Influencer marketing is not as complicated as it might sound. Influencer outreach is a quite critical component in developing a relationship that is fostered and built over time.
Influencer marketing seems to be ubiquitous, these days. It is a fragment of marketers' social media and content strategies, it also drives brand awareness and conversion campaigns, and it is as well becoming a larger part of advertising.
Influencer content is overtopping brand created content. Approximately half of the consumers reported that they found brand created advertisements "annoying or irrelevant". Most of the consumers said they were very likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow and had no negative reaction to sponsored influencer content whatsoever.
Influencers are engulfed with requests from brands and increasingly are able to pick and choose who they want to work with. According to a study it was found that only 24% of influencers accept more than half of the offers they receive.
Here we have some tips for effective influencer outreach that you must know for you.
1. Prior to Influencer Outreach, Research Top Candidates
The first step that you need to take in developing a successful influencer relationship is to find the right partner(s). It is a time consuming and overwhelming project, but new tools on the market have made it easier than ever to identify potential influencer partners.
Influencer marketing platforms such as Humanz, Grin and Upfluence give businesses an opportunity to find the right influencers for their products. These platforms have lots of features that help to filter influencers depending on their interests, amount of followers, followers' gender and age. One of the most important key points for successful influencer marketing is finding a loyal influencer for promoting your product.
Sites like Pitchbox and FameBit streamline the process by offering a “catalog” of influencer profiles, direct outreach capabilities, and an all-in-one management platform. It especially helps you to get this information out of your Instagram DMs when you are trying to create a large-scale influencer campaign or working with a large team.
Keep an eye on the social profiles of your potential partners. This will help you to understand what type of content they create, who their followers are, how they connect with their fans, and what other brands they have partnered with in the past.
Finally, look through your own followers to identify those with social influence of their own.
2. Establish Connections with Your Potential Influencers
Once you have a list of potential partners, the next thing you need to do is to start interacting with them on whatever social platforms they are on. No one likes to be cold-called, so before making an official pitch, your goal is to get on the influencer’s radar. Liking and commenting on their posts, tagging them in relevant conversations, and interacting in a friendly way is what helps here.
Now as you know that authenticity is key. When choosing the campaigns and brands to work with, Authenticity and originality are the factors that are taken into consideration with utmost priority. You earn yourself a fan every time you excel in your work. You're probably wondering how you can create that authentic connection, aren't you? You can do it simply by being a fan of their work.
Source: Instagram account @hxrrietday
When you have that feeling that you have developed enough of a relationship, it’s now time to craft a personal message and reach out. Make use of the learnings from your research to let them know why you want to work with them and how you believe the partnership would be a good fit.
To develop the best approach, you may have to test different methods of outreach. You may find that you get faster response on email than by Instagram direct message or vice versa. Make sure you have a system for recording communication if you aren’t using a platform to manage your influencer outreach. It can be a plain spreadsheet or an ASANA project with pointers and notes for each influencer.
4. Create Great Content
We have seen the rise of a number of creative forms, in the previous year which includes video, stop motions, cinema graphs, boomerangs, Stories, GIFs, and AR filters. Consider all of the different types of creative at your disposal and make a choice based on the campaign’s goals, when planning influencer campaigns.
It’s worth noting that most of the influencer marketing campaigns now use Instagram and in the last quarter the use of Instagram Stories in these campaigns grew by 60%. Your creative decisions must always fit the same platform that your influencers and their respective audiences are using .
Brands and influencers both want to create and share content that fits with their brand and keeps their audiences engaged. Work together with your partners to develop the creativity that works for both sides keeping in mind that your influencer knows what their audience likes best. Let them take the lead on creative that they will be asked to share, whenever possible.
Source: Instagram account @wandering_wild_home
5. Make the Partnership Mutually Beneficial
A good influencer outreach email also will make it clear to the partner what’s in it for them because the influencer marketing industry has matured, the norm is payment for sponsored posts. Be crystal about what you are going to pay and how and when the payment will do.
Value of the influencer’s contribution to your marketing is indeed crucial, but you should also think about a simple trade of cash. What are the benefits or perks that you can offer the influencer in addition to their payment? This could mean free product, for a product-based brand or perhaps you could extend a free trial of your software, for a service-based business.
You can also invite them to special events, such as a behind the scenes tour, a product launch event, or even just asking them out to lunch. Make sure to learn what your influencer really wants out of the relationship and give your heart to make that happen.
6. Think Long Term: Nurture Your Relationships
The finest influencer marketing campaigns reach at the peak out of true relationships that are fostered and built over time.
Don’t consider your influencer campaigns as a one-and-done. To develop a roster of influencer partners that you can routinely engage in campaigns, is a best practice. Stay tuned with this group of influencers. Reach out periodically with news and opportunities from your brand, and take note of their updates on social media. Send them a card or letter congratulating them, if they share something grand.
Post-campaign, make it a point to send thoughtful , many thanks notes to the influencer and share the results from your campaign. They’ll be better and more collaborative, like all relationships become with time. There's still value in nurturing the connection you’ve already invested a ton of your time in, albeit the campaign results weren’t what you hoped for.
7. Make Each Email Unique and Not from the Cookie Cutter
Moving to the email approach, do not send standard, default emails to influencers. And make it a point to not start your email with a generic address such as “Dear Webmaster”. Address the influencer by the name, such as “Hi Chandler”.
Construct emails that are unique and compose them individually. That’s the strategy you need to adopt, if you're running behind results. It’s worth the effort and it’s something you can perfect soon, although it may seem time consuming. You need to make your email more personal and customized to the requirements of the individual.
8. Influencer Outreach Is NOT a Numbers Game
In order to find the right fit for your brand/product, etc You're going to have to approach multiple influencers. And for us to start seeing the positive response, you're going to have to knock on a few doors. BUT we must always remember that Influencers are people.
They have a reputation to uphold and almost all of them won't respond positively to being asked to promote something with copy and paste style email, especially if this is going to be your first point of contact.
9. Segment your Influencers
Think about what motivates different influencers and the best way to get them working with you because the same approach will not work for all influencers.
Reach, activity-level, interests and industry expertise are some of the ways you can choose to segment your list of influencers. You can also combine demographic data such as gender, age and location with these metrics.
Remember that reach and influence are not the same. Take a look beyond vanity metrics such as number of followers when deciding which influencers to work with.
Influencers who have an enormous social audience are great for spreading awareness.
Source: Instagram account @merzydotes
10. Be Clear About Your Expectations
Irrespective of the kind of relationship you build with your Influencer, you must always remember that it is a business transaction. You have to be very specific about your expectations and must communicate the same with your partner effectively.
It’s always important to identify the metrics that you will use to determine your success and the platforms you desire to work on and the number of posts you expect.
So, once you are onboard with your Influencer don’t forget to keep them posted regarding the same.
It is believed that by the end of 2020, Influencer marketing is expected to be an estimated 10 Billion Industry. However, Influencer marketing does not have to be as complicated as it might sound. Influencer outreach is a quite critical component in developing a relationship that is fostered and built over time.
Nurturing your relationships, Creating great content, Making real connections, Being goal-oriented are certain attributes you need to follow in order to see your Influencer campaigns flourish.
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