How to Run a Successful Influencer Outreach Campaign (for ALL brands!)
Before you put your product on the market, you need a few things.
You need a good product (but let's face it, it's 2018 and everything is pretty good these days), you need a "hype factor" that gets the word out about you, and you need a network of dedicated fans that are trusted for their opinions. Back in the day, celebrity endorsements were a surefire way to get your brand awareness up. These days, companies and brands are turning to Influencers in order to grow their companies at a minimal ad spend.
Influencer Outreach is a new way to penetrate the market in which you're selling your product. A couple of interesting shifts have happened in digital advertising even within the last year or two. According to Shane Barker at Medium, "70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions". In addition, "30% [of those 70% of] consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers."
I tell any brand or company that reaches out to me not to waste their time or money on trying to get a celebrity endorsement. It doesn't work. It doesn't resonate with the millennial generation, and that will be a huuuuge chunk out of your budget for something that will not return. Unless the celebrity you are working with is cross promoting your marketing, no one besides the people who follow you (or know about you already) will know or care that you have a celebrity. You'll need so many back links, SEO, and ad spend toward Adwords or Yahoo/Bing Ads to have an actual successful celebrity endorsement campaign. So unless you have a rockstar digital media manager, just forget it.
Let me manage your Outreach campaigns! Contact me.
In order to run a successful Influencer Outreach campaign, there is research involved. First of all, unless you're managing this campaign yourself, you need a Social Media Manager (or Community Manager if you want to focus the role even more) who is familiar and confident with your target demographics and can find the right people to help spread the word about your company and products.
The manager will need anywhere from 10-50 (or less or more depending on your budget and desired ROI [return on investment]) different Influencers (men or women depending on the demo/product) who are great content creators. It's just a fact that consumers resonate more with great content whether it's a beautiful image or a super cool video.
Research influencers who are relevant or up-and-coming in your space. Check out if there are any other brands they've partnered with and check out the content + messaging. Most importantly, look at the engagement. I can't tell you how many times I get inquiries from Influencers with a pretty 85k followers, and only 700 likes on their posts. A post about why Social Managers need to stop looking at follower count is coming soon!
This type of campaign requires constant optimization and engagement. Hire me to manage it for you!
Outline the Deliverables
You as a company are in charge of deciding what you want, how much, and when it needs to be done. When creating an Advertising or Blogger Agreement, make sure your attorney or legal counsel includes a deliverables section that outlines exactly what you need from the Influencer. You can do this a little more casually by jumping on the phone with the potential influencer before you move forward.
Before we started getting 40-50 inquiries a week, the Influencer Outreach process I had developed for my job is as follows,
- Find yan Influencer
- Reach out via email to them (or their manager) discussing the potential partnership and introducing yourself and your company.
- Schedule a phone call to pick their brain and get to know them more.
- On the call, use your best judgement (through social cues and common sense) to determine whether this person will professionally, accurately, and creatively promote your product.
- Let them know why they would be a good fit (nobody got anywhere without a little ass-kissing) to represent your brand.
- Let them know if you're moving forward (or not) and tell them next steps.
After my first initial call with our Influencers, I get back with my team (if necessary) and discuss if there is any reason we shouldn't move forward. Luckily, I've only had to turn down 2 or 3 bloggers I've spoken to on the phone after determining their professionalism wasn't up to par for our brand.
I can help you craft the perfect Influencer Outreach Request email! Contact me.
The Final Product
Once the Influencer is able to understand what you're trying to accomplish in your campaign (because you've done such a good job at explaining it!), give them the creative freedom they need to get it done. I know for myself, as a creative, anytime I'm given a script to use for my caption, I get a little bummed. I understand the concept of brand consistency and awareness, but I feel as though you can accomplish that by having organic, real captions.
If you want more control over what the Influencer does, add a clause in the Blogger Agreement that gives you revisions or unlimited amount of options. That way, if they don't nail it the first time, you're able to get new content without a fuss and you covered your own butt to your superiors.
The reason Influencer Outreach works so well is because you're getting a ton of different perspectives on how great your product is. This is why it's also helpful to get a diverse group of influencers to get all sorts of different content.
A few brands have absolutely crushed the Influencer Outreach game. Pura Vida Bracelets, FashionNova, ViciDolls, Halo Top Ice Cream, and Daily Harvest are just a few companies that took off solely from market and influencer outreach. They developed their customer personas then reached out to the Influencers that fit those personas. You don't need me to tell you how successful that was. You can check out their profiles yourself!
Sound like a lot of work? Let me manage your outreach program for you! Contact me.