Need help with your first influencer outreach campaign? Or maybe your previous campaign wasn’t effective enough, and now you need some professional guidance.
Whatever the case may be, this post will provide you with useful tips, and step-by-step instructions for carrying out your campaign effectively. From defining your goal and searching for influencers, to conducting your email outreach, this is a detailed guide to influencer outreach strategy.
Step 1: Come up with a Defined Campaign Goal
What every marketing campaign – influencer marketing or otherwise – needs is a clear campaign goal. What do you wish to achieve from the campaign? How will you measure success? How will you determine which influencers will be best suited for you? These are some of the biggest questions that your influencer outreach strategy goal should answer.
Not sure how to get started? Let’s take a look at some of the most common goals that influencer marketing can help you achieve:
- Boost Brand Awareness/Brand Visibility – If you’re planning to build awareness about your brand, or boost your visibility, you can measure the campaign’s performance based on the increase in following, number of social media impressions, etc.
- Increase Engagement – If you’re trying to get more people to engage with your brand, you can measure the campaign’s performance through the number of likes, shares, and comments on the sponsored content. You can also measure this based on the number of link clicks and article views.
- Drive Conversions – If your campaign is aimed at driving more sales, you can directly measure the number of sales generated by each individual influencer for the campaign. For this, you’ll ideally need a unique landing page or unique discount code for each influencer, which will make tracking easier.
Figure out which of these goals are most important for your influencer outreach marketing campaign. With a defined campaign goal, you will have a better understanding of what to look for in an influencer. This means the first step will make the second step much easier for you.
Step 2: Build a List of Potential Influencers to Connect with
This is one of the most challenging steps of influencer outreach marketing. But with a clearly-defined goal, you will have a better understanding of which types of influencers you need for your campaign. There are four main types of influencers you can choose from:
These are mainly athletes, and TV personalities who have massive followings – both online and offline. These influencers may be more expensive to work with, but could be ideal if your goal is to extensively promote your brand to the masses. They can help you build online and offline brand awareness.
These are influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers. Some of them may even have several million followers, like celebrity influencers. They can be from any niche, but are mostly found in beauty and entertainment.
For instance, Michelle Phan and PewDiePie could be classified as macro-influencers or top influencers.
As internet celebrities, their main characteristic is reach, so these influencers are ideal for boosting brand visibility across the digital landscape. If you can find top influencers in a niche category, it can be ideal because you can ensure that your campaign reaches a more relevant audience.
Power Middle Influencers
Power middle influencers currently dominate influencer marketing. The exact definition of this type of influencers differs, but basically, these are influencers with average influence. Their influence mostly focuses on a specific niche, in which they have specialization. According to TapInfluence, influencers who have anywhere between 10,000 and 250,000 followers can be classified as “power middle.”
These influencers have the right balance of reach and engagement. Plus, they cater to a niche audience – whether it’s health and fitness, fashion and style, beauty and makeup, or food and dining. So they are ideal to work with if your influencer outreach campaign isn’t going to focus on a single goal.
Micro-influencers, as the name suggests, are influencers who have a much smaller following than other types of influencers. Their audience size may range anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000. But some may also consider influencers with 1,000 to 100,000 followers as micro-influencers.
With a smaller and more-manageable following, these influencers have high engagement rates, and are less expensive to work with. In addition to this, micro-influencers are also considered trustworthy and authentic. This means that they’re ideal for startups and small businesses that are starting out with influencer outreach marketing, and are planning to establish trust in their target audience.
Foodie account One Hungry Girl is an excellent example of a micro-influencer.Now that you understand the four main types of influencers, you can start looking for potential influencers for your list using tools like Traackr, BuzzSumo, and Klout. These tools will help you discover influencers using keywords relevant to your industry.
For example, if you’re trying to look for influencers in the book and literary industry on Klout, you’ll get a list of top authors and publications.
For some keywords, you may even get a, “Featured Expert,” as you can see in the image below. The numbers displayed alongside each influencer is their Klout score. The higher the number is, the better their influence.
