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Don Sturgill

Written By

Don Sturgill

Don Sturgill is a freelance writer and copywriter from Bend, Oregon, USA. Don loves helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. Find out more at www.donsturgill.com.

Influencer Marketing: The Fast Track to VOD Success

Influencer marketing – you see it all the time.

Wouldn’t it be great if a celebrity like Oprah Winfrey publicly declared your VOD site is where she goes to get information on your niche? That, coupled with products that deserve the praise, could skyrocket your business to the top.

Real-life example? Sure.

Here’s a soundbite of Emma Watson revealing during an interview that she subscribes to OMGYes.com, a subscription video on demand (SVOD) website that uses scientific research to educate its members on female sexuality via video content.  

Click here to watch the video -> youtube.com/watch?v=bj66KbpRjPE

Can you IMAGINE what this did for OMGYes.com?

So, while it could be a little tough to get Oprah or Emma Watson on your side, the impact of any online influencer in your niche would be just the same.

There are so many influencers with plenty of klout you could leverage … if only you knew how to go about getting on board with influencer marketing.

That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this section of the Video Business School. Get ready to open the gates to more and better traffic.

So, what is influencer marketing?

Before we get too far down the road, let’s define our term a little better. Emma and Oprah are influencers because they’re celebrities, but celebrity status isn’t necessary to qualify as an influencer.

Your job is to locate and activate those who can best speak to your specific audience. You want people whose expertise dovetails with your VOD niche and can send subscribers knocking on your SVOD website door.

Influencer marketing invites others to help spread the word about your business. Chances are good you already know many more potential influencers than you realize.

Why is influencer marketing such a big deal?

We trust people way more than we trust brands. That’s why the toothpaste advertisement says “Nine out of ten dentists say our toothpaste is the best.” Brands will lie to you, but your dentist would never lead you astray.

Consumers have always looked to family and friends for recommendations – everything from “Where’s the best restaurant?” to “Which car should I buy?” Social media magnified our list of friends exponentially. Prior to the internet, you’d go to a local guitar player to get help with learning to play your new Taylor acoustic. Now, you’re more likely to begin your search for an answer online.

That’s where influencers come in. If your SVOD training series, “Learn to Play the Acoustic Guitar” is recommended by someone I know, I’m much more likely to consider your course. If the person doing the recommending is also head of the music department at the college my daughter attends, the odds just got stacked even higher in your favor.

George Foreman’s infomercial line, “It’s so good, I put my name on it,” is the essence of influencer marketing: The influencer passes credibility to the product, and credibility builds trust.

How to find the best influencers for your VOD niche

You can find influencers by looking outside the box, looking inside the box, and looking all around the box. You’re looking for people who score high in these two characteristics:

  1. When they speak about your niche, or something closely related to your niche, people listen.
  2. Their audience includes people who are prime prospects for your VOD offers.

That’s your base.

Here are additional considerations to help fine-tune your search:

  • The size of your influencer’s audience is important, but it’s not the most important criteria. It’s better to draw 100 super-qualified and motivated prospects than 1,000 tire kickers.
  • Many influencers require substantial payment. They’re like pay-to-click ads – quick to put into play, but potentially expensive. Other influencers are like getting traffic organically from the search results – you will need to put effort into developing the relationship, but the recommendation comes from a more trustworthy and dependable place.
  • Get familiar with hashtags related to your niche. Follow these hashtags to find potential influencers.
  • Use search engines to locate the forums and blogs related to your niche. The more active the platform, the better.
  • Determine which tools are most helpful to your search. Select no more than three of them and use them frequently. Trying to leverage too many tools frustrates and complicates your work, but the right tools can give you an edge. Examples are Hootsuite (for Twitter and Instagram) and Ahrefs for finding the most-shared content marketers.
  • Begin your influencer search by listening. Make a list of those who are getting the most response from people likely to be interested in your SVOD channel, then work out individual strategies for developing a relationship with those influencers.
  • Set Google Alerts for the terms related to your niche, then follow those leads to identify influencers.
  • Your aim is to cultivate relationships with people who are talented in your niche and love your niche. You’re not seeking advertisers or infomercial specialists – you’re seeking authentic spokespersons.

Wherever you choose to look and however you choose to carry out the search, here’s the most effective strategy for engagement:

  • Find out where your prospects are congregating online
  • Identify influencers by observing the conversations
  • Where possible, provide value to the group
  • Get noticed by the influencer and begin a conversation
  • Give to the group and the influencer
  • Ask for help getting the word out about your VOD channel

Save your advertising for the right channels. When you’re prospecting for influencers, you’re focusing on the give, not on the get. Never ever never spam a group. Respect them, and they’ll respect you.

How to approach influencers and ask for help

Once you’ve done your homework well by listening closely to the conversation and getting to know more about potential influencers, you’ll know who is promoting what.

In the early days of influencer marketing, bloggers were hopping on the “Gotta have my Starbucks” bandwagon. Did a bevy of influencers suddenly become addicted to lattes? Or did Starbucks begin paying bloggers to mention them?

You’ll need to give in order to get. For some influencers, that will mean you’ll need to pay money for the mention. For others, you’ll need to provide content, provide services, provide a free subscription to your VOD channel – you’ll need to determine the type of payment best suited to each influencer.

There’s one super-step you can use to get even closer to understanding what will most motivate influencers to help you. It’s such a simple tactic that it’s often overlooked: ASK.

“Hey, Joe. I admire your work. Would you be so kind as to give me one quick piece of advice? I’m launching a course to help wannabe guitar players gain skills quickly. I can see that many aspiring musicians look up to you. What would it take to get you to take a look at my work and recommend it to your audience? I can provide a complimentary subscription for you, I can offer a special discount to your followers, I can provide affiliate commissions for prospects you send me … I’m open to the whatever best suits you. Please let me know how to join you in serving aspiring guitarists.

Yours sincerely,

Me”

Keep your eyes open, and you’ll begin to notice all kinds of people who can help you spread the word about your business.

Cultivate those influencers. Add value to their work. Care about their audience, and you’ll soon discover something amazing: their audience cares about you.

Lesson 10:

First 100 Customers

Go to Lesson 10