Influencer marketing has a proven track record of success, helping marketers establish audience trust and grow brand awareness. Nearly a quarter of marketers worldwide devoted more than 40 percent of their budgets to influencer marketing this year. That’s a major increase from last year’s 5 percent of marketers.
Outreach is the first crucial step to establishing a successful partnership, and according to impact.com’s research with WARC, traffic conversion increases the longer you work with an influencer as they test and learn. So first impressions count.
Influencers can receive many emails, DMs, and proposals on any given week. A reported 84 percent say they get more requests than they can handle. Strengthen your outreach with tips from this blog and avoid your messages getting lost in the shuffle.
- Nearly one in four marketers worldwide devoted more than 40 percent of their budgets to influencer marketing this year.
- Outline your goals before reaching out by establishing your objectives, including your target audience, budget, brand guidelines, content expectations, influencer criteria, and compensation.
- Micro- and nano-influencers reach highly engaged audiences.
- The top three things creators consider when partnering with brands: the brand’s reputation, aligning values, and compensation.
- More than half of creators prefer outreach via social media DMs.
- Campaigns take time to yield results.
- Technology and automation can improve the quality of your outreach.
Outline your goals before reaching out [7 criteria]
Before you contact potential partners, outline your marketing goals including:
- Goals and objectives: What are the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve with your campaign? This could include increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to a website, or generating leads.
- Target audience: Who is the target audience for the campaign? It’s important to identify the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the audience to ensure that the right influencers are selected.
- Budget: What is the budget for the campaign? This will determine the types of influencers you’ll recruit and the scope of the campaign.
- Brand guidelines: What are the brand guidelines that the influencers need to follow? This could include messaging, tone of voice, and brand values.
- Content expectations: What type of content is expected from the influencers? Will they be creating sponsored posts, videos, or blog articles?
- Influencer selection criteria: What criteria will be used to select the influencers? This could include factors such as audience size, engagement rates, and relevance to the brand.
- Compensation: What is the compensation for the influencers? This could include payment, free products, or a combination of both.
Types of influencers
Once you establish campaign goals, you’re almost ready to reach out. Here’s a quick overview of the different influencer tiers:
- Mega-influencers or celebrities (1m+ followers): Famous beyond social media, i.e., movies, TV, music, or sports stars.
- Macro-influencers (250k–1m followers): Subject matter experts who became popular by sharing their passion for a topic on social media.
- Mid-tier influencers (75k-250k): Their reach extends to a middle-of-the-road audience size compared to the other influencer tiers.
- Micro-influencers (15k-75k followers): They capture a highly engaged audience with their relatability and authenticity.
- Nano-influencers (<15k followers): These influencers have a genuine passion for niche subjects.
Learn how each influencer tier can reach your marketing goals.
Find out everything you need to know about influencer tiers, compensation, and strategies with our Ultimate guide to influencer tiers: from nano creators to megastars.Download
What creators consider before partnering with a brand
Creators bring to the table their expertise, content creation skills, and trusted audience. For many, integrity is more important than a check. They want to be treated as equal partners and consider many factors before collaborating with a brand. According to impact.com’s research with Adweek, these are the top factors creators consider before working with brands:
- Brand reputation
- Aligning values
- Growth potential
- Creative freedom
- Interest in the product
- Long-term partnership potential
Survey results: The most important factors creators consider when receiving brand proposals. Source: Ghosted no more: The secrets to thriving creator-brand partnerships (Adweek X impact.com)
Lead with these factors in mind. If it’s worth the creator’s while and fits their brand values, you’re more likely to secure them as a partner.
“When creators work with brands, they should look for brand alignment and make sure that what the brand is asking you to promote or create aligns with what your audience is used to receiving from you” — Kay Radebe, Content creator.
Influencers can help your brand reach new audiences. BBQGuys, with the help of impact.com, partnered with a mix of micro- and mid-tier influencers to reach audiences outside of the typical suburban griller, including LGBTQ+ couples, urban dwellers, and female campers. The brand’s #BornToGrill campaign was a success, reaching more than 630k people and gaining a 5.5 percent engagement rate.
The 5 dos and don’ts of influencer recruitment
Reaching out to potential influencer partners should follow best practices to ensure better success. Follow these do’s and don’ts when recruiting influencers:
Do: reach out via social media DMs and emails
More than half of creators prefer collaboration requests via social media DMs. But don’t forget to reach out via email. Influencers are usually open with their contact information. You can find it on their profile’s bio. If it’s not there, send them a DM.
Don’t: contact influencers via the comment section
Avoid the comments section of any public post. Public comments are easily lost and detract from the post’s original purpose. Be professional and courteous, and reach out via email or DM instead.
