You have decided to start an influencer marketing campaign but don’t know any influencers. No problem. We will walk you through how to contact influencers.
From identifying the right ones to deciding which is the best channel to contact them on and how to establish solid and long-lasting relationships with them (here is why).
Keeping a good rapport with the content creators you have worked with will help you carve out your name in the niche you choose to pursue and establish your company as a reliable and integral part of the sector.
Why influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is optimal when you want to connect with a specific audience or believe that a human touch could help your promotion. Influencers have amassed a substantial following on their social media platforms, and people look up to them. Often even develop parasocial relationships.
When an influencer promotes a product, many of their followers will associate their trust with the influencer with the product, something that is less immediate than other marketing avenues.
Furthermore, we are bombarded by ads, and many try to escape them as much as possible. Sponsored influencer content blends with their typically produced content making it more accepted and less invasive for the audience.
Decide which influencer to contact
Identifying influencers that fit your requirements and brand values is the first step in the process and can be done manually or through influencers’ platforms.
Over 165 million content creators have joined the creator economy in the last two years.
They cover any imaginable niche and segment of the audience, making it possible for you to target highly detailed segments. But, identifying the right one in this sea of creators will be challenging. You can decide to go two ways: manually or with the help of software tools.
If you choose to go manually, you need to identify pertinent hashtags or keywords and search who is posting related content. After you have collected a good amount of possible creators, you will need to extrapolate the fitting analytics for your campaign, like the number of followers, engagement rate, community sentiment, and any others you feel are relevant for each of them.
Organize them on your own. And make comparisons to decide with who to partner in your campaign. You may want to identify more content creators than the one you want for your final campaign since some may not be interested, not reply, or just refuse to work with you.
To simplify the process, you can use third-party services, like CreatorDB, to do the heavy lifting. Through CreatorDB, you can search a database of over 3 million influencers for 130+ data points. We also offer a built-in niche system that allows you to identify and access over 9000 segments to have granular control over who will receive your message. Furthermore, CreatorDB directly allows accessing simple and advanced analytics, making it easy for you to evaluate your picks and select only the best creators for your influencer marketing campaign. CreatorDB also lets you quickly find who a creator worked before and when: this way, you can easily avoid creators currently working with competitors or over-saturating their audiences with ads.
Decide where to contact influencers
Going through emails or agencies strikes as more professional but smaller creators may not have set up a business email or be represented by any agency making it necessary to contact them through the various social media platforms’ direct messaging functions.
Once you select a certain number of creators with whom you would like to collaborate, it is time to consider contacting them. Depending on the social media you are looking at, you may have or not a way to directly communicate inside the platform. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok (but only if the creator follows you back) have direct messaging systems that potentially put you in contact with the creator. Using these services may seem straightforward and tempting, but you have to consider that content creators receive many messages: from fans, other companies, spam, and so on. So the larger the creator’s following, the more unlikely they will see your message if you use such ways.
Concurrently, the larger the creator, the more likely they will be under management from some agency or have some people in place to manage their collaborations. You can generally reach these people through an email address listed in the creator’s information or in their link in the bio.
For platforms like YouTube, where there is no way to communicate with them in the platform, you will have to rely on the business email or try to contact them through other social media they may have.
Once again CreatorDB can help: you can filter your results for only creators that provide an email and access those emails directly, leaving you only to compose and ship emails.
Overall is preferable to use the email address when it is provided. It would make your offer look professional and stand out from the tons of messages a creator would receive daily.
Contacting influencers with your pitch
Compose your message in a way that feels personal, and attention-grabbing while also introducing your brand, the idea you have for the campaign, and the influencer’s part in it.
Imagine yourself in the creator’s shoes: you want to collaborate with brands that will positively impact your community and share your same goals and values (or at least are not opposed). So try to tailor your offer to the creator’s style and personality: explain what your company and their message have in common and how they could combine.
Overall any successful email pitch should be composed of the following:
An attention-grabbing subject line.
Applies only to emails. You want to be direct and enticing at the same time. Mention your brand name, and that is for a collaboration/partnership/promotion. Avoid spammy wording and symbols: no dollar signs or fire emojis everywhere. That would make you look unprofessional and likely to be just spam.
A personalized first paragraph.
Make it about them and what you appreciate about their platforms and messaging. Creators are more likely to respond and collaborate with companies that understand their vision and support it. Explain how your campaign perfectly matches their platform and why you chose them.
Introduce your company and product.
Explain your brand, its vision, and how a collaboration between the brand and the creator would be a double win. It is crucial to introduce yourself well if your brand is launching or is relatively unknown in the creator space. You could tweak the intro to focus on the product if the product is going to be the center of the campaign or if your brand is already widely known.
Explain the campaign and their role.
Here comes the meat and potatoes of your pitch. It doesn’t have to be a super detailed explanation, but it gives the general idea of what is to come: talking about what kind of content you expect, how long the campaign is going to run, and the campaign goals. If the influencer replies positively to this first contact, you will go further in detail with them and figure out all the nuts and bolts.
You can get other useful tips on how to convince a creator to partner with you here
By this time, you should already have in mind how you are expecting the influencer content to be structured, but in case you are still undecided, these are the most common ways of including sponsored content:
Especially suited for products that don’t have a significant strike factor at first sight or may need prolonged use. Software, dieting products, services, and similar can benefit from having an influencer bring their experience with them and how it helped them.
Very beneficial if your product is going to come through the mail. The audience would have a first-hand experience of what to expect through the influencer content. Also, leave a lot of space for the influencer reactions and spin on it.
Old but gold. Classic way to endorse a product less sophisticated than other approaches but evergreen.
Reviews are the perfect way to make your promotional material feel authentic and genuine. You will have an influencer try out your product and give feedback on its performance. It may sound counterproductive, but you also want to have some negative feedback. If it is all negative, you may have to rethink your product, but the presence of minor issues or things that could be smoothed would make the review look even more genuine and less like a paid promotion.
Be ready to discuss details and KPIs with the creators, set boundaries, and listen to their ideas about the creative direction they could bring to the campaign.
If the creator replies interested to your email, this is the time you two will start discussing the details of the collaboration: timeline, rewards, and expected KPIs. Even before contacting the creators themselves, you should have an idea of what the partnership will bring to you regarding the essential KPIs for your campaign but be sure to discuss them with the creators and listen to their side of the story. They know their audience better than you.
Be clear with the creator about the timeline for the content publishing, what boundaries need to be respected, and how the product needs to be shown and discussed. Depending on the influencer experience size and preferences, they may want to be paid or accept product gifts as compensation.
Be sure to hear them about their creative ideas and compensation choices, and be accommodating when possible. If you want to work with influencer marketing for an extended period establishing positive relations with content creators is essential.