If you follow social media or content marketing at all, you know that engaging with influencers can be a great multiplier.  If a major influencer shares your content or recommends your product or service, it often gives you a big spike in web traffic and leads. It is hard work to do this effectively, and thus, requires continuous engagement — as does any long term content marketing strategy.

One way I have found helpful in engaging influencers is to curate their content and add your own thoughts. They will generally notice. Even better, if you have an honest disagreement with one of their blog posts or public statements, quote them and write about it. Good public discussion helps them, you, and both of your audiences.

IBM’s Leslie Reiser

As one of the world’s best-known tech brands, IBM faces unique challenges — trying to ramp up its presence in an existing market where it is lesser known, for example. Leslie Reiser, IBM’s Program Director for Digital Marketing Worldwide, is facing that challenge head-on. 

As manager of the digital marketing practice within IBM’s general business organization, Leslie is responsible for social media marketing programs, website development, interactive marketing, content marketing, and all things related to the online space. Her group primarily focuses on midsize businesses (companies they define as having between 100 and 1,000 employees) — an area where IBM is waging an aggressive campaign to gain more market share.

I sat down with Leslie to talk about IBM’s influencer blogging program, gaining traction in the midsize business market, and plans for future content marketing expansion.

CMI: What works well in your content marketing program?

Leslie: Recently, we joined forces across our entire marketing and communications organization. Instead of working within a siloed, pure marketing discipline area, we have amassed a group of influencers. They include our business partners, IT analysts, and independent bloggers, many of whom are compensated for their unique point of view and perspective on a particular area. We work in concert across all these various constituencies in IBM to form (essentially) a very robust influencer ecosystem.

[ by Clare McDermott ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠfrom Content Marketing Institute ] [ Read more: How Influencers Have Ignited IBM’s Content Marketing ]

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