Influencer Marketing – How You Can Connect with the Right Personas
The term “influencer” is often associated with a prominent social media personality that has an established reputation within a certain industry or niche. Their opinions have potential to create waves in the industries they are involved in. Imagine them taking the role of “citizen critic” as their content is not often sponsored by journalistic publications.
An example of a prominent influencer is Jake Roper, a YouTuber who posts content under the name Vsauce 3. As part of the Vsauce network, Jake’s channel enjoys over 3 million subscribers and high-quality video production value. His content features fun, educational videos centered around pop culture meeting scientific possibility. When the movie Big Friendly Giant was gearing up to hit theaters, they partnered with Jake to produce a video that attempts to answer one question in particular: “What if you were a giant?” The video now boasts over 1.7 million views and the movie was able to gain exposure to Jake’s audience before its release.
So, here you are. You have a new product or you’re introducing a new menu item at your restaurant. You want someone with a built-in audience of their own to generate some buzz for you. However, you might not know where to start or whom to start with. Influencers have to also interact with other brands in your industry on a regular basis, which means you have to make sure your pitch to them stands out.
The following are some tips to catch an influencer’s attention and beat the competition.
Build your notoriety:
While you could certainly contact the biggest, most well-known influencer personalities in your industry right away, that might not necessarily be the best starting point. Those with large followings often prefer working with more publicly established brands, as those are the ones with the broader audience appeal.
Want to reach the Vsauce-type figure in your industry? Start smaller and build your way up to them. Invite local influencers, such as reporters or bloggers in your area, to stop by your location and try your new menu item, or ask them if they would like to demo your new product. These regional influencers will aid you in growing an audience base and will place your brand’s name in publications. From there, continue pursuing more promising opportunities. First try reaching the influencers with a few thousand Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers and then build your way up to ones with over ten thousand, then twenty thousand, and so on until you hit the big names. Treat it as if you were climbing a ladder and taking it rung by rung. Establishing a reputable base within a particular influencer community will create an easier path to reaching the industry heavyweights.
Make an effort to engage with them:
Comment on an influencer’s Instagram photos, on their YouTube videos, or any other social platforms where they have a presence. Even if they do not reply, reaching out to them on a semi-regular basis (once every week or two) will put your brand in front of them. However, it is important to know that you do not want to overdo it, as it could annoy the influencer and turn them off to your company before any conversation can take place.
If you already know who the target influencers are in your sector, make sure you reach out to them directly through email or direct message. Throw out a friendly line and see if there’s a bite on their end. Simply striking up conversation can aid you in securing their attention.
Tell them why your brand is unique:
What gap does your brand fill in the market? What particular deficiencies commonly exist in your industry that you seek to correct? When pitching to an influencer, make these points known to them early on. If an influencer does not already have an established relationship with your brand, they are likely going to just scan your message looking for something to spark their interest. If your pitch fails to grab their attention, they will quickly move on to other opportunities.
Clearly define any compensation before any agreements are made:
Depending on audience size, an influencer may require some sort of compensation for their services. After all, they are selling you their audience’s eyes and ears, not their opinions. While not all influencers require compensation, you might find one or two who will ask you to PayPal them a dollar amount before they even think of writing about your brand.
When money is involved, things have immense potential to get ugly. Almost always, the influencer will require that you provide them with free product. However, they may also ask for additional payments. Make sure all financial obligations are clearly defined between both parties before deciding whether or not you want to pursue such an opportunity.
Keep the Engagement Strong:
Once you’ve established a line of communication with an influencer in your industry, make sure that you do not let them slip away. Keep in regular contact with them, especially around the time you’re about to introduce any major change to your business that you would want them to take an interest in. Establishing an ongoing relationship with influencers on any level will ensure that your brand is continuously in their conversations over social media, blogs, and other digital outlets.