Influencer outreach must start long before you send a pitch. How can you expect an influencer to agree to work with your brand without building a foundation first?
Cision’s new white paper, “Targeted Outreach: Turn Influencers Into Brand Advocates,” outlines the process you need to take to establish a strong relationship with your targeted influencers. Once you do that, you’ll be able to build on that foundation and convince the influencer to work with your brand.
Once you’ve pinpointed influencers who would make perfect brand partners, the first place to start the outreach process is on social. Here are the three phases of engaging influencers on social media:
Research is key to identifying the right influencers, but it’s also key to engagement. Before you send a message on social to your targeted influencer, make sure you know their habits and preferences.
Your media database will be able to tell you what platforms the influencer uses most and what they most often discuss on social. With this information, you’ll not only know where to reach out, but also how to engage them.
When you do reach out for the first time, don’t make your pitch right off the bat. Start by engaging them in conversation. Like the influencer’s posts, share their articles and comment on their feeds. The idea is to make yourself recognizable to the influencer and to establish a reputation as a valuable resource.
But be careful not to post just to post. Make sure your posts benefit the conversation and provide value. This will allow you to build credibility with the influencer and their audience and earn their trust.
The more you engage with the influencer, the more familiar you’ll become to them. Then, when it’s time to pitch, they’ll remember your name and your previous interactions and they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say.
Once you’ve built a strong relationship with the influencer, you can pitch the idea of a partnership to them. In your pitch, focus on the mutual benefits of the partnership, not just how your brand will benefit. What’s in it for the influencer? Think about their goals and how you can help achieve them.
When making your pitch, clearly explain your idea and what your expectations and goals are. Give the influencer clear direction, but don’t try and micro-manage. Let them know what you want them to do, but give them control over their content.
Not all influencers will be open to a pitch on social. Consult your media database to learn what the influencer prefers. If you’ve done your research and know the match is right, chances are your pitch will be a success.