How to Pitch Influencers (and Get 29 Million Brand Impressions)
Jun 12, 2018|Read time: 5 min.
If you’re building an enterprise SEO strategy, it’s critical to know how to pitch influencers. Online publishers receive hundreds of emails from brands every week. So if you want to cut through the noise (and not put your foot in your mouth) then follow these tips.
1. Know Who You’re Looking For
Don’t just send your pitch to every influencer you come across. Do the research and find influencers who fit your brand. It’s usually not good enough to narrow your target to “moms” or “fashion.” Instead, develop the ideal persona that you’re trying to reach and then go out and find people who fit that mold.
Yes, it’s far more work upfront. But you’ll get much stronger results from your campaign. It’s okay to be picky.
Case Study – Fashion Brand
A high-end luxury fashion brand wanted to connect with upscale, female fashion bloggers in the 40+ age bracket. We tailored a campaign to reach that persona. The result? We successfully pitched influencers and created relationships with 93 separate publishers. Each individual created unique, engaging content that yielded a total of 4.7M brand impressions.
You may feel that narrowing your potential list of strategic partners will limit the reach and effectiveness of your influencer campaign. Yet, as you can see in the fashion influencer pitch example, hyper-focused outreach actually fuels greater success.
Because the message resonates more deeply with website owners as well as their communities. To cut through all the noise, zero in on exactly who you want to target.
2. Know Who You’re Pitching
It’s immediately obvious if you don’t know how to pitch influencers. In fact, most publishers will know if your email is heartfelt or just a generic template. So never blindly email a website. Instead, dig in to find out who owns it.
Look at their blog. Scroll through their social channels. Learn their interests and what makes them tick. Read through their recent content and get a feel for what’s going on in their lives.
This is a great time to also look for their contact information. After all, there’s no sense in wasting time learning about an influencer if you can’t reach them. You may also want to verify their email before you try to connect with them.
When you do reach out, you’ll know what their motivations, goals, and drivers are. And that will help you to make an instant connection.
Case Study – Luxury Car Brand
A luxury car brand wanted to connect with one influencer who bridged the gap between auto enthusiast and online gamer. We heavily researched a shortlist of influencers to find the perfect candidate, and our time and effort paid off. We pitched the influencer and he immediately understood the value of the brand relationship and recognized the fit with his audience. The result was 20 unique Tweets, 2 customized YouTube videos, and 1.7M brand impressions.
3. Match Their Tone
Have you ever been approached by a vendor who just clearly wasn’t speaking your language? Nothing derails a business partnership faster than a rocky introduction.
Ever been cornered at an industry conference while someone launches into their elevator pitch at a million miles an hour? No amount of swag is worth enduring that situation.
We all prefer to communicate in different ways, and that includes online publishers. While determining how to pitch each influencer, consider your tone and level of professionalism. Often, this can be gleaned directly from their content!
Should you use an all-business voice in your blogger outreach, or a more personal, bubbly and friendly tone. Do they prefer straightforward, to-the-point, no B.S. type of communications? Or should you use a more creative, informal approach? While it takes longer to research people, you’ll ultimately build stronger connections and have a better conversion rate.
4. Personalize Influencer Pitches
DO. NOT. EMAIL BLAST. Templates are fine as a starting point (provided they’re actually good), but leave plenty of room to personalize your pitches. Make sure they know you’ve done your due diligence. Tell them what you think makes them unique, and why you reached out to them specifically. Comment on a recent post they’ve published that aligns with the theme of your campaign. Include a personal anecdote about yourself thats relevant to an event in their life.
Have they recently published a book? Read it and write a review on Amazon!
Have they recently launched a new product? Try it!
Have they recently published a new video series? Watch it!
The more deeply you can speak to their specific content, the better. That’s when true connections starts to happen. Influencers want to work with real people, not boring brand representatives devoid of personality. Don’t be afraid to chum it up.
5. Add Value to Your Pitch
Want to know the biggest mistake brands make when learning how to pitch influencers?
They approach online publishers empty-handed. Don’t make that mistake.
Bring something exciting to the table! Many influencers prefer to collaborate, not freelance. Brainstorm creative content ideas with them, share an interesting piece of proprietary data, or offer them something exclusive. Influencers are creators first, business owners second. If you give them something to get excited about then your campaign will really take off.
Case Study – Electronics Brand
Working with a disruptive electronics startup, we took exactly that approach. With tech influencers, having the early scoop on an upcoming product launch is highly valued. It helps them build their cache.
We leveraged exclusive information about an upcoming product launch to generate excitement and engagement with tech influencers.
What’s it worth to give them early access and get them fired up?
The campaign surpassed its month one presale goal of 1,500 orders AFTER JUST TWO DAYS.
6. Nurture the Relationship
Regardless of whether you plan to work together again, don’t cut and run as soon as the influencer posts their content. Stay in touch, let them know how the content performed from your perspective. Ask them if they got any good feedback from their audience.
Let them know that you value the relationship. Heck, try to remember their birthday. Influencers talk, and it’s easy for a brand to develop a reputation within an influencer community. Make sure you’re leaving a positive impression when all is said and done.
Case Study – Retail Brand
A Greek yogurt brand partnered with us to pitch influencers to create engagement in the food and beverage space.
The results? We successfully executed several campaigns in a two-year partnership that resulted in unique content from over 1,600 different influencers and 29M UNIQUE BRAND IMPRESSIONS.
We preserve the good name of your brand and get past that low hanging fruit to dig deep into your target community for full saturation.