David Schneider is the cofounder of NinjaOutreach, an innovative new Blogger Outreach software for marketers
Some people seem to think that blogging isn't as important as it used to be. Are blogs still an important part of digital marketing?
I think blogs are still very important, yes. In fact, it's been our main source of traffic and therefore sign ups since we started. That was the case two years ago, and it's still the case today.
While the exact algorithm for traffic might have changed, people are still digesting content on the web, and that is what brings people to your website.
Perhaps other things like video and social media have become more important, but I don't think we should write off blogs.
One of the NinjaOutreach's main duties is to find influencers and reach out to them. For those who've never heard the phrase, can you describe what an influencer is and why they're important?
An influencer is a general term applied to anyone who has influence in a niche. When applied to bloggers we generally think about people who have large followings on social media, their newsletter, and their blog.
On that note, what are some things you look for to identify an influencer?
I stay away from labeling with exact numbers, and generally discourage that sort of thinking.
That said, if you were looking for something to hold onto, you might want to see social media accounts with follows in the thousands, a blog that is active, engaged, and receiving a fair amount of comments on every post.
But every niche is different, so there is no one size fits all rule.
What are some of the reasons why influencer marketing is so important, these days?
Anyone who has ever started something from scratch knows that the hardest part is just getting it off the ground - getting noticed. Influencer marketing, in concept, is about connect with influencers to short cut that process. If we can find a mutually beneficial partnership, then we can leverage the audience that they have already built.
Can you give some reasons why blogger outreach and influencer marketing is an even better tactic than standard marketing models, like paid advertising or PPC campaigns?
There are a lot of reasons why I prefer influencer marketing over PPC. One reason is that it can be a lot cheaper. For example, when we were starting out, we used to reward influencers with free product, which isn't something you can do in PPC. PPC can only be paid with cash, but influencer marketing is more personal and there are a lot more ways to be creative and incentivize people to work with you.
With bloggers being so busy and overwhelmed so much of the time, what are some ways that you incentivize content for bloggers, to pique their interests?
Some of the main ways we have incentivized bloggers in the past have been:
a) Offering them free use of our product
b) Offering them free licenses to give away to their audience
c) Offering to feature their content on our blog, newsletter, and social media
d) Exchanging content with them
e) Our affiliate program
One of NinjaOutreach's functions is to find Instagram Influencers. Why is Instagram so important for today's digital marketer?
Every channel is so unique - the type of audience that gravitates towards Instagram is different from the one that gravitates towards FB or Twitter. As a result, if you want to get in touch with that audience, you might find Instagram is more effective. This is particularly true for audiences that target young females, and tend to be very photo heavy like food, travel, fashion, etc.
When seeking Instagram Influencers, what are some ways that a marketer might reach out, without being spammy or tacky?
You can't message someone directly through Instagram, so you have to find them on another social media account or on their blog, which is what NinjaOutreach helps with. Once you've done that, you should work to engage with them and just be personal. Reference a recent post or picture they put up. Basically make them feel like you're talking directly to them and not 100 other people.
NinjaOutreach offers tools for automated blogger outreach. What are some digital marketing tasks that can be automated effectively? Are there any parts of the process that should be handled personally?
The biggest automation we offer is automatic emailing and follow ups. This is a huge time saver. However, it's also important to add personalization, which can be done with custom fields, leveraging the data that we have in the tool plus some of your own if say you're importing a spreadsheet. We discourage people from blindly emailing out a large group of people and are proponents of personalization.
Can you give any advice on how to integrate various digital marketing strategies - like email marketing, social media, influencer, and inbound/content marketing - to make the best possible marketing campaign?
We look at marketing as a holistic process and not a group of different tactics to be applied individually. For example, I might have an idea for a post that can feature a lot of influencers, so I'll be doing influencer marketing to build that post. Once it's done, I'll promote it not just to those influencers but other people in the niche, as well as on social media marketing. So you have this single process that from start to finish requires a little bit of influencer marketing, content marketing, social media, outreach, etc.
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