Brands are putting more effort toward partnering with social media influencers. What are the most effective ways to do this?
Many of us already realize the importance of connecting with social media influencers to expand the reach of brands. However, the best way to connect with influencers can feel clouded in mystery. We don’t want to get lost in the noise and waste valuable staff time to messaging influencers who don’t respond. Also, we don’t want to present our brand in a bad light by pestering influencers.
So what is the best way to find and connect with influencers on social media? Here are three steps you should follow.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you begin your influencer outreach it’s crucial to remember that not all influencers are right for your brand. Just because an influencer has thousands or millions of followers, doesn’t mean that if they promote your company, it would be a good match.
To get the best return on your investment of time and money, make sure an influencer is reaching your ideal buying audience. This means that you should have documented, updated and researched buyer personas, and you should focus your effort on identifying influencers who are reaching that same audience.
In addition to an influencer reaching your ideal audience, make sure that their engagement is at the level you are looking for. If your target audience is niche, you don’t need to reach exceptionally large influencers. You just need to reach influencers who have high engagement with your target audience. The specifics will vary by brand and campaign, but make sure everyone is on the same page as to what a successful influencer partnership looks like.
In addition to ensuring influencers are reaching your ideal audience, make sure the influencer is influential on the platforms relevant to you. If you’re looking for blog content to be written about your brand, make sure the influencer has a blog with strong readership. Or if you’re looking to increase your Facebook fan size, make sure the influencer has a large and active Facebook following. Again, the influencers you reach should apply directly to the campaign and goal that you’re focusing on at any given time.
Provide Meaningful Incentives
Once you’ve identified your target influencers based on your target audience and platform you’re focusing on, make sure you have a meaningful incentive to encourage an influencer to partner with you. If you have a reasonable budget you can financially compensate influencers for their work, making sure that all FTC guidelines are followed and sponsored content is labeled as such.
If you have a product you want influencers to test and share about their experience online, you can make the product available to them, and they can, again, specify that you offered the product for them to try.
In some cases, brands have limited funds and no physical products for an influencer to try. In these cases it’s important to get creative.
Our team at Spyglass Digital specializes in thinking creatively about experiences and opportunities that intrigue influencers. Whether it’s exclusive opportunities, interviews, early access to events or product launches, among other things, we make sure to think strategically about the influencer, their interests, and how they align with the brand. That way, when an offer is presented, it stands out to the influencer and cuts through the noise of offers they are likely already be receiving from other brands.
Be a Decent Person
Most of all, when you contact an influencer, be a decent person. Remember that connecting with influencers is like being at a cocktail party. Show you are interested in them, you’ve done your research, and working with you can be mutually beneficial.
Present your brand’s opportunity is an exciting, one-of-a-kind way. Be responsive and courteous in your communication. Make working with your brand super easy. Social media influencers are busy and want to be as productive and efficient as you probably want to be too. And if you make an offer, be sure to follow through. Leave a positive impression and you’ll likely have more influencers want to work with you in the future.