Bloggers and social media influencers are trusted and respected voices who can help get your product, service, or brand in front an untapped (and potentially large) audience. They have vast and engaged followings across a variety of social channels, including Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. While connecting with bloggers and influencers in your niche has many benefits, the process of reaching out can be tricky.
Reaching out to bloggers and social media influencers should be a thoughtfully planned and executed process, centered around developing both an “ask” and an “offer” that is mutually beneficial. So, how do you reach out to these types of people for your business? In this post we’ll cover the 6 steps to reaching out to bloggers and influencers so you can get started with these collaborations.
Once you have identified appropriate bloggers and social media influencers in your niche or local area, your first step is to establish the relationship through some initial engagement.
Bloggers and social media influencers are typically active across multiple online channels. You will want to find and follow them across these social channels for two reasons. The first is to get familiar with their style and what kinds of content they post, so you can develop common ground for communication with them. The second is to determine where they are most active, so you can identify the best channel for establishing a record of your interest in them. Influencers are much more receptive to people who have a genuine interest in their story than they are to “cold calls” from brands that didn’t take the time to learn about them.
A great next step to perform in order to connect with bloggers and influencers is to share a relevant piece of the influencer’s content on one of your own social media channels. For example, if you own a gym and the influencer posts a blog called “3 Trendy Workout Outfits,” you can share this article on your own Facebook page.
This kind of content, called consumer generated content can save you time while marketing. It’s beneficial for all parties too—influencers appreciate having their content shared, and your own audience will appreciate the interesting and relevant content.
Once you have established a relationship with influencers and bloggers, it’s time to shift your engagement to a more direct manner, through social channels first and then with a more personalized email.
When you begin to reach out to bloggers and social media influencers directly, you want to cast a wide net but at the same time keep it personal. Reach out to influencers first on social channels where they are most active and make sure that your messages includes detailed reasons why you love their content and/or personal story.
Keep in mind, these first messages should be used to connect with influencers on a personal level and lay the building blocks of what could eventually grow into a potential business partnership. Keep these initial messages light, and try to avoid sounding like a spam sales pitch.
Try something simple like, “Hi there. I really enjoy your Instagram feed and loved your last post about XYZ! You have such great style, and I think that you would love my new clothing line, X. Look out for an email from me soon. I would love to connect!”
After sending an initial message (like a Direct Message within Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook) to your blogger or influencer, you should then send a more in-depth introduction email. Note: most bloggers and social media influencers list their personal email addresses or preferred contact info within their social profiles. Take the time to look around their personal profiles and find these before you reach out.
In this email, continue to lay the building blocks by providing more information about your services, products, or brand. Here are a few tips:
Related: Email Marketing for Business Owners
Once a blogger or influencer has expressed interest in working with you, it’s time to determine an appropriate offer. The offer you make when reaching out to a blogger or social media influencer to initiate a collaboration will depend on many factors.
Here are a few to consider:
Once you have determined a reasonable and generous offer for your blogger or influencer, be prepared to spell out explicit details of your “ask.” It is best to do so in an email correspondence so that there is a clear record of both your “ask” and “offer.” During this step, it is important to be direct and clear.
For example, in exchange for a $100 value pre-fixe dinner for two at your restaurant, you could ask for: one blog post, two Instagram posts, and one additional mention on Facebook, all within x amount of time (with all posts including proper tagging, custom business hashtags, and a specific website link of your choosing). Any questions should be worked out during this phase. When you reach out to a blogger or social media influencer, it is essential that you are both on the same page about requirements on each side.
As with all marketing, you want to make sure that you have a way of determining if your efforts were worthwhile or not. Make sure that you set up a way to track the results of a blogger or social media influencer collaboration.
Consider creating a custom landing page, a custom tracked link, and possibly a tracked phone number, if applicable. You will want to have your tracking components set up when you communicate the final “ask.” Make sure that you provide your bloggers or social media influencers with the necessary tagging and tracking elements that they will need for their blogs and posts.
Following up on successful influencer collaborations can facilitate ongoing brand ambassador relationships.
Did your collaboration with a blogger or social media influencer lead to a big increase in leads or a big jump in the your number of engaged followers across social media? That’s great! When you have a successful collaboration after reaching out to a blogger or social media influencer, consider nurturing the relationship for future work.
These ongoing relationships can either be paid or continued with creative incentives. For example, if you own a kickboxing studio, you could offer a free one-year membership. Or, if you are a cosmetic dentist, you could offer quarterly teeth whitening service. Remember, there are always creative solutions if you want to build unpaid marketing relationships with bloggers and social media influencers.
Have you had success with bloggers or social media influencers? Tell us about it in the comments below!