning your expert contributions into a book or a whitepaper.
Use the collective power of participating influencers to get the word out for your book: They will be happy to help because they have been featured among well-known names in the industry. Ego bait works!

How to implement this idea:

No need to start with something as epic: It may seem really intimidating. You can test the idea with an e-book and go from there! You can launch a podcast which is easier these days than it ever was.

2. Product stacks / bundles

Most of the influencers out there have developed products of their own. All of them are interested in more sales and exposure for those products. This is where the idea of a “product stack” comes in. Here’s how it works:

You reach out to a group of influencers and invite them to give away (part of) their product for a discount price as part of a one-buy “stack.”
Each of the participating influencers gets a unique affiliate link which they are encouraged to promote through their social media accounts, blogs, and email marketing lists.
You set the dates when the epic sale happens and invite all the influencers to join you to promote the stack. The idea is the customers pay once and get the whole bunch of offered products, and the influencers are paid for the customers they brought. Everyone is happy.

A great example is BC Stack, an annual sale featuring 65 digital marketing experts presenting their products and services for as low as $49. Each year it’s a new product set, so many bloggers and marketers use the stack as their yearly “digital marketing library.”

The founders have made it as easy as they could for participating influencers: All you need to do is set up a quick landing page explaining what they get and then handle their own subscribers as they come. Needless to say, BC Stack works great for growing influencers’ email lists.

Lessons to learn:

Influencers want more subscribers and more buyers for their products and services. There’s your opportunity to bring them together around your brand to co-create something together.
Engage those influencers further by giving them a reason to promote your collective product (using a simple affiliate link).

How to implement this idea:

Product bundling takes a lot of effort: You need to reach out to influencers, put together offers, track sales, make payouts, etc. When starting out, work on an effective way to organize your influencers and their offers.

3. Surveys

An industry survey is a great way to become an industry knowledge hub. An influencer-assisted survey expands your reach to those influencers’ followers and opens up many more opportunities, including badges participating experts can put on their sites.

Perhaps the best-known example in our industry, Moz Ranking Factors survey, offers a lot to learn from:

The survey features both graphs and influential quotes.
There is a “contributor’s” page allowing you to see who took the survey (and of course it’s considered an honor to be listed there).
The survey integrates well with Moz’s primary calls-to-action because their tools help with issues discussed in the survey:

It’s obvious that this survey did what it intended to do, placing Moz firmly as the marketing industry hub and attracting natural links and of course sales for years to come.

Lessons to learn:

A well-implemented survey makes a great linkable asset, and if you get influencers on board, it will be easy to generate shares and links.
Surveys make your brand more trustworthy, increasing sales and sign-ups.
Surveying helps you understand your niche and target audience and relate to their needs. It makes it possible to create effective workflows for marketing automation and IVR.

How to implement this idea:

With surveys, thorough question research is crucial. I use Text Optimizer to research niche keywords and questions to implement in my content and landing pages. They also offer a handy AI implementation allowing you to summarize answers to each question and even apply semantic optimization:

4. Tool Roundups

Finally, if you are into affiliate marketing, you can use influencer-driven roundups to increase your affiliate sales.

Look at what Robbie Richards did with his epic tool roundups:

He reached out to dozens of influencers inviting them to share their favorite marketing tools.
He created a leaderboard (using his affiliate links) listing the tools that got the most mentions and giving the detailed responses below.

Lessons to learn:

Everyone loves tools, and when niche micro-celebrities recommend them, those lists become even more shareable.
If you are intimidated by the industry survey idea, start with influencer-curated tools lists. The process is similar, but it’s easier to implement and faster to turn around. It’s always advisable to start with something smaller before trying something bigger.

How to implement this idea:

Start with reaching out to industry influencers to ask for their input. Make it as easy to contribute as you can. You can use Google Forms to collect responses easily. There are also quite a few plugins allowing you to create on-site forms and collect responses directly to your database.

Do you collaborate with influencers on your site content? Have you ever tried bringing that cooperation to a new level? Please share your tips!

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Four Ideas to Collaborate with Influencers on Your Content” was first published on Small Business Trends