Influencer outreach strategy can be viewed either as a kind of business promotion or as a form of collaboration. In essence, it is both. The methods to use when looking for your perfect influencer and the direction your outreach campaign will move in depend on the goals you pursue. Either way, there are some important guidelines to consider.

A quick reminder: influencer outreach is a strategy by which companies and entrepreneurs basically ask influential people – mostly experts in their niche and sometimes celebrities – to spread a word about their brand or product, which may mean a full-blown advertising campaign. Influencer outreach is pretty much a social proof.

You find influencers on social media, on professional platforms and in communities relevant to your business, you look through the contacts of your contacts and study the market’s leading figures… There are even website and online tools designed specifically for searching for and researching potential influencers – sites like Revfluence, Ninja Outreach, or Klout.

But How Do You Know What Candidate Is the Best for You?

Quite unanimously, marketing experts and business owners say that you must look for influencers whose vision and values resonate with yours, rather than simply aiming for people with loud names and wide audiences. The principle of quality over quantity applies here more than ever. How active and devoted an influencer’s “fandom” is? Keep that question in mind and don’t underestimate the power of micro-influencers: smaller communities with loyal and eager audiences can do much more job (especially when you find a few of those) than one or two big personalities with the audience whose interests are dispersed. Not feeling as closely connected to the influencer, they are less likely to follow their advice, which intends to direct them to your brand.

Look for an influencer whose clientele is very similar to yours. After all, for your business relationship with them to be fruitful, both of your audiences should reap benefits out of your collaboration. It’s much easier to arrange that when the audiences have matching needs and goals – unless trying to hook a new kind of audience is your specific intention.

To make the task of finding your influencer match easier, before you begin the actual search, create a model image of the influencer you’re looking for: what businesses they’re in, what is their focus, their personality, characteristics of their readers and viewers, etc. Researching and verifying information about your potential candidates goes without saying.

Entrepreneurs tend to overlook their existing customers or bloggers and other brands that already mention their products and quote their content. These bloggers and brands are already doing a great job for you, especially if they have faithful supportive audiences, and they most probably would not refuse to be your influencers and cooperate with you. You can even unite all such crowds, if there’s a few of them, in one fun campaign that is a win for everyone – and here you have your business flashmob.

A few words should be also said about the efficiency of video and audio communication, which doesn’t need to be proved anymore. It is as rewarding to collaborate with influencers who have their own YouTube channels and frequently appear in prominent podcasts as it is to attract influencers through a video presentation of your brand.

Don’t Treat the Relationship with Your Influencer as a One-night Business Stand

Always look ahead to foresee successful partnerships in the future that may come out of your influencer outreach campaign. Look at the bigger picture and look beyond a one-time help-out promotion. Of course, your goals might be deliberately short-term, but if you want the real business, choose influences the way you’d choose yourself a close business partner or your right hand.

Building a long-standing relationship with your influencer, be truly committed. Treat them as if they already are your business partner. Quote them in your content, mention them, draw links to them, ask for their opinions, invite them for interviews, be an active supporter of their work – in a word, let your voice be heard and your appreciation is known. When you successfully establish such kind of relationship, you have greater chances for creative cooperation, which can bring much more good than a simple paid promotional favor. And yes, be ready to pay them, and also prepare all the stuff you want to be promoted in all its forms – digital content, advertising speeches, printed handouts, or your actual material products so that your influencer doesn’t sweat about it and refuse to cooperate.

Do not forget about properly settling the legal aspects of your partnership with the influencer. Make sure you know your rights and they are explicitly noted before any business cooperation begins.

Personalize Your Enquiry

When you are writing your “outreaching” email to the influencer, whether you have been showing them your interest and loyalty before or you have to start your campaign quickly and this is the very first time you contact them, do not get all formal and use a standard prepared text to address them. Adding personal touch is not just a trick or a sly technique for gaining credibility – it will serve you well in the first place, because when you show the nature and authenticity of your business approach and personality, it will most probably be the inferences who like what you do and who you are and respect it that will respond to your email, and this is the most important part of any kind of collaboration.

Jenna Brandon – a blogger at Writology and a digital marketing wizard – is also romantic at heart. She is in love with Italy and her whole career is governed by the laws of fashion and discovery. She enjoys developing her professional skills, this is why she does not miss a single digital marketing webinar. She is a true liaison between the world of online content and her awed readers.

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