Influencer Outreach: How to Dramatically Boost Your Results

How to do influencer outreach the right way. Avoid the mistakes most marketers make and get the best out of your campaign.

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Influencer Outreach How to Dramatically Boost Your Results

Most influencer outreach is done incorrectly.

As one of the fastest growing forms of online customer acquisition, influencer outreach is more popular than ever, but most brands don’t know how to do it effectively.

Stick with me, I’m about to explain exactly what I mean, as well as cover:

  • 3 Keys to Ensure You’re Doing Influencer Outreach Right
  • How to Avoid Missing the Mark and Wasting Your Time
  • 3 Awesome Tools to Help You Reach Relevant Influencers
  • Plus tons of super helpful tips and tricks to make the most of your outreach

This information is vital to creating a truly powerful influencer outreach strategy, which is exactly why I’m not going to waste any time getting to it.

The More Popular Influencer Outreach Gets, the Less Effective it Becomes…

Influencers are quickly becoming one of the hottest commodities in the online marketing world. In fact, a recent Tomoson study found influencer outreach to be the fastest growing form of online customer acquisition.

Influencers are great at getting your message in front of their audience, but who’s to say that audience wants to hear what you have to say?

In fact, the more popular that influencer outreach gets, the less effective it becomes. There are more and more “influencers” with larger and larger audiences, but those audiences are becoming a bit numb to the seemingly continuous stream of products being pushed on them.

Also, as more and more content floods the playing field, influencers are getting more and more selective about who they work with and what they’re willing share.

It seems to be getting more difficult to do influencer outreach right, unless you…

Consider the Following 3 Factors When Creating Your Influencer Outreach Strategy

Your influencer campaign may be destined for failure unless you take the time to craft a comprehensive strategy. That means doing plenty of research and reaching out to the right people in the right way.

Let me show you what I’m on about…

#1 – Set Clear Objectives

The first, and most important step when devising a strategy of any kind is to set clearly defined, realistic, and achievable goals. That may sound easy, but the difficulty lies in that “realistic and achievable” part.

If you’ve never run a successful outreach campaign, it’s likely that you don’t know the first thing about what you can expect from your efforts. Realistically speaking, you may have to put in a bit of work before you fully understand what’s possible from a numbers standpoint.

That’s why, until you have a bit of experience under your belt, your objectives may be slightly less exact.

For example, you can:

  • set a goal to reach a certain number of influencers,

Instead of creating goals based on:

  • the reach for your content
  • traffic generated
  • leads/conversions produced by an outreach campaign.

Once you have some outreach experience you’ll be able to define the potential reach, leads, conversions, etc. by the:

  • Influencer(s) who you’ve connected with
  • Their audience numbers
  • The relevancy of the content to their audience
  • The authority (influence) they represent in your industry

When you begin to understand each influencer and their audiences on a deeper level, you’ll be able to target specific audiences with a content that they will all likely to respond to, as well as the actions/conversions you want to see from that content.

For example:

  • You can to push an awareness stage piece of content to an audience best suited to react to it, expecting more visits to your landing page for an awareness stage offer.
  • You may have seen lots of social shares from another audience, so when you want to boost the exposure of a particularly sharable post, you’ll know where to go.

As you can see, objective setting can and will mean different things to you as your experience in influencer outreach evolves. However, the importance of creating clear goals for each campaign, and indeed each action you take, cannot be emphasized enough.

#2 – Understand That Influencer Outreach Is NOT a Numbers Game

Sure, you’re going to have to approach several influencers in order to find the right fit for your brand, product, etc. You’ll have to knock on a few doors to start seeing positive responses, BUT—and this is a big but—influencers are people.

They are people with a reputation to uphold and most of them won’t respond positively (if at all) to being asked to promote something with a “copy and paste” style email, especially if it is your first point of contact.

Even big brands make this mistake, like when UPS tweeted a long list of “experts” with nearly identical copy in order to promote their content.

Bad influencer outreach

Source: Threadwatch

It’s extremely important to put in the time to understand who it is you’re reaching out to BEFORE you write a single email.

