The core strategy of Influencer Marketing has been around forever – create and nourish relationships with influential people. It’s always been a best practice to build stable in-roads to your brand’s MVPs. You probably already make a good customer experience a priority, and know how powerful a word of mouth recommendation can be.

As we mentioned in a recent post,  Galileo Tech Media believes Influencer Marketing to be an incredibly important SEO tactic. Link Building for SEO uses outside publications to drive SEO authority based on domain rating, trust scores, and more. Influencer Marketing not only improves SEO, but also increases sales, brand awareness, and customer engagement.

Recent data shows that customers acquired via a word of mouth recommendation convert at twice the rate of traditional paid advertisers, and have a 37% higher retention rate. Since we’re on our phones all the time, sharing every minute of our lives, we’re more than happy to quickly share a great

[or not-great] experience with your brand.

Enter Influencer Marketing, which makes targeting your core influencers and further engaging them with your brand a science. A quick Google search of “influencer marketing best practices” shows far more agency listings than best practices.

It is possible to rally your troops without outside help. The first step is to understand who your primary influencers are. It’s not the guy with the most followers – but the guy who displays expertise and credibility about your brand [or topics related to your brand]. We recommend that you first find your existing influencers within your followings. No need to start shopping for new ones right away.

When you are ready to cast your net a bit wider, you can find influencers by searching Twitter or LinkedIn for conversations related to your brand or industry.

Pay attention to these followers, and start to create a relationship with them. Read and comment on their posts, ask them for feedback, give them first dibs on special offers or new features. Let’s don’t kid ourselves – we all love it when someone makes us feel important.

Spend some time each day creating [or joining in on] online conversations with your followers. Twitter and LinkedIn are great platforms for this. If you have something valuable to add, do it. It may not grab the attention of your biggest influencers every time, but over time it will pay off.

Once you’ve cultivated relationships with your primary influencers, you can start asking for favors. Send over a blog post that you think they’d find interesting, and ask them to share it. Perhaps they’d be interested in publicizing a contest you’re running. Would a guest blogger post be a good fit? Be sure to frame it as mutually beneficial, since probably is.

And rest assured, as soon as you get the hang of Influencer Marketing, it will be time to shift gears and learn about the next big thing.