How to get influential people talking about your brand and grow leads

Every startup founder wants to get influential people talking about their product or service - it's an awesome endorsement of what you're doing. But how can you attract their attention and get them sharing what you're doing?

Kareem Mostafa is a marketing professional and influencer passionate about building tribes and word of mouth. He is also the founder of TribeTactics, a growth agency for startups serious about scaling through community. He believes that the best way to get thought leaders noticing you is through a technique he calls Spotlight Content – writing about an influential brand or individual, so they’re motivated to share it. Here are his tips for generating content that will get influencers noticing what you do.

Let’s face it. Content writing, especially when there’s no audience to read it, comes off less as long-term strategy and more as middle-school English homework assignment that needs to be completed. At times, it can be hard to justify spending a lot of time creating a piece of content that may or may not receive the distribution that it deserves.

Distribution is just as important as writing content, because it guarantees that not only will your piece (or creation) be consumed, but more importantly, consumed by the right people who fit your audience or tribe.

I’d like to share with you a technique that worked for us here at TribeTactics, to generate more organic leads that increases trust in your brand. We call it Spotlight Content. Spotlight Content is content you write about a relevant, influential person (or brand) in your niche, that, well, puts them in the spotlight— so that they are motivated to share it on.

The best way to give an example of Spotlight Content is to share with you how it generated leads and eventually revenue for our old business in Dublin, Ireland. After that, we will go into three benefits your startup can leverage once you start writing Spotlight Content.

Potato salads, and the struggle to stand out

While running our restaurant marketing business TribeFoodie (now HireTheChef) we struggled to generate leads by doing food reviews about restaurants. Simply put, the top restaurants had already seen enough reviews and did not necessarily find them ground-breaking. If anything, they did not appreciate many of them as they gave an inaccurate representation of their brand.

It got so bad that one restaurant complained to us about receiving a really mean review about their potato salad, when they did not even serve potato salad at their restaurant. So we decided to dive deeper and look for content ideas that would really add value not just to them, but to the people interested in those restaurants.

We came up with the idea to do interviews with the head chefs of the restaurants that we wanted to sign up (or have already signed up). We came up with different questions we thought the restaurant would enjoy answering, and would help them express their story. From their end, the restaurant would answer the questions promptly and next thing we know we had a content piece ready to go, with an audience waiting to read it.

Who was the first to share it on after we published it? You guessed it, the restaurants themselves — where it would be shown to the rest of their already-existing community. Spotlight content is just one way to generate word of mouth buzz.

Below, we will discuss the three main benefits of Spotlight content.

1. Be more effective, and creative

The fact that you are writing about an existing brand or person with influence keeps you assured that the content piece will receive more attention.

It also means that you will share the content-writing workload, because part of it is information they need to provide for you. In turn, for them this information is easy to provide, and may even be fun for them to think of answers for because it’s all about them!

2. Leverage social reach

Go for the sweet spot. There are people who are way too popular to be trusted. There are people whose reach is too small, and so may not provide you with the return that your brand deserves.

Try to find people that are famous, but not too famous. This is because some influencers who know the power of their reach frequently receive endorsement requests and, as a result, their audience may or may not perceive such endorsed products as products that the influencer was merely paid to promote.

However people who are not that famous yet are much more likely to lead a group of passionate believers who trust them and what they say. Sometimes, it’s for that very reason they're not that big yet. We like to think of them as “famous underdogs”. Those are people who have between 8k-15k followers, but usually not more than that.

Think of the person you are going to interview, and the community or following that they have. What do you imagine their community would be interested in hearing about? What kind of questions might they like to get answers to? Go and write that.

3. Earn their personal recommendation

Be humble and respect the permission of those famous underdogs when reaching out to them. Writing spotlight content is a privilege for us, and it gives us access to their audience, which is probably an audience you strive to reach.

When you respect the permission they granted you and do your best, you receive their personal recommendation.

4. Be their hero

Spotlight content offers you a truly original, new dimension to compete on and express your brand. The possibilities and combinations are limited to your imagination, and the people your target market would be interested to hear from.

Interested? Get a free 30 minute consultation with TribeTactics to personally craft your own Spotlight Content strategy.

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