Jul 09 7 Tips and Tricks for Ensuring Successful Blogger and Influencer Outreach
The shift from pure personal content to monetizing social influencers for advertising purposes was a logical one. While celebrities continue to up their partnership pricing and red tape, social influencers offer an easy gateway to a target niche at a far more reasonable price point. But while working with an influencer is far easier than working with a celebrity, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more attainable. Reaching and partnering with influencers requires more than a little PR spin. You need finesse, personality, and attention to detail. Popular influencers can receive hundreds of emails a day begging for their attention. Without a perfectly crafted outreach strategy, your email is likely to end up in their spam folder, or worse, in the trash.
As someone who lives and breathes influencer outreach on a daily basis, it’s imperative I know how to effectively communicate with those made famous by the wide world of interwebs. Thanks to a lot of trial and error experience, I have come up with seven tips and tricks for brands to use when trying to select and attract top tier social influencers.
1. Know Your Influencer Niches
When thinking of partnering with an influencer, don’t just jump to the first logical influencer niche. Sure, a beauty blog would be a great stop for a nail polish company, but a lifestyle blog or mommy blog could possibly provide you with a bigger reach with less product saturation. Try to think about alternative influencer categories that can reach the same or larger demographic and then figure out why they would be interested in partnering with you.
2. Influencers Are People, Too
Let’s say your name is Rebecca and someone accidentally calls you Rachel. The first time is fine, the 1000th time is infuriating. Despite the way it may appear, an influencer has a real name outside of their Internet persona. They are not their sites’ name, their Twitter handle, and they are definitely not “Hi blogger.” They are people. Take the time to dig through their social pages and find out what their name is and then address them as such. It may be lingering on their About page, the Contact page or even living in an interview they did with another influencer or company. There’s a 98% chance it exists somewhere on the Internet. You just have to be willing to put in the work to find it.
3. Make the Right First Impression
Every influencer has a contact page where you can submit an email or comment. This page will frequently call to you with its siren song, but you must fight its allure. Do not use a contact form or comment box as a way to reach your influencer, ever! Comments live on their site forever, allowing every other company and influencer to see that you didn’t take the time to do your due diligence, while using a contact form quietly tells the influencer you didn’t want to take the time to invest in them. You should also never use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn as a means to conduct outreach. Instead, use their actual email address. Doing so makes you appear more professional and gives your pitch a better chance at being seen. If you can’t find an email listed on their site, head to ever-trusty Google and start pouring through various combinations of the words “contact” and “email” in conjunction with their real name and site name or Twitter handle.
4. Drop Down and Get Your Read On
When reaching out to an influencer, it’s crucial that you take the time to research their social pages. This will ensure that they not only match your brand’s standards, but will also give you the information you need to tailor your outreach specifically to them. One of the biggest outreach mistakes you can make is sending out a mass press release-esque email to multiple influencers. Efforts like this will go largely unnoticed, or even worse can cause your pitch to be posted verbatim on their site or social pages as an example of poor outreach. Influencers want their content to be read, so show them that you actually took the time to do so and even have reasons for why they would be a good match for your promotion. Your main pitch can be consistently the same, but your introduction should change for every influencer.
5. Keep it Simple, Silly
With your research and pitch in mind, it’s important to keep your email concise. As mentioned above, influencers may receive up to hundreds of emails a day, so they don’t have time to read a four-page proposal. Add just enough detail and personalization to spark their interest. From there, you can follow their response with a much more detailed email.
6. A Subject of Success
The email subject is the key for a successful open rate percentage and for avoiding the dead-end spam folder. If trying to partner with an influencer on a giveaway or contest, you should avoid using terms like: giveaway, contest, sweepstakes or free. These terms will be picked up by their spam filter and be swept away forever. Best practices also include avoiding exclamation marks and using all caps. Instead, be sure to use your brand’s name and try to keep it to seven words or less.
7. Keep the Relationship Going
Finally, don’t let your relationship with the influencer end with a simple “Thank you for your work” email. Influencers like to know how they contributed to your promotion and brand initiatives. Follow up once the promotion is over with a quick overview of how their work helped your promotion succeed. This shows the influencer that you’re more than just a brand looking for advertising space; you’re an actual person who appreciates the work they did.
Influencer outreach can definitely take some time – you have to develop your own style, figure out what’s important for your brand and find influencers who are interested in working with you. But when done correctly, influencer outreach can lead to a successful promotion that ultimately puts your brand in front of a new audience that can help generate a large number of impressions. Use these seven tips to begin developing your outreach process and you’ll be sure to form successful influencer relationships.
What influencer outreach strategies have worked best for you?