Do: personalize outreach
Add a personal touch to your outreach by addressing the influencer by their first name. This shows that you’ve done your research. If their names aren’t in their handle, check out their bio or about section.
Don’t: incorrectly address creators when reaching out
Personalization is key. Be mindful of how you address influencers when you want to recruit them for your brand. Before sending an email or DM, ensure the title is clear and correct.
Do: check the influencer’s content
Influencers use their savvy skills to create engaging content. Over time, this builds a loyal following you can benefit from. Research the influencer’s content before you reach out. Scroll through their archives to determine whether their content fits your brand. Does their audience align with your brand’s ideal audience? When reaching out, reference some of their past work to add a personal touch. This shows them you’re engaged.
Don’t: approach a content creator without doing your research
After seeing just one picture or post, you might want to recruit an influencer. But there’s always more to the story. Take a deeper dive into their content before reaching out to ensure the partnership would be mutually beneficial.
Do: have a budget in mind
Influencers are more than just a vessel for your product. Creating engaging content takes time and effort. Influencers follow many steps, such as research, content creation, getting approval, and then posting it. Be willing to pay influencers their worth.
Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow
Learn how to compensate creators with our Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow ebook.Download
Don’t: fuss over influencer rates
Influencers value their time and expertise the same way you do. If you can’t match their rates, simply state your campaign’s budget and ask: “We understand you cannot offer your full range of services, but what could you offer for that amount?” Both parties can then decide how to move forward with the partnership. Learn more about what influencers cost here.
Do: believe in the power of micro- and nano-influencers
Micro- and nano-influencers have smaller, but loyal followers who trust their recommendations. 46 percent of audiences connect with micro-influencers, while 33 percent connect with nano-influencers. These influencers can connect you with highly engaged audiences at a fraction of the cost compared to macro- or mega-influencers.
Don’t: expect successful results out the gate
It takes time for content to produce significant results. Be patient and allow the influencer to work their magic. The better a creator knows your brand, the more engaging and on-brand content they’ll produce.
Using technology to optimize your outreach
According to research, brands browse social media first to find the right partners. Influencer marketing platforms came in at a close second. At least half of influencers use a platform to find the right brands to work with.
Survey results: How brands identify the right influencer partners. Source: Aligning marketers and influencers: Shifting perspectives on influencer marketing across the funnel (WARC X impact.com)
A creator marketplace like impact.com can help you meet creators where they’re at. Get access to 80k vetted creators who’ve opted into our network. This means they’ve permitted to view their first-party data, allowing you to browse their demographics and performance metrics upfront before approaching them.
Next, a platform impact.com / creator can also help you automate outreach and contracting, manage campaigns, and schedule flexible payouts (whether a flat fee, cost per acquisition (CPA), or a combination of both).
Outreach gets an update
Great partnership programs today require outreach at every phase of the relationship—and impact.com / creator can help you automate each step. Here are a few key touchpoints you may be overlooking:
Activation. Once recruited, setting expectations with clear communications will help you onboard your partners properly and convert them from cautious first-timers to confident, productive members of your program.
Compliance. All businesses follow a set of guidelines. Some are related to laws while others ensure the integrity of your brand. Your partner may often be unaware of these rules, so it helps to send them reminders.
Optimization. Leading-edge programs always strive to incentivize their partners to deliver more quality traffic. Some tiered programs send cheerleading messages such as “You’re only $200 away from the next tier!” to motivate partners.
Targeted campaigns. Programs with dozens of partners can often segment their partner ecosystem to tailor engagement and communications. Personalized messaging resonates.
Recruit the right influencers and get ahead
Discovering and recruiting the right influencers for your brand is crucial to your marketing strategy. The weight influencers bring in producing authentic content, generating greater returns on investment (ROI), and increasing overall engagement is an investment worth making.
Influencer recruitment is the process of identifying and partnering with social media influencers to promote a brand, product, or service.
Influencer recruitment is important because it allows brands to reach their target audience in an authentic and engaging way. Influencers have built a loyal following on their social media platforms and can help brands increase its reach, drive engagement, and ultimately boost sales.
When selecting influencers for your brand, it’s important to consider their relevance to your industry, engagement rates, audience demographics, and overall brand fit. You should also assess their past collaborations and ensure they align with your brand values.
The cost of influencer marketing can vary depending on the size of the influencer’s following, the scope of the campaign, and the type of content being created. Influencers can charge a flat fee or may negotiate a percentage of sales generated from their promotion—or a combination of both.
To measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns, you can track metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, and sales conversions. A platform like impact.com / creator gives you real-time data to measure the full effectiveness of your campaigns.
impact.com / creator can help you recruit the right influencers, grow your program, and reach your goals. Schedule a demo today.
Want to learn more about influencer outreach? Check out these resources: