How To Reach Out to Social Media Influencers

May 19, 2021

What is it that makes a product offering famous, loved, or in demand? Did you say ads? If we were to analyze consumer behavior, millennials and Gen Z use ad blocker softwares and prefer more personalized brands. McKinsey's research shows that marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones.

Social influencer strategy should be a component of every public relations plan. Knowing the partnership between your brand and customers through social media power users – and how to capitalize on this binary choice – would enable you to reach the broadest possible audience in the best way possible.

So how can brands design a social influence strategy that is personalized and built for the target audience?

Earning Community’s Trust to Scale Your Brand

We reached out to some influencers in the industry. We asked them how to leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to grow a business faster. And one of the ways is influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a 5-10 billion dollar industry. But the big question is how  you can collaborate with social media influencers to expand your company and brand. The simple response is that it is unquestionably a successful tactic.

So if you want some tips on how to get started - whether you're a total newbie or you want some insights on how to take your influencer marketing to the next level, you're going to love this blog.

Before all else, goal-setting is an area that needs the most attention to kickstart a successful influencer marketing program. It is critical to identify your influencer marketing objectives specifically to ensure that your efforts produce the best outcomes possible. Focusing on so many goals at once doesn’t help either. As a result, each influencer strategy should concentrate on one (or, at most, two) core market objectives.

Read more: Top PR Tools To Boost Your Business In 2021 | Automate PR workflows with Glyph 

Identifying Right Influencers

Tony Kelly, Founder & CEO at CameraGroove seconds the idea that determining objectives before a business begins an influencer marketing is super imperative.

“When researching how to locate influencers, concentrate on finding the right influencers rather than finding every influencer. The right influencers are the individuals, brands, and profiles that can best assist you in reaching your target audience and goals. Begin developing your influencer marketing strategy by describing what you want to achieve as a result of your efforts.”

To get started with influencers, you don't have to have a successful company or run any advertisements. Finding the right influencers for your company will give you not only the desired outcomes, but also more traction on the internet in general. Most of the reasons they are trusted is that their audience is very loyal and respects them. They can be brand related, very personal, very niche down, and consistent with what the high volume targets are.

The Three R's

Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher at Privacy Affairs
Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher at Privacy Affairs

Miklos Zoltan, CEO & Cybersecurity Researcher at Privacy Affairs believes that there are three important metrics that should be used while considering influencer marketing/campaign for your business and brand awareness. 

He says “Definition Is Everything: In my opinion when identifying an influencer, there are many things to consider.”

Relevance - You should think about who you're trying to reach. If a candidate's relevancy is limited to the 30-50 year old age range, but your product's target audience is pre-teens and teenagers, you can look for a different influencer.

Reach- It's just a numbers game when it comes to picking the best influencer. The number of people your brand message will theoretically reach is proportional to the size of their audience. The type of consumer you want to attract is determined by how many social networks they use. The way you define an influencer's social reach sets the tone for how you'll evaluate their overall value to your brand later.

Relatability- Influencers' relatability is determined by how they communicate with their audience members. You want to find someone who can relate to their audience and who can communicate the brand's message.”

Influencers are limitless, they seem to be everywhere, so that doesn't mean they're easy to access, communicate with, or get, but there are many, so the aim will be to collaborate with many more than just a few. They're faithful, and perhaps the easiest way to work with them is to dig at your own customer base to see if there's a chance to collaborate with any of them. You can also bootstrap and reach out to them one by one, discovering them on social media by following hashtags, finding them on YouTube.

Avoiding Shortcuts

Andrew Smith, Founder and Editor in Chief at CozySeating
Andrew Smith, Founder and Editor in Chief at CozySeating

Andrew Smith, Founder and Editor in Chief at CozySeating recommends that a business’ hunt for right influencers should be carried out in the “old fashioned way.”

