Category

Influencer Marketing

HOW TO WIN AT INFLUENCER OUTREACH [+ free email templates]

By | Influencer Marketing

We all know that influencer marketing is no new thing. We have been influenced by others for as long as the human race has existed. It is not influence that is new, but the advent of the social media influencer which has changed the way it works and how we conduct influencer outreach.

Before, those with significant influence were few and far between and insanely difficult to reach. But social media changed the entire landscape, drastically increasing the networks of previously ‘uninfluential’ individuals AND making them significantly easier to get in contact with (DM’s, comments, emails etc).

Those that jumped on the trend for influencer marketing early saw HUGE success – check out GymShark or Daniel Wellington if you want a couple of examples.

influencer marketing guide

However, as more businesses join the influencer marketing party, influencers attention is becoming stretched, making it increasingly difficult to grab their attention and get them to collaborate with your brand.

In this article, we take a detailed look at how to engage influencers with awesome outreach emails.

>> CLICK HERE TO GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR 2 x FREE INFLUENCER OUTREACH TEMPLATES <<

Do your homework and engage

 

When it comes to successful influencer outreach, the better you know your target, the higher your chances of success.

Spend time understanding the influencer you want to work with. Follow their accounts, read their blogs, like their stuff, post relevant comments and DM them when you have a question and you want to know more.

The information you gain from this type of interaction not only makes the influencer familiar with your brand, but allows you to further screen the influencer and assess their suitability for your brand.

Flattery will get you everywhere

 

Nobody likes a suck-up, but everyone loves to recognised and praised for their efforts.

influencer outreach flattery

When communicating with influencers don’t shy away from mentioning some of their achievements, some of the content you love or something they have achieved that you would also love to do.

Note: if you can’t find anything nice to say – do you really want them representing your brand?

Don’t go too far with this, but be specific.

“I love your stuff” doesn’t quite has the same clout as “I was just reading your latest blog post on why dogs are better are humans…I have to say I totally agree and you present it in a way which I am sure is going to convince others to think the same – great job”.

Align your goals and vision 

 

So you have caught the influencers interest by giving genuine praise of something you love. Now you need to convince them of the values of your brand and why they align with their own values and goals.

Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve as a business. Perhaps you have a mission or vision statement which will help you do this. Then ask yourself how you can align with what the influencer is looking to achieve.

Take for example that you are a male skincare brand, that has a mission to spread the word of ethical and organic skincare products amongst men. Are you looking to work with influencers that have the same or similar goals? Perhaps they are trying to build a name for themselves in the same space.

Make it clear in the email why you think there is a good alignment between your business and the influencer. Again, if you can’t match your mission to the goals of the influencer you should really question whether they are the right influencer for your business.

Don’t (always) show them the money

 

Whether you should be paying an influencer is a subject that deserves its own series of blog posts. For now, let’s assume that you have a budget that can be used to facilitate influencers to create content with your brand.

influencer outreach money

This may be a controversial point, but from our experience, we VERY RARELY mention money in the first email. The initial email should be used to judge the suitability, availability, alignment and willingness of the influencer to work with your brand.

This gives you the opportunity to test whether the influencer is in it for the art or the dollar. Although a reply email will very rarely not mention payment or value exchange of some sort, there are two common replies to the initial outreach email which are cause for concern:

  1. Their reply does not contain any mention of your brand, why they agree with your points on partnering or even any effort to highlight why partnering would be a good idea.
  2. They simply send you their rate card and very little else.

This being said, if the influencer makes some effort in the email, it is less concerning if they ask about your budget or what other value you bring to the table. One statement that we often use in initial influencer outreach emails is:

“We do have a small budget for this project, but we are currently just judging interest at this time”

This allows influencers to naturally mention potential fees or ideas in the reply but also acts as a subtle way to remind them that is they do not show some interest then they aren’t the right match for you.

Again, whether you should pay influencers or work on other exchanges of value is a whole topic which we will cover at another time.

Be clear on what you are looking for

 

What do you want to achieve by working with an influencer? Is it to leverage their expert knowledge, their highly relevant content or their reach into your target audience?

You need to make it very clear in your initial outreach email what your motivation is to work with them. Some of the wider elements of this will become clear when aligning your values. However, you should also take the opportunity to explain the specific steps you are hoping to take with them.

This saves both you and the influencer a considerable amount of time. They can review your thoughts and weigh up whether they have the time, energy and inclination at this point in their journey.

REMEMBER: When working with influencers for their expert skills in content generation, it is a bad idea to maintain too much control over the content they generate. Although it can be a good idea to present some ideas, make it clear that they have a good level of creative control over the content and that you would love to hear their ideas.

