From bloggers sharing their "must-haves" on Instagram to podcasts promoting the soon-to-be hottest app, influencer marketing is truly an art form. While we’ve previously discussed the challenges of influencer marketing and making sure your influencer campaigns truly resonate with your customers, today we're going to dive into finding the right influencers.
The first step, and most important one, is making sure your influencer campaign is made up of the best influencers for your brand. Here are 5 actionable tips to finding and onboarding influencers.
Tip #1: Use Hashtags & “Top Blogger” Lists
One of the biggest challenges when looking for influencers is finding the right ones with an engaged following. An easy way to approach this is to start with a list of hashtags (Pro tip: Simply pull the hashtag list you’ve been using to get your posts noticed), and note the top accounts on your preferred social channel for those hashtags. For example, if you're looking for food bloggers to help with the launch of a new product, try searching the tag, "#foodblog" on Instagram. In addition, Google “top blogger” lists by geographic location and blog type.
Here are a few examples:
Top NYC Fashion Bloggers
Favorite Vegan Mommy Bloggers
Top Bloggers in [Industry Name]
Tip #2: Keep Track
Just like any other marketing initiative, reporting and optimizing is key in understanding the success of your program. So as you find influencers you want to work with, be sure to keep track of their info (we recommend using a relationship marketing platform, Google Sheets or a CRM).
If you're starting from scratch, here's the information you’ll need to get started:
- Influencer Name
- Blog/website URL
- Influencer Handle(s)
- # of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube Followers
- Contact Email
- Average likes per photo and/or post (last 6 photos/posts)
- Average comments per photo and/or post (last 6 photos/posts)
This information will be handy to use as you compare pricing, engagement, and overarching metrics. As your program develops, this will also act as a baseline for tracking conversions, goals, and ROI.
Tip #3: Email Outreach
Okay, now it's time to get in front of your influencers. There are many different ways to work with influencers, for example, you may want to test paying an influencer’s sponsored post fee, in addition to giving them a referral code or link. Or you may simply pitch a revenue share model for when their followers buy your product.
Using the influencer marketing methods mentioned above, here are two email templates to jumpstart your outreach:
Sponsored Post Fee + Referral Marketing Code
Hi [Influencer Name],
My name is [NAME], and I’m reaching out on behalf [Brand]. We’d love to have you review [product] on [social channel/website].
[Brand] is a little bit different, because we use Ambassador to pay referral bonuses to influencers. What that means is that when you post a review to social media, you’ll be paid ($X) for each follower of yours who purchases. So, if 10 people bought [product] using your link, you’d make [$X]. Of course, we’d still want to pay for a sponsored post!
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, could you please send your media kit or rates?
Referral Marketing Code Only
Hi [Influencer Name],
My name is [NAME], and I’m reaching out on behalf [Brand]. We’d love to have you review [product] on [platform].
[Brand] is a little bit different, because we use Ambassador to pay referral bonuses to influencers.What that means is that when you post a review to social media, you’ll be paid ($X) for each follower of yours who purchases. So, if 10 people bought [product] using your link, you’d make [$X].
Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?
Tip #4: Clear Expectations
While it may be tempting to get an influencer’s address and ship them product with a coupon code to share with their followers, this is a huge mistake. As mentioned before, influencer marketing needs to be treated like every other marketing strategy - which means, you need to set goals and measure success. So when communicating with an influencer, be sure to define how soon after receiving your product they’ll post a photo, what time of day (don't forget different time zones!), expectations of how they will promote your campaign, etc. It's always a good idea to have the influencer sign or agree to some sort of agreement (your legal team can consult on that!) to better guarantee that the promo will be posted to benifit both parties.
Creating a Smarter Influencer Marketing Strategy
As we head into the future, there are new influencer networks popping up every day, and the established platforms are only getting larger. Before you sit through a dozen different sales presentations, determine what’s important for your brand and which KPI’s have the biggest opportunity for improvement. We can help you get started with our recent eBook, "Exploring a New Way to Build a Smarter, More Organic Influencer Marketing Strategy."
Posted August 22, 2017 in Influencer Marketing