Guest post by Shane Barker, digital marketing consultant
Influencer marketing is gaining popularity by the minute. Marketers know and have seen examples of how influencers can supercharge a brand’s marketing campaign. So maybe you’ve decided to try it too, but it’s likely that you don’t know where to start.
That’s only natural because influencer marketing isn’t easy. Not only do you have to worry about which influencers to choose, you have to coordinate outreach and measure ROI. Here, you’re going to learn how to find the ideal influencers for your brand and how to successfully reach out to them.
There are many types of influencers that could become valuable assets for your brand. But to begin your search for the right influencers, you will first have to conduct thorough audience research. This is crucial because you will need to understand what kind of people your target audience looks up to. It’s easy to assume that just because you’re targeting a certain age group you’d do well to work with an influencer who is within that age group. That’s not always the case.
A survey conducted by Variety found that among American teenagers (13-18 years), YouTube stars have the most influence. In the survey, it was discovered that the top five influential figures were all YouTubers, such as Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh, who are well beyond their teenage years.
Once you understand your target audience, you can get started with the rest of the influencer research process. Here’s how you do it:
Even if you have a strong set of relevant influencers lined up, you might still fail to capture their attention or stir their interest. Take a look at the following tips to help you connect with influencers and successfully launch an outreach campaign:
What works on one influencer may not work so well on another, so it’s crucial to experiment on various messages and see which works best. The general rule of thumb is for subject lines to be short yet straight to the point.
Subject lines asking questions are often considered intriguing as well. For instance, “How have we not worked together yet?” or “Have you tried XYZ organic skincare products?” are some examples. Here’s a good email subject line example from Storeya’s Dave Schneider. As you can see, it gets straight to the point and asks a question as well.
A good idea is to begin the email with one sentence introducing yourself and your brand such as “My name is John from XYZ Organics, a brand that develops beauty products exclusively from organic ingredients.” That should be enough to let the influencer know what your brand is about and then you can add a brief message to show your credibility such as “Our brand has recently won the ABC Award for Best Organic Products 2016”. Here, you basically highlight anything that will prove that your product is worth a try.
After the introduction and credibility proof, you can continue your mail with something like this:
“We noticed that you consistently produce such insightful and unbiased content on organic products. And we feel that you have a strong commitment to doing your bit for the environment. How would you like to test our products and see if they pass your test? You’ll receive some free samples for yourself and a few you can give out to your audience.”
While this email body is simple, it’s straightforward and it makes use of the second person pronoun “you” as much as possible. Instead of saying that you will be sending them free samples, you’re telling them that they will receive free samples. Even something as simple as that could work wonders in shifting the focus to the influencer.
Now you have a detailed plan for reaching out to influencers and building a connection with them. Once you establish a connection, make sure you nurture the relationship so your bond is authentic. People are smart and they can easily detect unnatural and staged endorsement content. When your influencer-brand connection is authentic, you have a much better chance to earn the trust of your target audience and succeed in your marketing campaign. Got any questions or ideas about influence outreach? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, 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.