Automating Influence Marketing – Is it the Right Option For You?
In order to build relationships with influencers and earn their attention and cooperation, you have to first build trust, which naturally takes time.
But as a resource-strapped business, you’re already allocating maximum resources to executing, managing and measuring the multiple aspects of your marketing plan. Is it realistic to add one more long-term strategic focus to your plate?
For this reason alone, the question of whether you should automate your influence marketing strategy is a viable debate.
The key to automation is utilizing it as an augmentation or supporting component of your influencer marketing strategy, NOT as a replacement for the necessary human touch that the process requires.
Where Automating Influence Marketing Makes Sense
While I don’t believe that you can scale personal attention, there are elements of the influencer outreach process that I do think can be automated.
Here’s where I believe automation tools can effectively augment and support your outreach:
- Initially identifying broader segmentations of influencers in your industry
- Identifying influencers in appropriate social channels to monitor and listen (and eventually trim down your list)
- Timing your content distribution
- Data extraction for reporting and measurement
- As a tool to support your larger, integrated outreach and marketing strategy (and not as the focus or key driver)
Where Influence Automation Should Be Avoided
Automation for efficiency’s sake can be dangerously addictive, so be mindful of where your automation tactics are useful, and where they might introduce dangerous dependencies.
Here’s where automation could get you in some hot water:
- As a tool for targeted spamming or auto-responder campaigns, instead of personalizing the approach
- Sending connection requests to influencers
- Replacing the research process – i.e. getting to know your influencer’s backgrounds and their audience before beginning outreach
- Producing irrelevant and/or untimely content for sandblasting your influencer list
- Sending cold pitches to a larger list of potentially irrelevant influencers
The key to effectively incorporating automation in your influencer marketing efforts is to utilize automation tools and techniques ONLY where it can help you trim the fat and gain necessary efficiencies.
There is no replacement for human interaction, so be wary of influencer outreach strategies that champion fully automating the process.
Where do you believe automation is best utilized in an influencer outreach strategy? Please share your insights and thoughts in the comments below.
Update: We were inspired by Amanda Maksymiw’s post over at OpenView blog and we appreciate her getting the ball rolling on this important topic. We were, however, remiss in not linking to her excellent article. We encourage you to check it out.