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For Aretha Franklin, it was all about respect.

For Elisa Camahort Page? It’s all about reciprocity.

The co-founder and COO of BlogHer took time out of her busy schedule for an exclusive interview with Nimble Media to talk about influencers and ensuring your content reaches the right audience.

BH_taglineStarted in 2005, BlogHer is the leading cross-platform media network created by, for and with women in social media. And they have a massive reach, too, with an audience of more than 100 million across premium blogs, websites, and social media platforms.

Click here if you’d like information about or to register for BlogHer PRO ’14, a two-day event Dec. 3-4 in Redwood City, Calif., for bloggers looking to take their business, marketing and skills to the next level.

And if you’d like to make sure your blog posts are seen by the right audience, click on the link at the bottom of this Q&A for more information about Nimble Media’s Viral Blogging Program.


Nimble Media: How does BlogHer make sure it’s reaching the right audience with its blog posts?

Camahort Page: Well, there’s two keys to this. The first is figuring out who your audience of influencers is, then commenting on their posts, sharing their content on your social (platforms) and all that. It’s about building relationships and incentivizing those relationships. Basically, it’s all about reciprocity.

It’s not enough to create great content and then share it in a few places. You want to build relationships with people in (your industry),  you want to identify who those people are, you want to mention them and recommend their stuff, and you want to share your content with them.

Again, it’s reciprocity. Influencers are asked all the time to help “spread the word” or share content from someone else, but with no offer in return for them. We live in a “what have you done for me lately” world, and the same is true here. Don’t just ask for something; share their stuff, like them on Facebook, promote their content.


Nimble Media: And what’s the second key to ensuring your content is read by the right audience?

Camahort Page: You can’t just assume that people care about your site or content. That’s a mistake. People have choices these days, lots of choices.

So, the second key is … to go out and find the audience you wish you had, not the audience you already have. You still need to reach out to your current audience, but you need to (continually) reach out to others in your niche.

For example, we’re all about diversity here. We have a very diverse group of writers. But we can’t assume that people already know about us, so we go about finding those people. We look for our audience, let them know we want to know more about them and that we care about their perspective. That builds great relationships.


Nimble Media: So, how do you go about finding those readers and influencers?

Camahort Page: It’s about human outreach. There’s a lot of spray and pray in marketing, but that’s not the quality audience you’re looking for.

The No. 1 way, in my opinion, to communicate with people when you want to offer something to them or ask them something is through email. The No. 2 way is through private messaging on social media. For example, if they follow you on Twitter or friend you on Facebook, you can IM or private message them. But don’t ask for something publicly. When you just ask publicly on Twitter, for example, people feel put on the spot. Send private messages or emails.

I personally don’t like sending messages to contact forms because I never really know where those messages are going, but 95 percent of the time, you can find these people’s email addresses or find them on Facebook or Twitter.


Nimble Media: Will any influencer help your cause?

Camahort Page: It’s about following the bread crumbs. … You find that one blog that seems like a perfect match for your industry, then you see who they link to, who they talk to. Then, based off this information, you can find 10 more influencers like that.

The problem I see is that a lot of marketers are looking for “A-lister influencers,” but they shouldn’t care about “the” A-List, they should care about “their” A-List. Use real estate as an example again. You can put together a list of the top 20 bloggers in the country, but 19 out of 20 will never write about real estate.

Instead you need to find influencers who are writing about your industry. Those people are your A-listers. You then go out and find 30, 40 influencers who care about your industry and build relationships from there.


Nimble Media: How does localization play into all this? For example, if you’re a San Francisco based Realtor, will reaching out to a national real estate influencer do much for your content?

Camahort Page: Yes. You should still find San Francisco-based real estate influencers who have a big local audience. But this is where targeted advertising can also come in handy. You can combine your efforts with display advertising to people in California for a one-two punch.

Back to localizing … all this matters, even if your influencers aren’t located in the same city. For example, I travel a lot, and I live in California. But I’ll bookmark niche sites, like vegan restaurants in different cities. So, next time I travel to Cleveland or Dallas, for example, I might stop at a restaurant because I came across a blog post from a restaurant in that city, even though I don’t live there.

We are digital marketing experts here at Nimble Media, and all of the tactics that Camahort Page described are part of our new Viral Blog Program. The bottom line? An active blog will position you and your brand as a thought leader, and it will help you generate more traffic to your website.  We’ll make sure your blog posts are heavily promoted across the Internet, and we’ll help you build your email subscriber list.

 

 

Hoping to make your content more visible? Click here to receive 50 percent off your first month of Nimble Media’s new Viral Blogging Program

 

meniceJake Rigdon is the executive editor at Nimble Media, a content marketing firm based out of Toronto. You can reach him on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+Twitter or by email at jake@nimblemedia.ca.