In the era of sliding into DMs, outreach on social media has never been easier. But still, many brands make critical mistakes when reaching out to influencers. A bad outreach strategy can sully a relationship and even tarnish your brand. Here are five common influencer outreach mistakes that you need to be aware of and avoid.
1. Failure To Establish Clear Campaign Objectives
Before you even start to reach out to influencers, you need to be clear about what the objectives of your campaign are. Every social media influencer and social media platform has its own target audiences and strengths. At the start of your campaign, you should set out clear objectives.
Clearly identify what it is you want to achieve with your campaign. What is the key target audience you are hoping to engage with? What aspect of your brand are you aiming to promote? How are you planning to measure ROI?
Having all of this organized from the beginning can be a lot easier with an influencer marketing platform that keeps your content, permissions, and contact information for influencers all in one place.
2. Reaching Out to the Wrong Influencer
A common mistake is to make, especially if you have failed to properly establish your campaign goals early on, is to contact the wrong type of influencer. Using the wrong person can cause the entire campaign to fail because your message won’t be reaching the intended target audience. In order to make sure that you are working with the best and most relevant influencer, you need to prioritize the right type of criteria and this involves conducting research.
When you are doing research into which influencers to make contact with, you need to look carefully through their account and familiarize yourself with the types of brands they promote and look at who their followers are. An easy mistake to make is to approach a popular influencer, who has entirely the wrong type of following. Look carefully at the age, gender and engagement of followers they have. Are these your intended target audience? If not, don’t bother getting in touch. Another mistake is to prioritize large numbers of followers over relevance. You are better off working with an influencer whose niche is more in line with your brand. These audiences will be more engaged and therefore much more likely to interact with your campaign.
3. Using the Wrong Channel for Outreach
Choosing the right platform or channel is another important step in making sure that you are able to effectively contact any influencers you may want to work with. Despite the popularity of social media, email continues to be one of the best outreach platforms. It is more likely that you will be able to get noticed and it ensures that there is a clear trail for your conversation, which will make it easier for both you and the influencer to refer to.
If you do have to reach out to them via social media, make sure that you contact them on an account that they use for business purposes, not their personal/private account. Ask them where they would prefer to receive the pitch (usually via email or DM) and then make your full pitch on their preferred platform. Ultimately, having a CRM that keeps all influencer contact information in the same place is best.
4. Using an Impersonal Pitch
There are three key points to remember with every pitch – personal, concise and beneficial. Make sure that you personalize each pitch before you send it out and only send the email to one influencer at a time, not a mass email. Using a template is fine, but make sure you customize it as needed. Secondly, keep the pitch concise and straight to the point. Provide the key information and cues as to what you need the influencer to do next. Finally, tell them why it’s worth their time and effort. What will they get in exchange for it? Pitch your campaign as a worthwhile opportunity for them.
5. Failing to Follow Up
Make sure that you follow up on the first email with another one within 3-5 days. This will help the influencer to see that you are serious and gives them a subtle reminder to respond. You can send another email about a week later if you still have not heard back.
If the influencer doesn’t want to be involved, make sure to react professionally. You can politely ask why they are not interested and try to find out what you can improve on for next time. Use this information to help you pitch to another influencer.
Influencers are used to receiving pitches regularly. Make your pitch stand out by ensuring that you have thoroughly researched the influencer, their brand and checking that their interests align with your campaign objectives. Make your emails professional, short and to the point. By creating persuasive and personalized emails, you are far more likely to get a “yes”.
Molly Crockett is a marketing blogger for Academized and Paperfellows. She writes blogs and articles offering advice to businesses on how to protect themselves from external threats. Molly also tutors at Australian help, where she regularly seeks to find new ways to help young people to develop their writing and research skills.