With the increasing use of ad blocking, influencer marketing is a more effective option. It is a subtle, sophisticated, and modern way to market your product.
Some questions that may come to mind are, “Who are the best influencers for your brand?” and most importantly, “How do you reach them?”
In this article, you will learn how to reach the perfect influencers for your brand and how you can convince them to participate in your campaign.
Who Are Your Influencers?
Before you start your influencer outreach, you have to locate the right influencers for your brand. This is extremely important because the whole influencer marketing campaign depends on that.
This is a vital process not only for the success of your campaign, but also for the success of your outreach. That’s because influencers tend to be more open to opportunities that are relevant to their audience. So when a brand that sells relevant products or services approaches, them, they are likely to jump at the opportunity.
Based on the product or service you offer, define your segment in detail. Know your audience so you know which influencers will appeal to them. You’ll find it easier to narrow down influencers based on their followers’ geographic and demographic orientations.
Apart from this, the influencer has to be relevant to your product, an expert from your industry, or a thought leader. Most importantly, your brand’s value system should also align with that of the influencer’s.
Where Is Your Audience?
Find out where your customers hang out. The channel selection also depends on your influencer campaign goal. If your goal is to get the maximum visibility, you may want to use Facebook. If you are looking to increase engagement, Instagram may be the right channel.
While choosing an influencer, you have to consider their followers as well as their relationships with the followers. Check the engagement rate of their posts to understand this a bit better.
You have to keep in mind that there could be influencers who have fake followers. So take the time to go through the comments and see if there are real people engaging in real and relevant conversations.
Micro or Macro?
Depending on your budget and the purpose of the campaign you have to decide whether you want to go for a macro or a micro-influencer. According to a study by Markerly, influencers with less than 1000 followers have an engagement rate of 8%. And those with 10 million followers have a 1.6% engagement rate.
Image Source: Markerly
However, even this 1.6% could be a good number for you depending on the total number of followers and how powerful the influencer is.
How to Reach Out to Influencers
Once you’ve shortlisted your favorite influencers, the next question is, “How do you reach out to them and convince them to work with you?” You may use some or, all of the strategies below to get influencers on board.
Invite Them to Your Event
Organize an event for your shortlisted influencers. Invite them as special guests so that not only will they remember you, but will also talk about you on social media.
Make sure you create a picturesque event setting, perfect for influencers to take plenty of pictures for their social media posts.
For example, Maybelline’s 2016 New York Fashion week invited 15 different fashion influencers from all over the world to participate in the event. Some of them walked the ramp, while some worked behind the scenes. After this event, Maybelline New York Fashion Week reached 13.9 million Instagram users.
Below is an example of the model and influencer, model_roz’s post about the Maybelline Fashion Week, which got 122k likes.
Image Source: Mediakix
The benefit of this kind of effort is that the content will also be influencer-generated. You will get an idea of which influencer works best for you based on the performance of their content.
Let Them Notice You
Start following your influencers. Like, share, and comment on their posts. Do this regularly so that they eventually notice you and grow some interest in your brand.
Just like you, as a brand, want authentic influencers, influencers are also looking for authentic brands to partner with. Let them figure that out by themselves.
So when you approach them with your proposal, they already have some familiarity with your brand.
Send Them an Outreach Email
Pursue your influencer in a strategic manner via email.
Depending on the purpose of the outreach, the tone of the email should be different. You can send an outreach email when you are about to launch a product, requesting feedback or looking for a long-term influencer partnership.
Influencer management platforms like Grin come with a robust outreach feature that lets you send customized outreach emails.
You can also access proven email templates for different types of campaigns, which you can customize for each influencer on your list.
Ask for an Expert Opinion
You can also send influencers your product or, provide them a free service and then request them to review it. Remember, giving the free product doesn’t guarantee that they will talk about it on social media.
However, this is an obligation you create for them, which might work in your favor.
Micro-influencers are the right choice for this approach, as they’re always on the lookout for new products to share with their audiences.
Offer Attractive Compensation
Offer them real compensation in terms of money and priceless experiences. Marketers need to stop sending only free products and expect good effort in return from influencers.
Lay out clear payment terms before your outreach so you can entice influencers with attractive compensation.
Let’s Get Your Influencer Marketing Contract Made
Even if you put in so much effort to get your favorite influencer on board, be prepared for refusals. There can be many reasons for the refusal. Maybe the influencer finds your brand irrelevant to their audience. Maybe they lack interest or don’t have enough time for a new campaign. Avoid being too persistent as you can come off as annoying.
But if the influencer doesn’t get back to you, you might have to follow up a few more times to get a yes.
Once an influencer has agreed to your proposal, you can start drawing up an official contract. There are a few things you should include in the contract. This includes details of the campaign, campaign goal, dates, frequency of posts, the kind of engagement you are expecting from the posts, etc.
Also, make sure your influencers are aware of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s rules and regulations. They should disclose that a post is sponsored, when needed. Keep all of these aspects in mind to begin your influencer marketing campaign.
About the Author
Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands.
Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin, he led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America.