What next?  

 

This is an obvious one which so many people seem to forget.

At the end of your email include a call to action highlighting exactly what the influencer needs to do next. It may be as simple as:

“Please reply to this email with your ideas for moving forward”

or

“Please give me a quick call on [….] as we need to get this project moving asap”

If the next step isn’t clear, you are going to lose the interest you have fought hard for through the initial outreach email.

Awesome influencer outreach

 

Influencer outreach emails are a fine art which requires constant adaption, research and testing to get right. Influencers tend to be very busy people and you will often need to reach out a number of times before they back to you. By following the influencer outreach principles we have highlighted in this article you give yourself the head start you need to get the job done.

To make this even easier for you we have provided 2 FREE influencer outreach email templates below. Fill out the quick form to download this now.

Want to save a heap of time?
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6 OF THE BEST INFLUENCER MARKETING BLOGS

By | Influencer Marketing

Without a doubt, influencer marketing (IM) is one of the most fast-paced, chaotic and generally confusing marketing tools out there.

First of all, it seems simple…get influencers to talk about your brand, product or services…then sit back and reap the benefits…

But scratch that surface and all the complexities of the tool come tumbling out…

Which platforms should I be targeting? How do I get influencers to reply to my emails? Should I be paying influencers? What are big businesses doing that I should be aware of? How do I stop getting ripped off by dubious fake-influencer? How is the industry changing? Are there any threats to how I do things?

The list goes on. It can seem futile.

However, we are in luck. There is a wealth of information out there to help you learn and understand best practices and current trends. From insight data through to simple how-to guides, you can find it all online…if you know where to look.

In this article we run through some of our favourite IM blogs, saving you time in sorting the wheat from the chaff…so, let’s begin…

 

Owain Williams

 ojawilliams influencer marketing blog

The bias is strong with this one…but also worth it.

Make It Mana founder Owain Williams is a well-known blogger and general expert specialising in everything influencer marketing.

His personal blog ojawilliams.com is a go-to for anyone who wants to learn about key issues and trends in the industry. He takes a no-bull and practical approach to IM and lends little time to the pointless frills that come with it, therefore expect to find what you need quickly.

The site also hosts a number of helpful resources including free eBooks, influencer marketing workbooks and a helpful influencer marketing software directory. 

What to expect

  • Straight talking influencer and digital marketing chat
  • Helpful resources
  • Occasional bad language
  • Comedic value and expert GIF usage.

Most noteworthy content

How to spot fake influencers that are full of sh*t

What if the influencer marketing bubble bursts?

 

Scott Guthrie

 Scott Guthrie influencer marketing blog

Scott is an award-winning IM blogger and all-around knowledgeable influencer marketing professional.

His blog on sabguthrie.info taps into the latest trends and big news related to the influencer marketing space. His detailed insights are focused towards providing facts of the matter and therefore are a great source for widely unbiased and independent content.

Scott’s blog was also ranked in as a UK Top 10 PR blog by Vuelio, which is a testament to his area knowledge and expert writing skills.

What to expect

  • Current topics in influencer marketing
  • Award-winning content
  • A general dislike for ‘influencer advertising’.

Most noteworthy content

Give us influencer marketing not influencer advertising

Influencer marketing image manipulation: Rimmel ad axed

 

Onalytica

 onalytica influencer marketing blog

Onalytica are a leading IM discovery and relationship management software provider.

But they aren’t all business, their website also holds one of the most insightful influencer marketing blogs on the internet. With a major focus on educating their customers and others in the industry, Onalytica apply their industry knowledge and insight to their content.

What to expect

  • Deep insight into industry topics
  • Helpful how-to guides to all elements of the influencer marketing process
  • Industry-leading white papers on influencer relationship management.

Most noteworthy content

WEEDING OUT INFLUENCERS WHO BUY FAKE FOLLOWERS – WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT?

HOW TO GUARANTEE CONTENT SHARES FROM INFLUENCERS

WHITE PAPER: DEFINITIVE PRACTICAL GUIDE TO INFLUENCER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT(co-written by Make It Mana founder Owain Williams)

 

Tom Augenthaler

 Tom influencer marketing blog

Tom is an expert influencer marketing consultant based in the USA. Due to his public relation experience with businesses like HP, Tom knows what he talking about, especially when it comes to influencers in the tech space.

His website and blog theinfluencemarketer.com is a go-to for businesses seeking easy to understand, practical and applicable advice on leveraging influencers to their benefit. He also hosts masterclasses and courses on site, providing access to top knowledge without the consultancy price tag.

