Influencer marketing has become an important part of social media strategies for many savvy retail brands. With ad restrictions and social algorithm updates making it harder than ever for brand’s to get their marketing messaging across, authentic content has a much better chance of getting seen. Not only that, but consumers trust content created by influencers much more than what’s produced by brands.
In the first part of our Social Influencer series, we explained the best ways to choose the best influencers for your brand. This will ensure your influencer campaigns reach the right audience, which in turn should help increase your social media following and ROI. Once you’ve got your list of influencers, you’ll now be ready to put a plan in place and reach out to them. Follow our step-by-step guide to find out how to effectively approach your potential social influencers.
Step 1: Consider How You Can Both Benefit
If you think you can reward your influencer by simply offering “exposure” to your audience – you’ll need to think again! Influencers will be contacted by so many brands that they’re only going to be interested in the ones that offer free products and/or payment. You’ll therefore need to work out an influencer budget and decide what to offer them in your email to them.
You’ll also need to plan what type of collaborations you’d like the influencer to be involved in. Would you want them to participate in a Q&A on your Instagram Live? Review one of your products on their Youtube channel? Or run a competition on their social channels? It’s a good idea to give the influencer a couple of options to help increase your chances of getting them onboard. Just make sure the options are relevant to their most popular social channels. Not only that, but your suggestions should be aligned with your marketing objectives. For example, you might want to grow your audience on a particular channel and maximise sales on a new collection.
Step 2: Send Personalised Emails
Nobody is going to reply to an email that sounds spammy! Make sure you include their name and comment on their content – maybe about something they recently posted or what you like about their Instagram feed.
This doesn’t mean you have to write a completely different email for each influencer you contact. You can still save time by creating a template. As well as mentioning something relevant to their content, the rest of the email should include:
- A brief introduction to your brand
- Pitch to them how you would like to collaborate
- Explain how they, and perhaps their audience, will benefit
- End with a simple yes or no question before signing off
It’s also a good idea to include a deadline for them to get back to you. This helps create a sense of urgency, meaning they’re more likely to respond quickly if they’re interested.
Step 3: Follow Up
Don’t be too disappointed if you don’t get a response to your email. An influencer’s inbox gets flooded with emails all the time so your’s could easily get lost in the masses. Alternatively, they might be interested in your email and forgotten to reply. Either way, expect to send follow up emails around a week later. Make sure you forward your original email so they can easily refer to it and include a gentle reminder along with a clear call to action so they know exactly what to do next.
Step 4: Send an Agreement Contract
Once you’ve heard back that they’re happy to work with your brand, it’s crucial that you send them an agreement contract. This will help ensure that your chosen influencers are clear with what’s expected of them. Not only that, but you never know what might go wrong; they might not follow your brief properly or their reputation could change overnight. So what should you include in an influencer agreement? We would recommend considering the following:
- A timeframe – how long do you want the influencer relationship to last? It could be a one-off campaign that lasts for one day or it could be a long-term relationship that’s built on over a number of years? Also make sure you include publication date(s)
- Deliverables – detail what you expect the influencer to produce and on which of their social platforms. If it’s a long-term relationship you should include the frequency of posts too
- Content usage – outline where you will publish the content such as on your website’s homepage, on your Instagram page etc
- Content terms – this can include hashtags or tracked links they need to include. You might also want to mention that posts mustn’t have any spelling mistakes!
- Payment – this could be a flat fee or it could be based on the campaign’s performance if they’re responsible for creating the content. If you’re sending products rather than payment, you should include details for this such as their budget for choosing items on your site
- Payment terms – state when the influencer should expect to receive payment eg. within 30 days after they send their invoice
- Termination clause – this could include the influencer’s content performing badly (be specific with metrics) or their actions damaging your brand’s reputation.
The list above is not exhaustive and there might be other things, specific to your brand, that you want to include. It’s also worth getting your legal representation to give your proposed influencer contract the once-over!
Standing out from all the other influencer pitches isn’t easy. You’ll need to carefully consider what you can offer them and take time to personalise each email. If you don’t hear back soon after sending them, be sure to follow up. Hopefully your reminder will work and they’ll let you know they’re interested. Before you start working together, make sure your chosen influencers sign an agreement contract. This will help provide clarity and show your professionalism too.
If you’re needing some ideas for influencer campaigns, look out for the third part of our influencer series coming soon!