Take the time to:

  • Follow their social accounts
  • Read their content and get to know them
  • Understand their niche and the way they communicate
  • Reach out with praise and recognition for their work (like, share, comment)

Outreach Top Tip: You may (read: definitely do this) even take the time to send a few emails telling them how much you liked their content. Influencer outreach is a slow game. Building up a rapport prior to making the ask makes for a MUCH better response rate.

#3 – Learn the Differences Between Audience and Influence

Just because someone has a massive audience does not mean they have massive influence over that audience.

Take, for example, those girls on Instagram who post thousands of selfies every year and rack up followings in the hundreds of thousands (I’ll skip the example image here).

Do you think any of those girls’ audiences would be interested in any product they promote on their feeds?

That may be a pretty dramatic example, but I see similar mismatches of content and influencers all the time. Most influencer campaigns place more importance on the size of the audience than the relevance. They figure that their ideal buyer will be represented due to the sheer number of people, but that isn’t always so.

Your goal should be to find an influencer who you can truly connect with. One that shares similar interests/views on the content you produce. Someone who genuinely wants to share what you create because they feel like it will provide value to their audience.

For example…

If your company sells specialized point-of-sale systems for boutique fashion retailers, connect with boutique fashion brands so you can put your valuable content in front of the people who buy from them (boutique retailers).

Their audience may be smaller but they more accurately represent your ideal buyer and therefore, a better match for your content.

There is a palpable difference between someone who is sharing content just to share or for some form of compensation and an influencer who is truly endorsing you and your content because they love it.

Their audience can sense the difference, which means there should be a genuine connection between your brand and the influencer in order to display their genuine advocacy.

How to Identify the Right Influencers

As we’ve already identified, your influencer outreach will only be successful if you’re reaching the RIGHT influencers. But how do you go about finding the right influencers?
Lucky for us, Buzzsumo makes it really easy.
Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

Step 1: Find popular related content

  • Go to Buzzsumo and enter the keywords related to your blog post. Let’s use a relevant example, “influencer outreach.”

Influencer outreach buzzsumo

Step 2: Identify Influencers Who Share These Posts on Twitter

  • Click the “View Sharers” button next to each of the popular posts relevant to your topic.
  • Next, click “Page Authority” in order to sort your results by influence.
  • You’ll be able to see a list of the tops sharers, collect that data and use it to reach out to these people via Twitter according to the outline in step 2.

Influencer outreach search

3 Amazing Tools to Make Your Influencer Outreach More Effective

#1 – EmailHunter

Email addresses, especially those of more popular influencers can be hard to find. You’ll likely see them sharing all sorts of social media contact points instead.

Enter EmailHunter.

When a URL or brand name is input, EmailHunter generates a list of email addresses associated with them. You may have to sift through a few emails to find the right one, but if reaching the right influencer is important to you (and it should be by now, jeez), then this handy little tool can get you backstage passes to the meet the band everyone else has to scream at from the stands.

#2 – Sidekick (Now HubSpot Sales Pro)

Sidekick is a really neat little plugin from HubSpot that allows you to track your emails and all of the activity they’re receiving. For example, it allows you to see if your emails have been opened, sure, but it also allows you to see where those opens take the email recipient.

For example, you can tell if someone has opened your email, looked at various pages, clicked on your offers, etc. That way you can determine the best way to follow up.

Top Tip: If you’re not currently using HubSpot, look into similar services from Yesware or Streak for your Gmail inbox.

#3 – Pitchbox

A very handy CRM that allows you to track your email’s sent vs. open, responses, etc. You can do a lot more to optimize your campaigns, so if you’re serious about creating a powerful influencer outreach strategy, it’s time to take a deeper look.

Final Thoughts

Most influencer outreach is done wrong, but we know that by now.

So now that you know how to do it right, you’ll be working hard to show the rest of them how it’s done, right?

That’s what I thought!

You have a leg up on most marketers because you now understand how to reach influencers, how to reach the right influencers, and how to position your content so that it finds itself in front of a relevant audience.

What are you waiting for?

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