552: How to Integrate Influencers Into Your Content w/ Ashley Zeckman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Ashley Zeckman, Director of Agency Marketing at TopRank Marketing.

A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more. At Sweet Fish Mediacom you're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. All Right, I'm here today at the BB Marketing Forum in Boston and I'm talking to Ashley Zeckman. She's the director of agency marketing at top rank marketing. Ashley, I know today I'm great. It's been a long day, but a great day. please. You know you try to pack as much in and...

...as you can in the three or four days that you're here. But what's the what's the most with us both being at this conference right now, what's the most value that you get out of conferences like this. So many things actually. So in addition to I love the sessions, especially at a conference like this, which is my favorite because it's small, because the quality of the content is so good and it goes really deep. So I love the learning aspect of it, but it also gives me a chance to like you know, we're doing video interviews with some of the influencers that we work with on a regular basis. So we're doing that and then hosting a few events. So it's kind of a whirlwind. I don't know that I could pick anyone thing. It's just cramming a lot of experience into a very short amount of time, which I really enjoyed. So we were talking before he record just about the integration between influencers and content. You guys at top rank. I'm seeing a lot of content from you guys popping up in my social feeds because of the type of content that you're doing leveraging influencers. Can you talk...

...to us a little bit about the strategy behind that? What are you guys doing with influencers and the top rank content, and then maybe talk about some results that you guys are seeing from it? Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things we you know, we notice for ourselves and a lot of our clients are experiencing is that, obviously we know that content impact, not content quantity, has become such a big need, but it's getting harder and harder for grants to create content that people actually want right because it's so brand centric a lot of the time. So one of the ways that we try to counteract that or balance that is by incorporating influencers into the content. So it can be a great way to build authority and credibility but also increase your efficiency because, if you know, in some cases you might have an influencer create ten percent of the content, sometimes they might create ninety percent of the content. So it's a really great way to align yourself with other smart people and whatever industry you're working in. And it's something that we've been you know, Lee has been doing even before there was an expression for it them. He used to do video interviews or even just text interviews on our blog like...

...ten years ago, and you know, that was a good way to begin connecting with people who are influential, possibly prospects that we wanted to work with. So by featuring them you're able to real relationship with by adding value to yes, you're giving them something without asking for start right. This is about them, about building their network, and we've done it a lot of different ways, you know, starting, I think, with our blog. One of the things, I know we were talking about earlier, is these list posts that we do. So for this conference, for example, lead did top fifty BTB marketers. I think that are speaking at the event and it's just a really good way to feature expertise of people. A lot of these people we work with, a some of them we don't. And I think another good example is the fifty women in Digital Marketing Post that we do every year, which is almost always our highest ranking post of the year and most shared post to the I think the one I did last year had like seven thousand shares. Wow. For the bloss the people that you feature change a whole lotters are a lot of overlap from your there's some overlap when leave was...

...first do so, I think the first year he came up with a list of I think it was twenty five women in digital marketing and then the next year he asked those people to nominate someone else and it's just kind of evolved to the point where this year it was fifty women. We had our north stars in our rising stars. So the North Stars of the twenty five people that were selected based on some criteria. I asked them one for one career tip and then I ask them to nominate one other person who's a rising star and digital marketing and give a little explanation of why they nominated them. So, and the vast majority of those twenty five people were upandcommerce that people who might not have these super large networks now, might not be branded viduals, might not be super famous, but are coming into their own and marketing and people that we want to align with and Co create content with. So that's one way to do it. We also do a lot of campaigns with influencers, some gated, some ungated, but just really finding, you know, ways to feature the most experienced people on a specific topic, whether it's something...

...in it or machine learning or marketing, and just really working with them to create these campaigns and we, you know, we packaged it up all night and nice and either an interactive piece or an e book, and then we create motion graphics and gifts and Social Graphics and send the influencers prewritten messages that they can use or not use, right, because the goal is really to build that authority, but also extend our reach, right, because they have people that they're connected with that we want to be connected with. So when you're talking about integrating influencers into your content, should that be something you're kind of at this stage in the game with and with influencers? Should you be prepared to pay a pretty healthy fee to influencers to partner with him, or are the influencers typically happy to be a part of it because it's just more exposure for them? I think it depends. So part of the beauty of US owning a lot of these relationships for, you know, obviously our own marketing in the what we do for clients, is that we have built these...

...relationships with people very organically. But it also depends on the ask. So if you're asking someone to do a Webinhar or workshop, get better pay them right. You better pay them for their time and effort and the insights that they're sharing. But a lot of times we have we have seriously built, you know, our community and I'd say ninety five percent of what we do is unpaid, but it's because they're finding value in it. And if an influencer asked to be paid or that's an expectation, it's definitely something we consider because, you know, if it's someone that we really, really want to be working with, like, we understand these people are busy. They get us like this all the time. You know, how do you stand out against that? So I'd say the vast majority of ours are not paid. We do have a few, but it's never really a significant amount of really. So would you say for someone that's never dip their toe in this type of content, with the first step for them to be around up article and think of the most? You know, twenty five per simple want people in their industry and just do like a round up blog post. Yeah, so...

I think that's we have this influencer nurture model that I created and that's definitely a great place to start. So begin following them and interacting with them socially, you know, sharing their blog content if they write content, liking and responding to things that they're creating on social networks. And then after that, I would definitely start with one of these posts where, again, not like the the fifty women post we did, where we reached out to them, but actually just creating a round up post, a list that doesn't that requires zero effort from the right and then in your social messages when you are promoting it, like tag them in it or send them an email, and then when you are ready to maybe co create a larger piece of content, then you have something to go to them with. So either they've heard of it or you can say, Hey, we recently mentioned you in this thing and we would love to include you. Yeah, I love it. Actually, this has been fantastic. If there's somebody listening to this, they want to stay connected with you. They want to learn more about top rank. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? They can go to...

...top ring Marketingcom is our website, or they can reach out to me on twitter. I'm at a Zachman, or connect with me on Linkedin. I'm definitely happy to field any questions. Answer Ay that you know I have the answers to if not, I work with Super Smart People. That could against them. So yeah, I think that'd be the best way to get a hold of me. Awesome. Thank you so much, Alick. I thank you. If you're a BEDB markeeter, we want to feature you on sites like huffed and post. Social Media Examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. So head over to sweet fish Mediacom backs last questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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