How to Get Past the DM: Influencer Outreach Tips for Brands
The benefits of influencer marketing to businesses have never been more apparent. These experts at social media — both micro-influencers and larger-scale creators — can help you capture the eyeballs of potential customers effortlessly. They can expose your brand to thousands or even millions of people with just a single Instagram post, for example.
That’s super helpful when building brand awareness. Additionally, it can help you drive more leads to boost your revenue. The data speaks for itself:
Unfortunately, too many brand marketers struggle with influencer outreach, from finding the right influencers to crafting irresistible pitches. It can be challenging to recruit the right influencers for your brand. That’s why we’ve compiled six tips that will take your influencer outreach efforts to the next level.
Discover Influencers With Engaged, Relevant Audiences
Influencer outreach starts before the outreach. Finding the perfect influencer or ambassador for your brand can become its own challenge without the right approach.
The creators you ultimately reach out to should share your brand values and have an audience that overlaps with your ideal customer. This is crucial to influencer-brand fit; if a creator’s audience doesn’t care about your products or industry, the influencer promoting them might come off as superficial. For this same reason, it’s worth it to seek out influencers who haven’t worked with your competitors in the past.
Brands with the most successful influencer marketing campaigns often use a CRM platform like Pixlee TurnTo for Creators to discover influencers who share similar interests with your brand. The plus side of this is that you’ll already have influencers in a management platform to start collecting and publishing their content and tracking success metrics like engagement and earned media.
Pixlee TurnTo’s Creator Network features influencers with various backgrounds and interests who have taken their own initiative to sign up and find brands to work with.
As you discover influencers, remember that numbers don’t always tell the whole story. It’s very tempting to go with a big influencer simply because they have a massive audience, but these followers are often less engaged than the fanbases of micro-influencers with niche interests.
Identifying an influencer whose brand aligns with yours increases the chances of getting a reply when you do begin outreach. The bonus benefit is that working with such influencers also sets you up for a successful campaign, as they will expose your products to a highly qualified target audience.
Solidify the Details of Your Partnership
There are various ways to compensate influencers. Some influencers prefer a contract with a specified cash payment. Big influencers may already have a specific process for this. Others, especially micro to nano influencers, can accept free products, exclusive access to events or new launches, or discounts in exchange for showcasing your brand on their channels.
Affiliate and referral marketing is one channel you cannot afford to overlook. Affiliate marketing, also known as an ecommerce referral program, can be a lucrative source of income for affiliates (brand ambassadors) across different platforms because it provides them with a steady stream of passive income. All they need to do is add a unique affiliate link to their profile or content description. With Pixlee TurnTo, your brand can map specific purchases and revenue to various influencers with an easy-to-use link tracking feature.
Everlane partners with influencers, giving them a unique discount code that can be monitored by the brand to aid in compensation and measuring campaign success.
On your end, you can choose between different payment models for these brand ambassadors, such as a commission model that pays influencers only a certain percentage of sales made through their channels. Check out our influencer pay guide for a full breakdown of the different ways to compensate influencers appropriately.
Craft a Personalized Pitch
Personalization works exceptionally well in influencer outreach, like it usually does in regular marketing campaigns. You have to curate a pitch that’ll make the influencer feel you’re addressing them personally. Your message should never sound like it’s mass-produced to be distributed to dozens of influencers.
How do you write such a pitch? Start by addressing the influencer by name. That should be fairly easy if you have the right email marketing software as it can autofill the data. Second, explain why they're a good fit for the collaboration. Reference some of their content to show you’re familiar with their work.
You should also tell the influencer how the collaboration will benefit them. For example, should they expect more traffic and followers? Are there any monetary incentives? This is a great place to include data from previous influencer partnerships you’ve participated in. Provide them with concrete statistics like engagement rate and impressions from prior creator campaigns to show them why your partnership will be meaningful for both sides and create an air of transparency right off the bat.
Emphasize your flexibility when it comes to content creation. When collaborating to establish the basic campaign guidelines, let the influencer utilize their creativity to promote your brand or products.
If you’re reaching out to an influencer through a direct message, make sure it comes from your business social media account. Alternatively, you can use your business email address to send your pitches. Be sure to use a subject line tester to identify the best subject lines that will get your emails opened.
Lastly, create spaces for creators to apply to work with your brand instead of relying only on outreach. Pixlee TurnTo for Creators allows brands like Kiragrace to create dedicated site pages featuring influencer and ambassador content, with an opportunity for site visitors to sign up themselves.
Each step of your influencer outreach journey paves the way for the next; without having clearly defined campaign guidelines, how will you send that first message to a creator? Remember to be flexible with creators you’d love to work with, as they’re the stars of social media, and always try to maintain relationships with influencers even after the campaign ends.
Daryl Bush is the Business Development Manager at Authority.Builders. The company helps businesses acquire more customers through improved online search rankings. He has extensive knowledge of SEO and business development.