With its rising popularity as a customer acquisition channel, Influencer Marketing should no longer need an introduction. Nevertheless, for the sake of clarity (and to reinforce an already compelling argument), let’s have it discussed:
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a channel that enables brands to reach their target audience by building relationships with key industry leaders who have considerable online following in their respective niches. Brands partner with these influencers in creating and sharing online content that will engage their intended audience.
When done right, influencer marketing can expand brand reach, boost reputation and trustworthiness, and drive sales consequently.
How Well Does It Deliver Results?
In this age of hyper-connectivity, influencer marketing is understandably rapidly gaining traction as a lead-generation channel in the digital arena. Figures from a recent Marketing survey further enlightens us as to why this channel is steadily becoming a marketing favorite.
According to Tomoson’s influencer marketing study:
• 22% of marketers rated Influencer Marketing as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search, and email marketing
• 22% of marketers agree that Influencer Marketing ties with email as the most cost-effective online acquisition channel.
• Businesses earn $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
• 51% of marketers concur that they can attract more promising leads and acquire better customers through influencer marketing.
• It generates 11 times more ROI than other digital marketing strategies.
• 59% of marketers are planning to ramp up their influencer marketing budgets.
If you’re part of the percentage that plans to boost their influencer campaign budget, (which is a no-brainer, considering the promising stats), it would be reckless to think that just about any influencer outreach campaign will reap excellent results.
What Can You Do to Ensure Influencer Marketing Success?
Just because statistics tell us that Influence Marketing is highly cost-effective, it doesn’t mean that every campaign will work for you. Behind every successful influencer outreach campaign is a carefully premeditated and laid-out plan.
Indeed, it’s a fool’s errand to start any venture without any semblance of one. So, what can you do to ensure a successful campaign? Start with a strategy.
Seven Tips for a Successful Influencer Outreach
While you’re on your strategy, here are seven other tips to help you effectively polish your Influencer Outreach and reel in the big bucks. Just a caveat, though, listed below are simple tips and not a step-by-step guide.
1. Identify the End-Game
Seasoned marketers know that even before setting out in search of influencers, the goal of the campaign has to be identified. What do you mean to achieve with the campaign?
• Generate leads and drive sales
• Increase brand engagement
• Promote content
Having said that, it would be good to note that 50% of marketers use influencer marketing to generate leads and drive sales. Whereas 40% devote their marketing efforts towards boosting brand engagement, the remaining 6% and 4% are focused on content promotion and other activities, respectively.
Design the campaign so that it achieves the goal you wish to accomplish. If you’re a start-up that wants to increase expand brand reach and boost engagement, partnering with an influencer in a contest or giveaway is a great track to follow.
2. Know Your Audience
Be specific about who you want to reach. Know who your audience is and find out what social platforms they frequently visit. This will become the foundation of your campaign.
By digging into the demographic details and online behavior of your target audience, you will find out how best to reach and engage with them. Additionally, you also will find out who your audience is following, tipping you on which influencer you should reach out to.
3. Identify the Right influencer
Popularity is not the name of the game. Influence is. And yes, there is a difference.
Influencer marketing is about reaching a specific audience from a specific niche. Therefore, you need a person of authority-a thought-leader from the same niche and not just some widely-known celebrity.
You don’t want to reach everyone; you want to reach the right ones. When identifying which influencer is fit for your campaign, keep these critical points in mind:
• The influencer’s advocacies and brand personality must match that of yours.
• “Stalk” your influencer prospects on social media. Check if their content is relevant to your brand or if they are aligned with the message your brand wants to convey.
• Utilize tools like Traackr, BuzzSumo, and Klout to help speed things up.
• The influencer’s relevance to your intended audience should outweigh the audience size. Finding an influencer that can connect you to 15 or 30 decision-makers counts more than a thousand page views.
• Don’t underestimate micro-influencers. They tend to have closer relationships with their audience compared to an influencer who has a high volume of followers. As a result, micro-influencers generally have the best engagement rates.
4. Engage with your Influencers in Social Media
Once you’ve identified your influencers, it’s time to kindle a connection. Since you’ve already found them online and dug into their older content, make it a point to start liking, commenting, and sharing on their recent posts. Let them know that you’re genuinely interested in their content before slipping into their inbox. Keep these tips in mind:
• When sharing influencers’ content make sure to mention their name.
• Drop a “Hi” and a professional compliment or opinion in their DMs before sending them an email.
Try tweeting the influencer to follow-up on your email pitch if there is no response after three days. Remember to be friendly and not pushy, though.
5. Nail that Subject line
With influencer marketing rising in popularity, you can bet that Influencers’ inboxes are flooded with partnership proposals and other pitches. You have to make sure yours gets their attention enough for them to open it.
There is no hard rule in writing subject lines. It is an art that you have to figure out as you go. You can be creative and even a little bit vague just to pique the influencer’s curiosity. In any case, remember these tips:
• Personalize. Mention their name on the subject line
Ex. “Hi [Name]! Interview for [Name of the brand]?”
• Use words that prompt action
Ex. “[Name], how about a collaboration? Let’s talk!”
• Keep it under eight words
Ex. “Can we feature you on our blog?’”
• Under no circumstance should you to use subject lines like “Open Now,” “Must Open,” or “Open for amazing opportunity.”
6. Perfect Your Pitch
The body of your email will make or break the campaign. To help you make that perfect pitch, take note of these pointers:
• Introduce and position yourself as a professional, not an obsessed fan. Don’t gush. Professional compliments and opinions will add to your credibility and will more get you taken seriously.
• Make the email more about them and less about your product or service.
• Be clear about what you want from the influencer and what you can offer in return. Are you asking for a quote, an interview, or a guest post? Are you offering a free trial, a sample product, a discount voucher, or a reciprocal link?
• Identify where your interests intersect and emphasize how they will benefit from this partnership.
• Establish your credibility by mentioning other influencers you’ve worked with.
7. Give the Influencer Room for Creativity
So your pitch worked its magic, and you now have an influencer willing to collaborate with you. Tread carefully and remember that you are asking this influential person to do you a favor.
If you’re asking influencers to create content for your blog, don’t be rigid with your instructions. You can set a structure, but allow them a certain degree of creative freedom. Subjecting them to too many restrictions may result in them backing out.
Instead, convey the goals of your campaign with the influencers and suggest relevant resources or pegs that get the gears going in the content creation process.
Moreover, giving influencers the chance to be creative will help in making more authentic content and contribute to a healthy and promising partnership with them.
It’s not easy to strategize, all the more, execute a successful influencer outreach. That’s why this article exists. The tips herein are simple enough to implement but tend to be overlooked.
The next time you’re stumped on a certain campaign, go back to what the goal is, cross-check your prospective influencers vis-à-vis your target audience.
If your email partnership proposals are being ignored, engage with the influencers you have your eyes on social media and optimize your subject line and pitch accordingly.
If your influencer suddenly backs out, loosen up on the restrictions. When the influencer has finished creating content for you, help in promoting it.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep in touch with the influencer even after the campaign.
vlog influencer – DepositPhotos