Step 3: Build a Fitting Compensation Model
How are you going to pay your influencers? It’s important that you first determine which compensation model will work best for you, and your goals before you even begin your outreach. Some of your best options are:
- Cost-Per-Engagement – This type of compensation model involves paying influencers based on their ability to engage. You can determine the value of payment to offer based on the likes, shares, retweets, and comments on the sponsored post. With cost-per-engagement, you’re paying for results instead of simply paying a fixed price for unknown outcomes.
- Cost-Per-Click – This type of compensation model involves paying influencers based on the clicks they drive to your site, or landing page. According to a study conducted by Linqia, cost-per-click and cost-per-engagement seem to be the most effective pricing models for marketers.
- Cost-Per-Acquisition – Cost-per-acquisition is when you pay influencers based on their ability to convert. You offer a percentage, or a fixed sum for the number of sales, or sign-ups they drive through their content. You can track this by providing them with a unique landing page, and/or a unique discount code.
- Pay-Per-Post – Some influencers may charge a flat rate for the sponsored posts they create. In this pricing model, you pay the influencer for each piece of content – whether it’s a tweet, Instagram picture, blog post, or video. The cost may vary according to the influencer type, with top influencers likely charging more than $1000 per post, and micro-influencers charging somewhere between $100 and $500 for one post.
- Free Products/Experiences – According to a study conducted by Altimeter and TapInfluence, more than 70% of influencers feel that brands make the mistake of not offering adequate compensation. This means that in most cases, you will need to compensate influencers with money. But in some cases, you may be able to have influencers create posts featuring your product or brand without any monetary compensation. Instead, you will be offering them free products or experiences. This could be exclusive access to an upcoming product, or an all-expenses-paid trip.
Among these options, cost-per-engagement, cost-per-click, and cost-per-acquisition are most ideal if you want to pay for results. In these cases, you won’t be taking a risk, since every payment you make will be based on results you can already see.
The pay-per-post model is a bit tricky, since you could end up paying much less than you would in the other payment models. But you could also end up with huge expenses and minimal results. You need to be cautious when choosing influencers for your influencer outreach marketing to compensate using this model. Ideally, look for influencers who have been able to generate a lot of engagement and results with other sponsored posts.
And finally, you need to carefully consider choosing the free products/experiences payment model. Many top influencers may not be willing to do a promotion without financial compensation. But if your product is highly exclusive, or premium, there might be an opportunity. And if you’re offering free experiences, make sure the experience somehow involves your brand or service.
Step 4: Find Influencers’ Contact Info
The next step to begin your influencer outreach marketing is to find the influencers’ contact info. You can connect with influencers on social media, but there’s nothing more effective than email outreach.
Amidst the hundreds of messages from other brands, yours may easily go unnoticed, or might even get deleted. But with email outreach, you have a better chance to make your case.
Many bloggers and influencers may already display their email addresses on their blog or social media bios. If that’s the case, you can add the info to a sheet with the list of influencers you’re planning to contact.
For those who don’t have their email addresses displayed, you can always use tools like Hunter to find the correct contact info. All you need to do is enter the domain name, and the tool will bring up all the email addresses in that domain. You’ll need to sign up to view the full email address.
Step 5: Begin Your Influencer Outreach Campaign
Now that you have everything in place, you can start connecting with the influencers whom you’ve selected for your influencer outreach strategy.
Note that many influencers may fail to respond to messages from unknown people. Ideally, you should try interacting with them through social media, or on their blogs first. This is crucial, especially if you’re connecting with experts and bloggers.
You could try the following tips:
- Share links to their posts, and make sure you mention them so they notice.
- Tweet a question to them to make way for a friendly conversation.
- Comment on their blog posts on a regular basis until they notice you.
It’s important to remember that these influencers may not always respond initially, but if you keep this up for a couple of months, they may notice your name. And once your name pops up in their inbox, they will hopefully feel more compelled to open it. Or you could send them a reminder message on social media after sending them an email.
For your emails, here are a few templates you can customize according to your needs:
Influencer Outreach Template #1