How to Build an Influencer Outreach Strategy that will Really Work
GRIN also recommends this free guide:
How to Find Influencers Guidebook
There’s no doubt that influencer marketing is an extremely effective and successful marketing strategy. It is known to generate 11X the ROI from other traditional marketing strategies. But how do you achieve this? By building an effective influencer outreach strategy.
Studies have shown that influencer marketing is the fastest at helping businesses acquire online customers. However, your campaign can be truly successful if you can find and connect with the right influencers. The ones who have a decent number of followers, high engagement, and whose niche aligns with your brand.
For most marketers, this sounds fairly complicated. However, with the right tools and proper planning, you can create an outreach strategy that really works. Here’s how.
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Laying the Groundwork for Your Influencer Outreach Strategy
An outreach campaign focuses on finding the right influencers for your brand and convincing them to work with you. For an effective campaign that gets you the results you want, you need to plan your outreach properly.
Finding and Evaluating Influencers
The very first step in your influencer outreach strategy should be focused on finding the right influencers. The most important thing to be kept in mind here is to make sure their niche aligns with your brand.
If that happens, your message will be sent across to an already engaged audience likely to be interested in you. Not only will this ensure that your message is better received, but also generate relevant leads.
It will also build more credibility for your influencer as well as for your brand. Aligning with a brand in their niche makes sure that the influencer is able to keep their followers well engaged. And a recommendation or mention from a credible influencer also helps in boosting your credibility.
Many brands make the rookie mistake of partnering with influencers whose niche doesn’t align with theirs. This can be detrimental to the success of your campaign. Grin’s influencer marketing platform can help you find the influencers who are best suited to your campaign. You can filter them by niche, influence, or reach and find the ones you need.
A key step in your influencer outreach strategy should be focused on evaluating influencers. You should be looking at the following factors to identify influencers for your campaign.
The reach refers to the number of people that you might be able to send your message to via an influencer. In your evaluation, make sure to consider the number of followers they have on their social channels. You might also want to find out their MozRank, monthly blog visitors, and Alexa rank.
While reach is an important criterion, the engagement is even more crucial. Simply getting your message visible to a large audience isn’t good enough if they don’t care about it. Followers can be acquired inorganically too, by paying.
Paid followers are definitely less engaged than real ones. So, you must find out the engagement rate for your influencers. Look at the percentage of followers who regularly engage with their content.
Once you’ve looked through the reach and engagement metrics, also look through the content posted by an influencer. It will help you gauge their quality and also make sure if their storytelling aligns with your brand.
Warming Up and Reaching Out
Before you actually start your influencer outreach, you need to make yourself visible to the influencers you’ve identified. This step ensures that you familiarize yourself with them and start building relationships.
You also need to work on your pitch that you will be using in your influencer outreach strategy. The most important questions you need to ask yourself while working on your pitch are:
- What do you want to achieve from this campaign? Maybe a 10% increase in followers, or a 5% increase in website traffic?
- What are you offering your influencers? Money, free product or service, or commission on sales?
While you’re working on your pitch, start putting yourself on the radar of these influencers. Engage with their content on social media. Leave meaningful comments that are genuine and share their content on your social channels. You need to make an effort to show that you are genuinely interested in them and appreciative of their work.
You can add the influencers you’ve identified to a Twitter list. This will help you organize your outreach campaign more efficiently. You can keep a track of which influencers you are following and regularly engage with their content.
Once you feel that your influencers are aware of your presence, you can start sending your outreach emails. Make sure to write a personalized email that is authentic and genuine. Your outreach email needs to include the following:
- A subject line that catches their attention and makes them interested in reading the email.
- Make it personal by talking about how you came across them and how you liked their work.
- Make sure to be precise and clearly articulate the reasons why you are reaching out to them.
- Mention what kind of benefits you can offer them, both monetary and non-monetary.
- Insert a clear call-to-action at the end of your outreach email.
Your outreach emails are likely to be more effective if they’re concise and clear about your objectives. They should also encourage the reader to take an action. Influencers are busy people, so there’s really no need to go on and on with your appreciation of their work.
Instead, try to tell them how a partnership can benefit them and make it sound exciting. Also, make sure to write a great, catchy subject line. If they’re not interested in reading your email right away, it might just get lost somewhere in their inbox.
Most importantly, refer to your past partnerships or influencer collaborations. They will help to build credibility so that your outreach is even more effective.
Since influencers are busy people, there’s a high chance that your outreach emails get lost somewhere in their inbox. So should you just send the email and pray for it to be seen? Sure, if you want to waste all of the efforts you’ve put in in your influencer outreach strategy.
If you don’t get a response to the first outreach email that you send, don’t give up just yet. It is possible that they might just have missed your email. It definitely doesn’t prove that they’re uninterested. So wait out a couple of days and then send a follow-up email.
If you want, you can even follow up by sending a direct Twitter message. Your email or message should be intended at checking if they’ve seen your previous email. You should also include the following:
- A summary of the benefits you are offering and why they should work with you.
- A definitive call-to-action encouraging them to connect with you for further discussions.
Staying organized is extremely important when you’re conducting your influencer outreach campaign. You need to be able to keep track of the influencers you have shortlisted, and the ones you have contacted. The ones to whom follow up emails have been sent and the ones who’ve responded, etc. This will be immensely helpful in planning your outreach activities.
Once your influencers are onboard, try building relationships with them that are mutually beneficial. Take a genuine interest in their success and help in promoting them in your networks. If they feel valued, they are likely to be more invested in your success too.
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