In a nutshell, influencer outreach is persuading influential social media users to promote your brand.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, almost half of consumers “depend on influencer recommendations” to determine which products to purchase. Not only that, but influencer marketing is the fastest-growing customer acquisition method. 22% of marketers say it’s the most cost-effective acquisition tactic, with an estimated average ROI of $6.5 for every dollar spent, according to research from influencer marketing platform Tomoson.
This promotion can come in all shapes and sizes such as influencers tweeting about your product, posting a video testimonial or simply mentioning you in a comment or post.
But where do you start? Influencer outreach can be pretty time-consuming. This quick guide will make you quicker and more effective at influencer outreach.
1. Use a filter system
The first thing you need to do is to filter your potential influencers. Kristen Matthews of GroupHigh’s three-step system is a great place to start:
How well does the content this influencer is producing line up with your brand? What types of posts do your audience want to read? The more specific the better. Check bios and about pages to gain more insight. If you are selling a mid-range SaaS product, then find influencers that regularly review these types of products.
You want maximum bang for your outreach buck. So once you have a shortlist of influencers that fit your brand, sort them by their reach. Metrics like number of followers, or Facebook likes, or Youtube views. Remember – the larger the reach, in general, the more it will take (the more budget) to get them onboard.
Key reach metrics:
- Number of followers/subscribers
It’s no good finding an Instagram influencer with millions of followers if they don’t engage with their audience. Check how frequently they post and how much traction their posts get with their audience.
Key engagement metrics
- Posting frequency
- Engagement with their audience (post likes, video views etc.)
If the influencer fits all these criteria you can add them to the “yes” pile.
It’s important to track your influencer leads. You can use a dedicated CRM, Airtable or a simple Google Sheet like this.
2. Set clear outreach campaign goals
How will you benefit from this relationship? How will the influencer benefit? Be really upfront and honest about what you wish to promote and how they and their community will benefit from sharing your content. A successful influecning marketing campaign will drive action, not just awareness.
According to marketing infulencer expert Jay Baer , if an influencer doesn’t fit a brand’s ethos, the authenticity factor is going to plummet. Choosing the right influencer is the first step toward maintaining authenticity.
Whereas micro influencers may be happy to promote your content for free, the more reach an influencer has, the more you will need to offer them. Try and tailor your offer to each influencer and define how much you are willing to spend/offer before reaching out.
3. Craft a compelling outreach message
Whether via email or in a DM, the anatomy of a great outreach message doesn’t change. The example below from GrooveHQ is a great starting place. Take it and tweak it to make it sound like you.
After you have crafted your compelling message, it’s time to find your influencers email address. We have had great success with Distilled’s Email Permutator which makes it easy to find almost anyone’s email address.
Contacting influencers directly will save you time and money. The average agency will charge you a 2-3x markup.
Use social media tools to get targeted with influencer outreach
Brands are flooding the internet with their content. But with the right influencers on your side, you can bypass this saturation and create a direct line to your clients. Done correctly, influencers can connect their audience to your brand and greatly boost your reach.