As a marketer, you probably already know that an influencer outreach campaign is among the most effective methods to promote your brand or products. In fact, an Augure study showed that 93% of marketers involved in the study got effective results in building brand awareness from influencer marketing. Additionally, 75% consider the channel effective for generating leads and 76% say it’s effective for improving customer loyalty.These stats show the importance of influencer marketing and why it shouldn’t be ignored. However, just like every other marketing method it also comes with its own set of challenges. This means that you might be presented with several issues that might hamper your chance of executing a successful influencer outreach campaign. In this post, you’ll find some useful and effective tips on how you can find the right influencers and reach out to them successfully.
Identifying The Right Influencers
The Augure study cited earlier found that the biggest challenge for marketers was identifying the right influencers. 75% said that it was their biggest challenge in influencer marketing. So this means that a successful influencer outreach campaign should begin by identifying the right influencers for your brand. Here are the essential tips to help you out:
#1. Know your audience
The first and most crucial step for any marketing campaign is to know what kind of audience you’re dealing with. This will become the foundation to developing the perfect strategy to marketing your products to them. You need to understand which social platforms they use the most and which channels they are engaging with. What type of content do they consume and what is their demographic? If you’re targeting millennials, for instance, platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube might be your best option. See what type of people or channels they’re following on those platforms, so you can find out what type of influencers could reach out to your audience most effectively.
#2. Research influencers
What you need to do next is find out leading influencers in your industry and determine their relevancy to your audience. Make use of tools like Traackr, BuzzSumo, and Klout to identify top influencers in specific industries. After you’ve identified influencers with the kind of following you’re looking for, take a look at different factors like relevance and engagement to find the right ones.
Researching an influencer’s relevance requires you to go through their previous content and see whether or not it is aligned with your messaging. Not every influential person in your industry will be right for your brand. For instance, a blogger posting about recipes and food doesn’t necessarily make them right for promoting an organic grocery business.
When identifying the right influencer for your brand, it’s not just about focusing on influencers with a large following. You’ll also need to find an influencer who actively engages with their audience. Mid-level influencers may be the best option for this. Check out their posts and see whether their audience comments and shares them.
How To Make Influencer Outreach Campaign Successful
Once you’ve narrowed down the best potential influencers for your brand, your next step would be to reach out to them. This is another huge challenge for marketers. In fact, the previously cited study found that 69% of marketers say the biggest challenge for them is to find the right strategy to engage with influencers. The idea is to build a genuine and long-lasting relationship with them so as to create authenticity for the campaign and brand messaging. Take a look at some of these actionable tips to help you out.
#1. Initiate a connection
Instead of shooting a mail straight at them, it might be best to first connect with them over social media. Start by following them or subscribing to their blog to stay updated about their latest content. Engage with their content by commenting and sharing, but avoid overdoing this. Make sure you mention them when you share their content. The idea is to get the attention of the influencer and let them know that you’re genuinely interested in their content. Take a look at this excellent example from Okay Marketing:
#2. Personalize your email
While an influencer outreach email template makes your job much easier, a lot of influencers can easily recognize it. Personalizing your entire email shows that you’ve put effort into writing the email. This would make the influencer more open to working with your brand. So it might help to put in some time and effort into drafting a separate mail for each potential influencer.
#3. Write a strong subject line
What’s the point of writing an excellent email body if the influencer isn’t even going to open it? When you’re reaching out to influencers by email, you should first focus on the email subject line. Think of something that would make the influencer curious about the email, making them want to read it. It’s somewhat like writing a marketing email. You’ll want to keep the subject line short while still summing up what the email is all about. Try to evoke curiosity by forming it as a question. For instance, “Hey Linda, care to give your opinion about organic food brands?” This personally addresses the recipient by name, gives a clear idea about the email content, and frames it in the form of a question.Here’s an excellent example from John Corcoran of OKDork:
#4. Be authentic
Anyone can say “I’m an avid reader of your blog” or “I’ve been following your social media for a while”. If you’re just saying this to get the influencer’s attention, remember that there are other marketers just like you saying the same thing. Show them that you’ve been reading their content instead of having to tell them about it. For instance, “I really liked your post about how to differentiate between GMOs and organic vegetables.” This shows that you’ve actually read their blog instead of telling them that you have.
#5. Make it about them
Imagine someone sending you an influencer outreach email and you read it only to find that they’re just going on and on about themselves and their company. While it’s essential to introduce yourself and your company, keep it brief yet to-the-point. Influencers are busy people and they don’t want to hear each and every detail about how your brand started out and what went through your mind when you started the business. A short line or two is ideal.Steer the focus towards them so as to engage them in your email and your offer. For example, “My name is Todd from Jensen Organics, an online store that sells and delivers organic vegetables across the nation. We noticed how you love organic brands that do a little something to help the environment. How would you like a basket of assorted organic veggies from our online store to enjoy with your family?” This is a simple email body with a short but detailed introduction about your company. It moves right into what the influencer likes and is interested in. You can continue with an explanation about your goal but keep that concise as well. See how there are only two instances where the first person is used: my and our. The rest is all about the influencer: you. The idea is to add value for the influencer so they’ll know what’s in it for them.
#6. Show credibility
In addition to giving them a benefit, you should also give influencers a reason why they should work with you. This is about showing social proof, which would be to show that other influential people like them find your content or product worthy of a feature. For instance, if you’ve written a guest post for a leading blog in your niche, mention that somewhere in the mail. Take a look at how Groove’s Alex Turnbull has subtly mentioned how he’s done posts for influential websites.
You’ve now learned about the best practices of an influencer outreach campaign. However, you may still encounter influencers who declined your offer or failed to reply. In such instances, try to send one more mail offering help and insight to them instead of giving up right away. If you’re still not seeing any results, reach out to other influencers and test different email bodies and subject lines following the tips above. Whatever you do, never assume that the influencer will take up the offer. Got any more ideas on how to crush your influencer outreach campaign? Share them in the comments below.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.