What to expect

  • Advice on influencer marketing that can easily be applied
  • A fun and personable writing style
  • Data backed facts and figures.

Most noteworthy content

How To Choose Quality Influencers Every Time (And Not Lose Money)

The 10 Commandments of Influencer Marketing

  

Traackr

Traackr influencer marketing blog

 

A leader in the development of influencer discovery, management and analytics software. Traackr help businesses to get more out of influencer relationships.

The blog section of their website provides a fascinating insight into all aspects of influencer marketing. The thing we love most about the Traackr blog is their talent for collating insight from some of the best influencer marketing professionals out there.

In fact, recent articles feature interviews with Scott Guthrie, mentioned earlier in this list.

Expert in-blog linking if we do say so ourselves!

What to expect 

  • Attention-grabbing blog titles
  • Deep insight calling on their extensive knowledge and experience
  • How to guides, interviews with industry leaders and success stories.

Most noteworthy content

Assemble your own Avengers to win the influencer marketing Infinity War

[Interview] How to Get Inside the Mind of a Blogger with Andy Crestodina

 

InfluencerDB

InfluencerDB influencer marketing blog 

InfluencerDB is the influencer marketing platform used by some of the biggest brands in the world including Zalando, Asics and Casio.

A platform built with the power of Instagram native influencers in mind, InfluencerDB’s blog, therefore, lends itself primarily to the education of B2C brands. By offering hands-on, practical advice on everything from crisis management to busting influencer marketing myths, you are guaranteed a good read.

What to expect

  • Specific advice for B2C brands
  • Leading combination advice on practical short-term results and building longer-term relations with influencers
  • Content on influencer identification, strategy, management and analysis of influencer marketing campaigns.

Most noteworthy content

INFLUENCER RELATIONS – THE WAY TO GO IN 2018? 

WHY THESE 6 DELIGHTFUL INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER TACTICS WIN FOLLOWERS’ HEARTS

 

 

Following these blogs is going to help you get the most out of your influencer campaigns. Most importantly, getting a varied input from bloggers, thought leaders and solution providers will let you absorb all key sources of information and make your own decisions about how influencer marketing can benefit your business.

Check out some of the ‘most noteworthy content’ we suggest in this post as a way to get to grips with these great sources of content.

You should always consider the applicability of advice to your very individual business situation. There is no one size fits all, that is why businesses like Make It Mana work to help you tailor your campaigns, helping you get the best results, both in terms of short-term wins and maintaining long-term relationships with influencers.

 

influencer-selection-2018

HOW TO SELECT INFLUENCERS IN 2018

By | Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is certainly creating a massive buzz in modern media. But amongst all the good and indeed bad press that the tool is getting, lots of questions are being asked…

“How do I find influencers”

“Which influencers should I work with?”

WTF is influencer marketing”

With all the contrasting and contradictory feeds of information available on the subject, it is no surprise that there is mass confusion.

BUT WORRY NOT! Make it Mana are here to help…and we are tackling one of the biggest questions faced to kick it all off. Just HOW do I do influencer selection? Below we give five simple, but powerful tips, making sure you pick the right influencers to invest your influencer marketing efforts into. 

 

Think audience first 

 

So, you own a business that makes the world’s most awesome beer gadgets…let’s call the business Beerilliant

Beerilliant want to employ the power of influencers, but aren’t really sure where to start with influencer selection. Their marketing team have whittled it down to two of their favourite beer fanatics and have some stats for you to review:

 

Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly

Loves a pint with the lads. 30K followers on Instagram. Posts great content about beer a lot.

Influencer Two – Adam Ale

Also loves a pint with the lads (who doesn’t). 9k followers on Instagram. Also post awesome beer related content.

Your marketing team tell you it is going to cost you the same in terms of time, money and effort to work with both…but you only have the resource to work with one…which one do you choose?

…likelihood is, you chose Influencer One…much greater reach and relevant to the brand. But what if I added a little extra information.

Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly

30k followers….but 90% of the followers are female, non-beer drinkers. Despite the name, Bob actually had washboard abs and jaw line of a Greek God. Arguably many of his followers are there for a bit of eye candy.

Influencer Two – Adam Ale

9k followers….but 99% of them are beer drinking blokes. Adam isn’t quite as bigger hit with the ladies…but my gosh he does know about beer.

Now…which influencer would you pick?

Probably influencer two right? Adam is providing you with access to your exact target market and has clearly built that audience through expertise and understanding what your average beer drinking bloke likes to see.

