Think about it: Have you ever noticed how much of your life revolves around recommendations? The movie you decided to watch last night. The mechanic that fixed your car last week. The device you’re reading this on. It’s all a result of suggestions from people you know and trust.
As experienced marketers, we understand the immense power of word-of-mouth recommendations. They are, without a doubt, the most sought-after and impactful way to fill your business with devoted customers. While we may no longer gather around the water cooler, there’s a modern and exciting adaptation of the classic ‘heard it through the grapevine’ in the era of social media: influencer marketing.
Friend Recommendations, For Hire
Imagine the power of word-of-mouth marketing, but reaching a bigger audience than ever before. I’m talking potentially hundreds of thousands of impressions. Social media influencers have turned their everyday lives into stories, taking the casual feeling of everyday life and using it to showcase the businesses they love… including yours! Think of it as a review-gone-viral, and you have the power to commission one. In an already-oversaturated market, using influencers helps bypass the superficial approach of traditional advertising and can bring you new customers and otherwise untapped revenue.
Which Generation Is Most Influenced By Influencers?
Sure, Gen Z is the age group most notorious for purchasing products based on influencer marketing. It’s worth noting that this strategy isn’t confined to attracting just younger demographics, though. Take TikTok as an example. It boasts a remarkably diverse user base. A substantial 21% of its users belong to the 30-39 age bracket, while another significant 20% fall within the 40-49 age range. Surprisingly, even among those aged 50 and above, TikTok commands an impressive 11% of its user base.
Knowing where your target audience spends the most time will be vital when it comes to defining your influencer marketing approach. And once you have more clarity on this aspect, you can move forward with identifying KPIs or goals to track success.
Choose Your Marketing Goals
Before finding the right influencer, you need to have clear goals in place to help you find the perfect fit. Are you trying to generate buzz for a new product or service? Is it the beginning of the slow season of your industry, and more awareness of your work would keep revenue up? Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, boosting sales, or enhancing your social media presence, having clear objectives will inform every detail of your campaign.
A set goal not only defines success for your marketing; it can guide how an influencer will promote your brand. Eventually, within this process you’ll be wanting the influencer to create content that puts your brand in a positive, desirable light.
Picture this: your primary objective is generating awareness around a seasonal sale. Once your influencer is on the same page and understands your goal, they can share the sale with their followers. Think hauls, ‘get ready with me’ (aka GRWM) videos, tutorials, the list goes on! Your job is to have a solid offer to help drive sales; the influencer’s job is to promote the offer through relatable content.
Researching Social Media Influencers
With your vision and target audience established, it’s time to find the right influencer to express what makes your business special. The social media landscape is vast, and every influencer within it speaks to different demographics of users. This means that thorough, varied research on the collaborator is essential to make your marketing convert.
On platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok, it’s easy to use their search function like we would on Google. This provides insight into what is trending in your industry. Begin by searching for key terms related to your business, like ‘fun things to do in Columbus’ if you’re in entertainment or ‘health and wellness routines’ if you’re in fitness. The influencers spending time in your industry will have cultivated the following of potential customers looking for your product already.
In addition to simply searching through platforms to find influencers, creator marketplaces can make finding the perfect influencer a quick process. A few other influencer connection websites that we’ve found helpful are:
Reach Out To Your Target Influencers
Now that you’ve identified potential influencers, it’s time to reach out to them with a message introducing yourself, the collaboration details and any compensation or commissions you’re offering for their partnership.
Crafting An Outreach Email/Direct Message (DM)
Don’t gloss over how you reach out to influencers; this is your grand entrance into their domain. If you’re not compelling or interesting enough, they’ll simply archive your email. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you map out your influencer outreach strategy:
- Be Specific
General words and phrases sound spammy and forced. Make it clear why you’d like the influencer to promote your business and communicate crucial details upfront. There should be expectations outlining the scope of work you’re proposing. Instead of being vague, include exactly what you need from them. The number of posts, links to use, and promotion details are a must in your original outreach email/message.
- Communicate The Value
No need to spend the entire budget on one endorsement. There should be an incentive for the influencer to accept your offer, though. Commissions or freebies are typically what’s desired when shaking on the deal. Take the time to research the influencer pool to see what is the most reasonable when it comes to payment. The popularity of an influencer can often help gauge what’ll be acceptable for both parties. For small to midsize businesses, a micro influencer (someone with a few thousand followers) comes off as much more authentic than an A-list account with millions of followers, making them a better fit for both your marketing goals and budget.
What The Perfect Influencer Marketing Pitch Needs
The structure of your outreach message can make or break catching an influencer’s attention. Follow this framework:
Introduce yourself and the company you represent as humanly and descriptively as possible, but keep it to one sentence. Don’t overdo it. A description that uniquely captures your business is perfect. What paints a better picture: a ‘family dental practice in Columbus’ or a ‘team of dentist parents taking care of children’s dentistry in Grove City’? Testing out different methods will help you narrow down the best choice of words when starting these conversations.
- Request To Collaborate
Explain that you would like to collaborate with them, and ask them if they’re interested. Asking rather than telling keeps the conversation personal. At the end of the day, influencers are humans. So, talk to them accordingly!
- Promotion & Payment
Take a sentence to describe with excitement what your business is promoting, then explain the compensation package. Again, this is another reminder to keep your message brief. It’s easy to ramble in your pitch, but a long message is often an unread message.
An outreach email or direct message (DM) with this information is ideal when reaching out to an influencer. Here’s a example message to inspire you:
My name is Patrick and I’m reaching out on behalf of Cake Me Happy, a sweet shop in the heart of Columbus. I follow your page and would love to discuss a potential influencer partnership to help us drive online orders. We’re looking for four TikToks over the next month (October).
Compensation is negotiable, as we’re willing to offer a free order of half a dozen mini cupcakes for each video or a 5% commission when customers use an exclusive promo code we’d provide you prior to getting started.
Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you!
In a few sentences, the influencer catches the vibe of the business, understands their role, and can get excited about the value they’re getting. The important information they need, delivered in under thirty seconds!
Influencer Marketing: A Guaranteed 5-Star Review
Once you’re able to connect with an influencer, then the rest of the details are up to you! Above all, remember that this tactic is its own beast. Unlike traditional advertising, influencer marketing thrives on authenticity and the trust people have with the accounts they follow.
You may feel the need to manage the influencer’s review of your company, but that often damages the campaign. In other words: do NOT micromanage!
Think about it this way, what makes your friend’s restaurant recommendation so convincing? It’s firsthand. It’s real. A powerful, word-of-mouth-like testimonial that turns cold traffic into loyal customers.
An influencer’s social media post may not look polished like your online ads. It may not be as meticulously worded as your email newsletter is – but that’s the point! The statistics are clear: influencer marketing works. Trust me.
Use Social Media Influencers to Evolve Your Marketing
Marketing doesn’t work like it used to. Today’s norm consists of hitting the like and follow button to learn more about what we, as consumers, love. Think of influencers as your middle man (or woman) when it comes to promoting your business on social media. You have the product, they have the followers. It’s a win-win! And getting started isn’t as complicated as you’d think. A simple introduction email highlighting who you are, your offer, and the compensation package packs quite the powerful punch!
Need Influencer Marketing Guidance?
From hyper local influencer marketing campaigns to nationwide outreach endeavors, ForeFront Web is here to help you get started with influencer marketing. Our team takes the guesswork out of crafting a pitch by doing the research ahead of time and ensuring your offer is too good to pass up. Schedule a zero-commitment consultation with a digital strategist today and take the next step to increase your bottom line.