If you want a quick way to grow your customer base, look no further than influencer marketing. It can drive results more than any other kind of marketing.
According to research by TapInfluence, influencer campaigns helps you earn 11 times higher than your other digital marketing efforts. It all depends on how effective your influencer outreach program is.
Here are some tips to make your ROI go through the roof
Finding the Right Influencer Opportunities
The first step is to find the perfect outreach opportunities. You need an efficient system to track these chances.
We use a suite of tools for this purpose, as they provide data that’s tough to spot using manual review.
Then you need to work on building relationships with the influencers and site owners. This is where you need a great deal of time, effort and planning.
Imagine you’ve come up with a set of influencers who could fit your industry and your brand. Would you start connecting right away?
You need to ask questions such as why these influencers would get back to you. What do you offer that would make them want to respond to you. What are the perks that you are offering them?
Beyond all that, you need to define what your campaign goals are and whether these influencers would suit your marketing requirements. These answers will actually help you draft the pitch you present to them.
Influencer Outreach through Social Media
Emails are among the most effective means for carrying out influencer outreach, but social media might be a blessing in disguise. Platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest are networks you can try.
Social media is great to build up a dedicated audience. You not only need to find influencers fitting your niche, but also those who produce content in a way that complements your brand.
The tone of the social media posts of influencers must also suit the manner in which you wish to present your brand and products to potential customers out there. Are there are any shared values between your brand and your influencers? Here are some examples, quoted by Shane Barker, of influencers on Instagram endorsing stuff.
Make Each Email Unique and Not from the Cookie Cutter
Moving to the email approach, remember not to keep sending standard, default emails to influencers. And make sure you don’t start your email with a generic address such as “Dear Webmaster”. Address the influencer by the name, such as “Hi Philip”.
Make each of your emails unique and compose them individually. If results are what you’re after, that’s the strategy you need to adopt. Though it could appear time consuming, it’s worth the effort and it’s something you can perfect soon. You need to make your email more personal and customized to the requirements of the individual.
Do Google Search on Influencers, Follow Their Social Media Accounts
Your influencer could be a person, like a celebrity, or a brand. But brands are run by people too, so before you send that email, you can do a bit of research to find out who the person behind the brand is.
It’s reasonably easy to find out with Google search. And once you’ve identified the individual, get to know more about them, their work and their interests, through their social media accounts.
This helps you create a picture of those influencers, of who they are and what they represent. That makes it easier for you to decide how to interact with them and how they like to be communicated.
Evaluate Your Influencers with Smart Tools
Not only do you need to find influencers, you also need to evaluate them. You have tools such as Grin and BuzzSumo that can help you here. They can help you identify influencers through the various niches.
You will be able to get them filtered on the basis of their authority, reach and influence. Shane Barker provides an example of the BuzzSumo platform:
As you can see, you have the content that delivers the most Facebook engagement and LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest shares along with the number of links. That can help you identify influencers.
Let’s look at some ideal email approaches.
The Relationship Email
Ninja Outreach talks about the relationship template. This is ideally meant for those who have a list of favorite influencers to work with, and are willing to adopt any strategy the influencer prefers. You need an open-ended email here so you can determine what the terms and availability of the influencer are.
Here we have an example from Entrepreneur by Louder. Online’s Aaron Agius quoted by Ninja Outreach:
This template has a lot of things going for it. The writer first complements the influencer’s blog posts not blindly, but specifying which post he particularly found useful.
Not only does he say he’s a fan, but he shows his interest is genuine by specifying why. The other great thing is that the email is short and specific.
This makes the pitch sound more like a step in the development of a mutually beneficial business relationship rather than a self-centered piece of communication. The influencer is also given a clear picture of how to get in touch further.
Giving Influencers a Sneak Peek
Another way to approach the email pitch is when you have something really exciting to unveil or some groundbreaking research article that you’ve published. Ninja Outreach calls this the sneak peek template.
Influencers really love to get the first look into the latest trends. Through your email pitch you can give them exclusive access to your product or content before you make it public. Let’s look at an example by BackLinko:
This email just builds up the anticipation for the reader. And since the email specifies that the writer is giving the influencer a “heads up” on something new he’s publishing, it gives the influencer a sense of importance.
The writer is showing himself to be thoughtful of the influencer’s needs. This shows the kind of relationship the influencer can expect from Brian. It’s hard to refuse an invitation like that.
Making the Influencer Part of Product Testing
You can take this sneak peek template to the next level by providing a beta or test version of your new feature or product through your email pitch, if it involves software. This is something the influencer just can’t resist. You can also make them part of your beta test team.
That really makes the influencers feel that their opinions and knowledge are considered valuable. And being creative individuals at heart, becoming part of testing a software product is hard to resist, since they’re being part of the development process. Let’s check this email:
Such a proposal is quite hard to resist. Apart from getting the influencer in tow, this approach also gives you the ability to get some valuable product feedback.
Offering Free Samples
Providing free samples is another approach you can take. Through your email pitches you can offer influencers with some of your products for free. That would motivate the influencers to promote your brand.Online’s Aaron Agius provides an example:
This email directly requests the influencer to review your product in return for it being offered for free. Though the request is transactional, the email offers a free sample not only for the influencer but also to their fans.
The influencer’s audience is thereby rewarded. This could quite easily lead to a lasting relationship between you and your influencer.
Sometimes influencers may demand money(most of the times) in those cases use paypal or other reliable payment systems.
Just Ask for an Opinion, You Could Get More
If you have created some unique content that’s really groundbreaking or remarkable, you can just ask for the opinion of the influencer. Make sure the content is really good, and contains data, findings or research that would be of particular interest to the influencer.
Your content must contain unique insights that are worth the time the influencer would spend on it. If you have such content, you can reach out to the influencer. Here’s an example quoted by Ninja Outreach:
There was unique research in the pitch that was really worthwhile, as Ninja Outreach has highlighted. It was so interesting that the influencer offered to include it in her weekly roundup.
All Tim required was an opinion but his article was even offered to be featured in the influencer’s blog, which could potentially bring him more readership. The influencer saw the potential value in Tim’s research, and the email highlighted statistics or findings specific to the influencer’s area of interest.
So get started with finding the right influencers, evaluating them, understanding them and then coming up with the right approach. Once perfected, influencer marketing can give you more results than you ever imagined.
Remember, there are no shortcuts here. Research is paramount, based on which you can frame your influencer social media approach and email pitches.