“In our company, we go about finding the right influencers through searching the old-fashioned way.  You may be disappointed with the results if you Google anything like "top influencers in organic cooking." Lists of top influencers are always boring, featuring just the same people, and you'll miss out on the many influencers you're aware of. Instead, go the old-fashioned route with your search. For example, if you're on Instagram, you can search by hashtag. If you check with the hashtags #ad or #sponsored, you can skim the results to see if any of the posts fit your brand's industry and aesthetics. This method will take some time, but it will be worthwhile because you will discover several high-performing smaller influencers that you would not have discovered otherwise.“ 

Goals & Priorities Before Planning

Patrick from CryptoWhat shared such great insights and thoughts about that, we would agree with everything he said, “you need to know your business goals before you start and then plan an outline of the kind of influencers campaign that you would want to run for your business. Then the next step involves reaching out to the right influencers from your industry and understanding their authority.”

“Find Influencers Who Promote Your Competitors”

Todd Perry, Head of Content at Outdoor Gadget Review
Todd Perry, Head of Content at Outdoor Gadget Review

Two completely different and very close takes that come into picture which are often overlooked are strategizing what your competitors are doing. Who are they hiring to carry out their influencer marketing campaign to promote their business. While assorting the best set of influencers for your business should be Todd Perry, Head of Content at Outdoor Gadget Review recommends finding influencers who promote your competitors.

“Look at influencers who have previously worked with brands similar to yours to locate influencers who are likely to partner for yours. Influencers who already blog about other brands in your industry are more likely to post content about yours than someone who never discusses other brands in your industry. Look at hashtags linked to the business on social media to see who is actively posting content and discussing your rivals. This community of committed influencers would be a good place to start.”

“Find Influencers Who Share Your Audience”

Ryan Dalal, CEO & Founder of Merge PDF
Ryan Dalal, CEO & Founder of Merge PDF

The second take comes from Ryan Dalal, CEO & Founder of Merge PDF

Ryan says “find influencers who share your audience: Influencers don't have to be in your business to be successful. Influencers with a similar audience to yours may be just as valuable as those with a direct connection to your business. Acting with influencers in industries that parallel or complement your own will actually help you attract a larger audience. Conduct a target demographic survey to learn everything you can about your ideal audience, including their desires, preferences, and other websites they use. This will assist you in identifying other non-industry-related influencers who are followed by your audience but are not in your market. This tactic allows you to engage with your target customers in a room where your rivals' messaging isn't already obtrusive.”

William Munir, the CMO of Grooming HUT shares a completely different yet perceptive take on the matter. According to him there should be a clear link between a blogger’s frequency of posting, their traffic, and the return visitor volume. 

“Frequency: In several verticals, there is a clear link between a blogger's frequency of posting and their traffic and return visitor volume. Like for every page, for a tourist to click and try out the site always takes several exposures, and you want to make sure they come back. Readers are more likely to visit, bookmark, and distribute when a publisher regularly publishes high-quality material daily. Bloggers who don't update their blogs often have a higher rate of attrition, fewer repeat readers, and lower loyalty.”

Influencers can be difficult to incorporate into your approach, but they are unquestionably a viable and valuable strategy for you as a company and marketer. The aim here is to mobilize a swarm of micro influencers to promote your company and brand. Tiny, yes, micro influencers to help you grow your company faster. 

“Ensuring That The Influencer Is Relevant To Your Brand”

Anna from CryptoRadar advises businesses to make sure that the influencers you reach out are relevant to the brand.

“Being an owner of a crypto trading company, I go around making sure that the influencer is relevant to my brand. There's a lot more to consider than just the influencer's Instagram following and average fan age. Even if they're in the same industry as you, their content and messaging must be compatible with or complementary to yours. You won't hit the right audience if the aesthetics or voice of the influencer's content differs significantly from your own, no matter how committed their following is. You could also harm, or at the very least muddle, your own reputation.

Finding which influencers are already talking about you is a good way to identify the ones that are important to your brand. Influencers are experts at determining what will connect with their audience, and if they're interested in what you're selling, chances are they'll know it'll be a good fit for their audience.”

And Anna has put it right! Despite its apparent advantages, influencer marketing is a wasted investment if you are not working with the right ones. And while it’s tempting to use single-metric definitions like unique visitors or Twitter followers as a measure of influence, it’s important to look deeper. The answer to the question “how influential is someone online?” is “it depends.” 

