The name of the marketing game in the next years is going to be influencer marketing. Even if you’ve already seen the impact that someone with millions of followers can have, it can be intimidating to get started.
After all, working with influencers isn’t like being able to just create and execute a marketing strategy with the people on your team. You’ve got to reach out and partner with the right people for everything to work — otherwise, your hard work goes down the drain.
So how do you nail your influencer outreach and see a high ROI? Read on to learn how to perfect those outreach techniques this year.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. What is influencer marketing, anyway?
Influencer marketing is partnering with social media personalities with audiences who might overlap with yours. These are people who already have loyal, dedicated followings who listen to what they have to say — and will likely buy what they recommend.
There are influencers in every niche, from fitness to veganism. Brands are on track to spend more than $15 billion on these influencers by 2022, and they’ll see a lot of that money come back into their pockets.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
The industry is growing fast and shows no signs of slowing down. How do you make sure that you get a piece of the success?
It all starts with making sure you have a good outreach strategy. Influencer marketing isn’t as easy as sending an Instagram DM to someone with three million followers and asking them to post a picture with your product.
Your outreach strategy has to be as planned as any other marketing campaign. Here’s how you can do influencer outreach the right way.
Do Your Research
First, make sure you’re doing your due diligence about who you want to work with. You’re going to need to think carefully about who you reach out to.
How do you do this? Take a look at who’s in your niche first. If you sell apparel geared at people who love video games, look to see who’s driving the conversation in that sphere.
Once you’ve identified some key people, look at their content. Does their personality fit with your brand? How engaged is their audience?
Tools like SocialBlade make it easy to see all of these stats in one place.
Don’t Count Out the Little Guys
When some businesses get started with influencer marketing, they might think that they have to go straight to the people with millions of followers. After all, that’s how you get more eyes on the advertisement, right?
Not necessarily. While sometimes people with large audiences will be a boost for your brand, micro-influencers (people with less than ten thousand followers) tend to have a more engaged audience.
Their followers feel like they know them and they’re more likely to buy something that they recommend. Plus, micro-influencers can be more cost-effective.
Set Your Budget
Speaking of cost-effective, you need to know your budget before you send a single message. They might come back with a number you’re not expecting, especially if you’re new to the influencer marketing game — people with high follower counts can charge thousands of dollars per post.
There’s not a set way to know how much people charge until you ask since there’s no standardized pay scale for influencers. It’s best to know how much you’re willing to pay before you reach out.
You can also negotiate — some influencers are willing to lower their rates a little for a business or cause they’re really passionate about.
Plan Your Pitch
You’ll also want to plan out your pitch. Once you know the influencers you want to reach out to, check their websites or profiles to see if they have any guidelines on how they want to be contacted.
Some will have business emails or specific information that they want you to include in that initial message. Make sure you read those guidelines closely — they might be using them to see who actually wants to work with them and who BCC’d one hundred different people at once.
It’s also smart to engage with them before you send an email. Like their content, or share it on your own page. It will help them remember your name when it pops up in your inbox.
Decide on Scope
As you plan your pitch, you should also decide on the scope of the partnership. Are you just asking for one Instagram post? An ongoing partnership? A giveaway?
You’ll need to know right away what you want the scope of the partnership to be, especially since this will affect the initial price that they quote you. If this is the first time you’re working with someone, it might be smart to start out small to see what your ROI is.
If you see a great response, you can look into building longer relationships.
Remember to Interact
Finally, once you’ve sent over your pitch and decided on a deal, don’t forget to keep interacting with the influencer! It’s not enough for them to promote you to their audience — it’s also important for the audience to see you interacting online.
This looks different depending on the platform the influencer works in. If they run a popular blog, share it to your Facebook page. If they’re an Instagram influencer, like and comment on their posts. Their promotion of you is public — some of your interactions should be, too.
Increase Your Influencer Outreach
Working with influencers doesn’t have to be intimidating. In fact, they might be more eager to work with you than you think. With this guide, you can perfect and improve your influencer outreach in no time.
There’s a lot that goes into social media marketing, and sometimes even the best teams need a little help. We get it. That’s why we’re here.
Want to give your marketing strategy a boost? Schedule a meeting with us to see how we can make your goals a reality.