Looking for new ways to put your brand in front of social media users?
Scratch the paint, find an ad. In other words, branded content is self-serving, and your audience knows it. Instead, go the way of influencers.
1. Go guerilla.
Influencer marketing is normally presented as old-school networking dressed up in fresh, digital clothing. Build relationships. Add value. Create a roundup or two. Then reach out for links and shares.
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When it comes to branded content, however, influencer marketing is far more akin to advanced product placement. Step one: Get your product or service into the hands of someone your audience trusts. Step two: Get that person to create content around it. Step three: Integrate their content into your platforms. I had never been to China but wanted to make certain the trip was as successful as possible.
Therefore, I decided to make a list of the categories of people I would meet along the way and how we could both potentially benefit. For instance, I listed businesses that would be involved with my travel, such as the airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc. Next, were people who were already identified as having a part in the summit, such as the organizers, sponsors, exhibitors, etc. I also listed people who my immediate business contacts could potentially introduce me to and who lived in the cities I was to visit. Personally, I prefer to create an excel document that contains information on each potential contact, including the company, company description, contact name, email, address, telephone number and service provided.
I also note what I can offer of value and what they have to offer. From there, I contacted airlines and hotels. I found that they were receptive and interested because it provided a great value proposition for them. More specifically, they recently introduced new routes and a new fleet of aircraft. The airline took my offer into consideration, did its due diligence and, shortly thereafter, agreed. In exchange, the company committed to making referrals whenever possible, supporting my business efforts by making my travel the best experience possible and supporting my social media efforts based on it being mutually beneficial.
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I have found that the best way to reach out is by sending an initial email inquiring if the party is interested in a new and valuable partnership to increase its public exposure. This method is not pushy or aggressive, and from my experience, no one in their right mind will say no.
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