Connect with them. Remember these folks aren’t “real” celebrities. They still are likely to be accessible more easily than this week’s pop star. Offering feedback is a great way to get a conversation going. Be constructive and make suggestions for future content rather than pointing out gaffes and errors. (Though pointing out a typo or similar small issue or tech problem is nearly always welcome.)
2. Cover Their Content
Round up a number of quotes, data points or other content on a particular topic and create a post out of it on your own platform. Let the influencers involved know you’ve held them up as experts, and you may be able to start a dialog that way. This works best if the influencer you’re reaching out to is the “star” of your post, or at least not being quoted alongside direct competitors. (Though being quoted alongside superstars can be very attractive to influencers who are on the rise.)
If you’ve featured them in a blog post, reach out directly. If it’s a social media post, tag them.
3. Ask for an Interview
Once you’re able to open a dialog with the influencers who you can help and who can help you, ask for an interview and arrange a topic that will allow you to both shine and provide value to both audiences. Most influencer’s will share the resulting content, creating one larger audience.
It can be difficult to quantify the value of a single influencer engagement — particularly for smaller audiences where the difference between one response and five is enormous on — but influencer marketing does work when it’s a regular part of your marketing toolkit and when you’re intelligent about the influencers you seek out.