Influencer marketing is very effective at providing you sales ROI, up to 11% higher than traditional marketing, says TapInfluence. It will most likely provide much higher ROI if it’s a small company.
The above TapInfluence study was conducted on a Fortune 500 company and reaffirms that you can draw more sales with influential marketing than with any other kind of digital marketing.
Influencers are experts in their field, which may be the same as or related to your field and some of them are celebrities. Because of this, you’ve got to convince them that there is value for them in partnering with you.
Influencers can build credibility for your products and services. It is also easier to win the trust of customers since recommendations from credible influencers are highly valued by their fans and others. So any effort here can only help you significantly.
The first step is to do all the research you can to identify the right influencers. There aren’t any shortcuts here. What you need to do is connect with influencers who are relevant and get them to promote your products and services.
For that, they need to be in the same field of business as you or at least interested in it, even if they aren’t fully involved. That’s where you need to do research.
You can start with a good old Google search to find out more about the authors of various relevant and successful blogs, then you can dip into their social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
When you do that, you’ll able to form a clear picture of your potential influencer. It can help you figure out what his interests are, how many followers, and how popular he really is.
Tools such as BuzzSumo and Grin can help you find influencers, analyze them and follow them. Get to know which of your potential influencers have the most popular blog posts, through various metrics such as number of shares, links, etc.
This can help you decide who to collaborate with and plan how to start interacting with them and framing that email pitch. SocialBlade is another tool, suggested by Tom Buckland of Bootstrapping Ecommerce, which can help you get a deeper sense of the online activity and popularity of your potential influencers, and help you plan your approach.
Before you start your email outreach, you must make yourself conspicuous and have your presence felt on social networks. In fact, you should have already been doing that from the moment you set up your business.
The influencer needs to figure out that you’re not some unknown entity who’s suddenly popped up with an email. When you become a familiar face, you increase the chances of striking the chord with your influencer.
Increase your social networking activities – like posts, comment and follow relevant people. That way, you won’t be a total unknown. Also, you should personally respond to emails you receive.
Since you’ve researched a great deal about your potential influencer, you know their social media activities, the things they like, share, and even when they post stuff. That can help you decide when to send them an email.
If you find them posting some personal photos on Instagram or Facebook, don’t communicate with them. If they’re having fun and posting shots of what they’re up to on the weekends, then it’s definitely not the right time to contact them.
While the habits of each potential influencer vary, it is generally advisable to send your emails during the week, avoiding Monday mornings and Friday evenings. Observe them for some days.
Now we get to the actual email part, which is known as cold outreach. It is called so because it involves reaching out to people you don’t know personally.
The first thing your potential influencer sees about your email is the subject line. The subject line makes the reader decide whether to open the mail or not so, all your email outreach efforts hinge on that subject line.
The natural inclination would be to add something quirky to the subject line. While that sounds exciting, remember that influencers get tons of emails like this and they are probably so tired of seeing them. Rather than saying, “Mind blowing opportunity”, it’s better to say, “Can I show you a useful product?”
The latter has a no-nonsense approach. It gets straight to the matter, and it’s also polite. Tom Buckland reminds us that the purpose of a subject line is quite similar to the headline of a blog post so it’s important to get it right since it’s the first point of communication with your influencer.
Next, you need to show that you’re an expert. Building credibility is important to get the influencer to respond positively. This is where you need to strike the right balance.
You must appear as someone who is an expert in their field, which is what you’re basically talking about in your email. However, you must be careful not to go talking on and on about your expertise.
Make it short and simple. If you’ve had any experience working with other big influencers or other sites or even blogs where your industry knowledge is put to use, you can mention them in your email with links. That’s a sure way to build credibility.
Now the body of your email is where the meat is. Here, the thing you need to take utmost care of is the way you ask the influencer to work with you. Show them how supporting your products or services could lend value to their work or to their followers and fans.
You need to keep it concise. Buckland suggests placing a word limit on your email body to around 100 words.
Remember, people don’t like reading large chunks of text. They mostly skim through it. Influencers are busy individuals who don’t have all the time in the world to read your email. The very fact that they’ve opened your mail is because they’ve figured there’s something important and exciting here. Your subject line did the trick.
So get to the point right away – reveal who you are, tell them honestly what impressed you about them and why you’d want them to help promote your stuff. Mention any giveaways or stuff you’re offering to them (if any) in return for their help, and close politely with your contact details for them to reach out to you.
Sometimes influencers may demand money (most of the time). In those cases, use paypal or other reliable payment systems.
In any case, influencers will typically skim through your content and look for some key words or phrases that will get them interested. Further details about your product, service or work can be discussed in detail later, in successive communications. The purpose of the influencer outreach email is just to get the potential influencer hooked to your idea.
How you sign your email off is equally important. Rather than ending it with a request for them to get back to you, you can express an acknowledgement of their busy schedule. You aren’t in a position above the influencer, so requesting to reply could appear to be commanding the individual, however politely you may be presenting it.
Influencers tend to reply positively to emails where the writer understands their problems and busy schedule. You’re more likely to get a positive response that way.
With these steps, you can get started and build on your influencer email outreach. Remember the stats we mentioned above? There is so much potential to tap into.
It takes time to master all these tips so you have to realize that it’s not gonna happen overnight. Patience is key to finding the best influencers and, most importantly, do not give up!