You’ve probably seen blog posts before saying, “10 Experts Choose Their Favorite Social Media Speaker” or “27 Influencers Share Their Favorite Influencer Marketing Book.” These are examples of what one would call a roundup post, and they are a powerful form of influencer marketing when strategically planned and implemented correctly, especially but not limited to B2B businesses.
This week’s podcast features someone who actually specializes in producing this type of crowdsourced content, Codrut Turcanu of Best Expert Roundups. Listen in for some refreshing advice on how you can both crowdsource content from and develop relationships with influencers through the creation of a roundup blog post.
Hi and welcome to another exciting episode of Maximize Your Social. For today’s interview, I have a very special guest, Codrut Turcanu from Bucharest, Romania. His story is going to be part of my upcoming Influencer Marketing book ‘The Business Of Influence‘
Today’s topic will be the ‘Roundup Blog Post’. Some of you may have heard of, read or created one of these blog posts. They are an example of influencer marketing that existed long before Instagram stories and hashtags. Listen in and be inspired to engage with influencers for crowdsourced content creation!
Neal: Codrut, welcome to Maximize Your Social and please introduce yourself to the audience.
Codrut: Hello Neal, thank you for having me and for the opportunity to share my expertise.
Neal: I hinted at the keyword ’roundup blog post’, something I know you (Codrut) do for a lot of businesses. How do you define a roundup blog post? Please describe what it means.
Codrut: A roundup blog is also known as a crowdsourced article. This is where either you, a team member or someone who has been outsourced, gather a list of influencers and/or subject matter experts in your industry and ask them a specific question. This becomes a blog post featuring their answer. This is what we call an expert roundup blog post.
Neal: Thank you for that concise definition. I created a few of these on Maximize Social Business before I even knew the term existed! At the time, I called them round table discussions. The idea was to get experts to chime in on matters that were critical to social media marketers. I did one on the topic of Klout and another one on Google Plus. I wanted to tap into the opinions of people like Guy Kawasaki and Jeremiah Owyang who I respect a lot in the industry. I only did this twice but I understood after doing so that the content was great and a lot of these influencers began sharing my content direct to their audiences generating a great deal of unexpected website traffic.
Lets take a step back, Codrut because you have been specializing in this for a few years. How did you get started with this?
Codrut: I started this concept back in 2015. I first heard of online marketing in 1999. I got into blogging and affiliate marketing and in the last decade, I got into expert roundups by accident.
My curious and creative nature led me to learn more about this subject. I had some previous connections, people I have worked with so it was a natural progression to start creating expert roundups.
The concept can be altered and adjusted however you like. It is even possible to create roundup blog posts with “rookie influencers” instead of experts.
Neal: This can be very time consuming. We used to call it influencer/blogger outreach. You’re trying to reach out to experts and you’re in line with thousands of others trying to do the same. Can you talk about the challenges businesses have and the pain points they need to overcome doing this type of outreach?
Codrut: For people doing this for the first time, the quick solution is to think of the end result. What do they want to achieve from their expert roundup? It may be lead generation, direct clients, or simply new connections and brand exposure. Once you know your goal, you can start compiling expert lists and this is the major challenge because
- Most people don’t have a goal
- They don’t have a list of experts/proven contacts
What I recommend to my clients is they create a list of existing connections before deciding on a goal. This could be previous clients. joint venture partners, and so forth. You need to have the goal in mind, your strategy and vision for the blog post, then you need the right connections.
Neal: That’s excellent advice. This speaks to my upcoming book ‘The Business Of Influencee’ One of the chapters is dedicated to what that specific influencer marketing strategy should look like. If you’re a well established brand, its going to be very different from being a startup. Influencer identification is also critical.
You want to ensure you’re engaging with the right people with the biggest impact. It’s like an onion-as you peel the layers, there’s more and more complexities and challenges which you (Codrut) have summarized really well.
Moving forward, a lot of work goes into every one of these posts. But there are a lot of benefits for businesses. Can you speak to why and how publishing these roundup blog posts are beneficial for businesses?
Codrut: First of all, because you connect with people who are already influencers in their marketplace, when you associate with people who already have an audience and access to people whom you want to access-for example, lead clients, social media audiences and so forth-you can tap into those audiences. Then you can generate whatever you want with expert blog posts in terms of vision and traffic.
Neal: It sounds simple but I’ve seen from the two posts I spoke about how impactful they are in terms of social media channel engagement, social media community growth, and website traffic growth which leads to growth in leads.