“Views Aren't Nearly As Important As Targeted Views”

Here’s what Charlie Chang, a famous personal finance YouTuber with more than 360,000 subscribers has to say about finding the right influencers and process it involves:

“The best way to find the right influencers is to find people making content that aligns with your company's product. It needs to be niched down because that is going to lead to a successful conversion rate. Views aren't nearly as important as targeted views to the right audience.

So I would suggest emailing influencers that match that criteria, and ask what their rates are. I'll get 20-30 emails each day, and won't respond to most of them since they don't have enough information or just don't seem like a company I'd want to work with. So really position the company as something they would want to work with.

Try and tie the integration or sponsorship naturally into the video - this makes sure that people don't click out right away.”

Another significant and critical part of curating an influencer marketing strategy is determining the budget. Influencer marketing has a measurable ROI and does not cost a fortune. You don't even need to use money from the current marketing spend. It's a self-serve add-on that allows you to spend as much or as little money as you want!

Keeping up with the budget

Daniel Foley, Financial Expert at Halcyon School
Daniel Foley, Financial Expert at Halcyon School

Daniel Foley, Financial Expert at Halcyon School personally believes that budget should a business’ main criteria while deciding an influencer campaign:

“A sensible way to select influencers is to go according to your budget. When it comes to influencers, the quality of their following is more important than the number of followers they have. However, a smaller influencer would typically charge less than a larger influencer. If you're starting out on a tight budget, look for a micro-influencer with a large following. You don't want to try to convince well-known and well-respected influencers to accept a lower rate than they deserve. You risk ruining your friendship with an influencer you'd like to partner with in the future when you have a bigger marketing budget.”

However, there is a need to not only properly identify appropriate influencers for your brand, but also to dimensionalize their authority, especially in a niche industry. Various communities use different approaches to distinguish various forms of authority.

Recognizing Authority

Tanya Zhang, Co-founder of Nimble Made
Tanya Zhang, Co-founder of Nimble Made

Tanya Zhang, Co-founder of Nimble Made who has been featured in Huffington Post, Money.com, and Forbes shared her perspective with us on how to recognize an influencer’s authority.

She recommends that, “When determining which influencer is best for your campaign, consider their authority to see whether they have a significant or broad enough presence to help you achieve your objectives. Influencer research is a critical component of learning how to select the best influencers to reach the target audience. Consider the following influencer rating factors:

  1. Their subscriber base
  2. Follower engagement rate
  3. The website's Alexa ranks Quality of content The breadth of niche coverage.”

Peter Schoeman, owner of a company, has a very similar thought process when determining an influencer’s authority, apart from what Tanya covered, he swears by another two important key points that can help you determine an influencer’s authority.

“When choosing an influencer for your campaign, consider their authority and see whether they have a significant or broad enough presence to help you achieve your objectives. Learning how to choose the best influencers who can hit the target demographic requires a thorough understanding of influencer research.

Content of high quality and the reach and scope of niche coverage.”

The next key question is whether you should pay your influencers. The simple truth is ‘not always.' One of the most common myths about influencer marketing and brand ambassadors. The real question is, "Do you pay or incentivize your influencers and ambassadors?" The response is unequivocally ‘yes.' Many influencers want to be paid, but cash isn't really required or even the best solution for motivating them.

Although there are promoters that can only speak for your product if you compensate them (and businesses who will take your money to fit you to them), this is referred to as ads, and they could be endorsing your rival next week. Real influencer marketing is based on a genuine connection with the brand. People who use and enjoy the brands, not just advertisers with a following, are the best brand influencers.

Incentivizing Influencers

Michael Robinson, Security Expert of Cheap SSL Security
Michael Robinson, Security Expert of Cheap SSL Security

Michael Robinson, Security Expert of Cheap SSL Security says that

“If a social media influencer is going to spend their time and energy directing their followers to your brand, they'll expect something in return. You've explained why you believe they're the right candidate for the role, but assess how it is beneficial for them. Incentives are used in this situation. 

Product discounts, early access to new items, special occasions, and recognition are all examples of incentive concepts. Your collaboration could benefit all parties. However, in order to close the deal, you should emphasise how the influencer profits.”

Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of Claims UK
Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of Claims UK

Sasha Quail, Business Development Manager of Claims UK goes onto adding some important ways of including incentivization within your Influencer marketing strategy:

“Gift-giving:

presenting gifts to influencers in return for mentions, tweets, etc.

Content that has been paid for:

paying an influencer to post the content or produce brand-related content

Giveaways and contests:

Contests should be used to entice influencers to reference your brand or post your content.

Affiliates include:

share partner codes with influencers so they can collect money when someone who came through their funnel makes a buy from your company

Discount codes are as follows:

allowing influencers to give their fans and followers coupon codes for your products.”

So what are the challenges that one might go through?

And as advertisers, influencers, and agencies gain experience, new tools, technology, and patterns emerge, posing new problems to address. Marketers, it points out, are mainly associated with well-known business adversaries — phony supporters. Aside from the alarming and growing trend of fake bot behavior, advertisers have raised concerns about algorithmic improvements on social media sites, the potential to use always-on influencer marketing tactics, and influencers pushing up the costs of collaborating with them, to name a few.

There are Challenges

Reaching an influencer in your niche with the desired presence, commitment, and viewer demographics to meet your marketing targets can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, with many to select from. Furthermore, hiring the irrelevant influencers will cost you money, time, and brand credibility.

Chana Charach, the Managing Editor at Income.ca
Chana Charach, the Managing Editor at Income.ca

Chana Charach, the Managing Editor at Income.ca on the issue says that:

“Identifying the right influencers ranks first among the most difficult influencer marketing issues. The most prominent authority figures can differ greatly depending on the type of company you own and the audience you're attempting to reach. When it comes to making a buying decision, 33% of millennials depend on blogs. These figures clearly demonstrate that advertisers are engaging with a whole new generation of customers. This means you'll need to look for influencers who have clout with this generation.”

Scott Cunningham is a YouTuber with more than 16,000 subscribers and the host of the Crypto & Things podcast shares his interesting perspective on the issue: 

“Some of the challenges are simply around trying to reach them and then also with how you approach them. I’ve found that contacting them genuinely and thoughtfully is the best way to go about it. Do not copy paste or send cold messages in bulk. You need to show that you know who they are, follow them, and most importantly you want to offer them value before ever asking for anything. For example, instead of reaching out and saying “please be on my show,” I would say something more like “Congratulations on the success or your recent product launch for X. If you have some time, I would love to discuss it and share it with my audience.” It’s important to be on brand for your brand, acknowledge that you keep up with them and then share how you could help bring them value.”

We recognize that each company will face unique obstacles, and we hope that our Scott's points for recognizing these challenges will help equip the brand when you leverage the strength of influencer marketing in 2021.

Tracking Results

Jeff Cooper, Manager of Messagely
Jeff Cooper, Manager of Messagely

Last but not least, how and why does a company monitor the effects of an influencer marketing campaign? Marketing analytics are metrics of marketing strategies and successes that rely on data collection relevant to marketing activities and the customer path. This can range from website visitors to social media profile views. The potential to compile, compile, and measure this data provides insight into what works, what can be changed, and the return on investment on the processes.

Marketing analytics must be tracked, monitored, and calculated in order to be effective. Insights for a particular time span may be helpful, but they lose validity when presented over a prolonged period of time. Many perspectives over multiple time spans may offer insight into patterns. Furthermore, monitoring data and analyzing analytics will provide context. Using analytics provides insight into the current state, which aids in setting priorities and targets.

“Keep track of influencer marketing KPIs as you start campaigns to see how you've met your objectives. Then, after the plan is over, go through the results and see whether it was a success or if it needs to be tweaked. Apply what you've seen to upcoming campaigns. For instance, if a partnership with an influencer yields the number of leads you anticipated, run a similar campaign again. If you don't meet your objectives, either end the relationship or tweak it and see if you can get better results,” said Jeff Cooper, Manager of Messagely in response to our query about potential challenges that a business could face while trying their hands on influencer marketing. 

Conclusion

We hope that gives you a few creative ideas to get started with influencer marketing. Connecting and networking with influencers is an important thing to do, no matter who you are, whether you're a personal brand, or a big brand.

Read more: Automate PR workflows with Glyph | Automate PR workflows with Glyph 

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