What if we took this one step further and I told you the 10% of Bob’s following who aren’t non-beer drinking females are actually PURCHASED followers…then surely Bob becomes an obsolete option.

This may seem extreme, but you will be surprised how many ‘influencers’ cheat the system by gaining followers through dubious means (buying them) or appealing in some way to a demographic that has no direct relation to the market in which they consider themselves influential.

There are many programs available that can help you analyse audiences within the influencer marketing space and tools that can help you understand whether influencer audiences have been purchased.

This is one of the most fundamental questions to answers when selecting influencer – are they ACTUALLY reaching your target audience.

 

Influencer considerations

 

This consideration is almost as important as tip 1. Making sure your influencer aligns with your brand is key to success in influencer marketing.

Let’s take for example our business from above – Beerilliant (yeah probably the best fake business name I have ever come up with). This time they have two influencers that are bang on in terms of the target audience…they even have very similar sized audience. However, one of the influencers posts a lot about cars…it just happens that their audience ties in with the audience the Beerilliant brand are trying to reach. The second influencer however posts specifically about beer…he ruddy loves the stuff and can’t shut up about it.

Obviously, the second influencer is a better choice here – right?

But let’s throw in yet another factor (I know this is an emotional rollercoaster ride)….the second influencer also regularly posts extreme right wing orientated comments that could be interpreted as hateful towards others….he isn’t looking so great now. Trust us…this sort of outburst does happen, especially young influencers with large audiences.

The point here is that you should aim for your influencer to align both with your brand theme and style (beer in the case of Beerilliant), but also with your ethics and professional approach. Of course there is always a risk that in the future that influencer says or does something out of sync with your brand, however there are ways to mitigate this risk (which we will write about in future posts).


Pick your platform

 

Ok cool – we have now found like 10 awesome influencers that hit the right target audience, they hit the right tone of voice and they aren’t a PR nightmare. But there is a mix of talent that focuses on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Which ones do you work with?

The first and easiest to answer is – where do you have a presence as a brand, or at least where do you have the best, most engaged presence? As a result of influencers talking about your products or services you will likely gain a huge amount of traffic to your social media pages…so, to paint your brand in the best light it is worth favouring the platforms you work on best.

The second consideration is how engaged the audience on that particular platform is with the content. For example, on Instagram your influencer may be getting a large number of likes on their content, however on Facebook the influencers may be getting lots on comments, conversations and share – this type of engagement is much more valuable than a simple ‘like’.

Brand advocates

 

Without a doubt, finding and working with current brand advocates that are influential within your market is the best route to influencer marketing success. Start by going through your social channels, talking to your social media manager and reading your comments to see if anyone stands out as a potential brand advocate.

Of course, these individuals will still need to go through the checks we have highlighted above and below to make sure they are truly a good fit for your brand. But working with them does allows you to tap into influencers that are already educated about your brand and already love your products or services – saving you a lot of time.

Don’t panic if you can’t find anyone who matches this description…it isn’t too unusual. There are almost certainly influencers out there who will love your brand and what you do, but just haven’t yet heard of your brand or taken the time to understand it. It is more common to reverse-engineer powerful brand advocates by working to educate influencers and helping them understand why they should love what you do.  

Gut feel

 

Data, data, data, data, data, data…. seems like all marketers’ care about these days. And don’t get me wrong, that stuff is important for making informed decisions about everything from how much money to invest in social media ads through to what time of day you should post up new content.

But sometimes gut feel is a very powerful tool. Once you have worked through the other tips on this list, take a step back and ask – do I really want this influencer to represent my brand? Do they really align with our ethics, our brand values and our tone of voice? Does it feel right?

The likelihood is, if you have ticked all the other boxes then this is an easy – yes! However, on some occasions, gut feel can really save the day.

Take for example that you have reached out to a few influencers that are ‘perfect matches’ for your brand. But in the process of discussion, a few things have been said that set you on edge a little bit. Perhaps they are a bit too focused on the transactional side…just interested in how much money they can make and not really interested in your brand, what you do or what you stand for. Or perhaps they seem a little too relaxed and not bothered about the prospect of working with you.

These are all valid reasons to call it a day on the relationship.

 

In this list of top tips, we have covered off the five best ways to undertake influencer selection to assess which influencers are going to be a great match for a brand. Following these steps also makes it more likely that you will find influencers that are more willing to enter into the conversation with you about representing your brand in some way.

If you have any questions about these tips or really want to start smashing your influencer marketing in a powerful way, drop us an email at hello@makeitmana.com