I also think you (Codrut) bring up a good point about roundups putting you on the radar of influencers. You start to build relationships with them through this engagement, through this tactic of inviting them to voice their opinions. That is a very important and critical step of influencer relations that offers lots of value.
What success story examples/results can you share, based on customer feedback, testimonials and what you have seen?
Codrut: I have published examples on www.bestexpertroundups.com One case study I want to mention is Buildfire. Since I created this blog post, it has had 1,200 post shares, more than 4,000 direct visitors, 18 blog comments, 106 backlinks, 33 referring domains and 246 organic keywords generated as a result of publishing this blog post.
The results were gathered with the SEO tool Ahrefs
Neal: What type of app is Build Fire?
Codrut: It was introduced to me by social media specialist, Matthew Barby. It’s a mobile app builder for iOS & Android.
Neal: And you found all the influencers and experts yourself? What type of experts were you looking for?
Codrut: 40 experts shared tips on my Buildfire blog post ‘How to promote your local business online‘
Neal: So the tie in was the need for an app (Buildfire) to promote your local business. This is a great example of influencer marketing having impact across lots of different areas. Those are impressive numbers. When we talk about roundup posts, they don’t have to be for B2B companies, consumer facing brands can also leverage them. But it has the most impact for B2B brands who market a lot. So that’s a great example of a mobile developing app company creating something to tap into influencers and create great content to attract business. Any other case studies you want to mention?
Codrut: I have an Ahrefs study. This one had more than 10,000 direct visitors but they (Ahrefs) already had the influence. I’m not sure if the web traffic came from the blog post promotion itself. The post had double the comments of the Buildfire blog, 36 at this time. It has generated over 300 backlinks and more than 3000 social shares, triple that of the previous case study.
I want to mention here that if your brand is not already a true brand in itself, if you are a start-up or a new blog looking to do round-ups, the major blog traffic will be mainly generated by the experts themselves. With the right promotion and strategy, you may be able to collaborate with them to promote your blog post.
You can also use your newsletter and social media accounts to drive traffic back to your blog post. What I notice about my clients and the brands I work with, they have this scenario in their mind that doing an expert blog post will generate x amount of backlinks. But I don’t do it for the backlinks. The great exposure you will get is in building key connections and relationships with experts and specialists in your niche. Expert roundups open the door to long term relationships. The links, social shares, visitors, leads, and clients will follow quickly afterwards as a natural effect.
Neal: In the U.S., we call this the ‘icing on the cake’, the main benefit is in building that relationship and everything that comes after is extra benefit. If you’re an established company, you’re already getting traffic. Generating 1,000 blog post views is a huge amount for small businesses and solopreneurs. You have given us a lot of awesome advice and food for thought.
Just one last quick question. Say I want to write my first round-up post, on average, is there a number of influencers or experts you recommend to start with? Is there a ‘ball park’ number or does it depend on each company and it’s objectives and type of industry?
Codrut: It depends on your strategy. The more experts/influencers you connect with, the greater the opportunities for blog post social media reach, promotion and relationships. You must ask yourself ‘what is my strategy?’ and ‘Do I want quantity or quality?’ After asking these questions, you can start connecting with experts.
This concept of expert roundups is implementable in any niche, large or small. Who you connect with is very important. If you want to target top tier specialists/influencers, this will be difficult as they are busy and may have a team who respond on their behalf. I advise my clients to connect with mid-level influencers-those who have sizable and significant audiences but respond personally on their social media accounts.
Neal: That’s great advice. I also talk in great depth about this in ‘The Business Of Influence.’ In influencer marketing, we call those people the ‘power middle.’
I have learned a lot from this interview and I’m sure our listeners have too. Anything else you would like to add?
Codrut: I am planning some International workshops on this topic. I advise beginners and those who currently write expert roundups to always focus on quality content and quality experts. This goes back to listening to your audience. Your audience dictates how you adjust strategy and whom you connect with, and the content type they want to consume.
Neal: It’s like anything else, if everybody in your industry does expert roundups, how do you differentiate yourself? It comes down to quality and alignment with your audience. If you think about that now, you’ll have a competitive advantage.
Codrut, thank you so much for being on the podcast today. I wish you the best in all your future work and thank you all for listening to this podcast. Wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day!
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For another look at how to measure ROI for your influencer marketing campaign, check out this awesome infographic from Sideqik.