Your Roadmap for Creating an Influencer Outreach Campaign

Do you know how to reach Influencers?

A one-to-one social media marketing campaign (sometimes called an influencer outreach campaign) enables brands to connect with influencers, promotes authentic conversations about a brand or product, and empowers influencers to use their social media standing to tell their audience about goods/services they love.

Influencer outreach campaigns can get people talking about your brand but require careful strategy to ensure you’re not spinning your wheels or wasting your time. Follow this roadmap to start your Influencer Outreach Campaign off right.

1. Review your objectives.

Influencer outreach campaigns harness the power of influencers and convert them into brand loyalists or evangelists. They can also convert casual fans into staunch supporters and increase “buzz” about a brand/product or service. When creating your influencer outreach campaign, determine what you hope to accomplish and what you can do realistically. Do you want to build your email list? Increase sales? Generate awareness? Create leads? If you’re not sure what you want or can feasibly do, start small. Remember, objectives should be….

  • Logical and doable.
  • Simple, and easy to explain.

Plus, you shouldn’t have too many! One or two is plenty. Here are a few examples of great objectives:

Attract millennial audiences to sign up for our 5k in Boston

Use what we learn to attract millennial audiences to sign up for our next 5k in Seattle.

2. Research and consider your audience

If you’re unsure where to begin, start with basic demographic information from your Facebook and Twitter insights pages. Your social media channels are a wealth of information and will help you come up with your audience profile. List all relevant information including:

  • Age group(s)
  • Gender
  • Location(s)
  • Relevant hobbies/interest(s)
  • Pages/influencers they follow

Once you have an initial point of reference you can start your research in earnest. MarketingLand has a great post on Audience Research. Also look into information from Nielson/FortuneExactTarget (great free blog posts with stats/info as well as paid tools), Bazaar Voice (whitepapers), Comscore (paid tools), and more.

3. Choose influencers based on your audience’s frame of mind and viewing habits

It’s tempting to believe that celebrities are the best influencers to chase because they have lots of influence over their millions of fans. The problem is that they are often difficult to reach and persuade (even if you have an amazing product and superb connections). Plus, fans are getting wise and see many gifts and products on celebs pages for what they are (paid promotions) vs a genuine interest in a product or service.

Successful influencer campaigns target people who are not already bombarded with free gifts and perks. When narrowing your target list of influencers consider what your audience wants and pays attention to.

What’s in your audiences’ feed?
  • Think about their mindset when it comes to your product/service/campaign.
  • Brainstorm their TV, internet, reading, and viewing habits
  • Create a list of key categories they pay attention to (Example: News, Sports, Culture, Fashion, Tech, etc.)

Also, before choosing an influencer based soley on their catchy/viral tweets, their crazy # of Instagram followers and/or their witty, popular blog, consider if they’d really like what you have to share.

4. Come up with a code of ethics.

Staying true to your brand’s established voice and the spirit of  your online community is key. Influencers will recognize if you are being fake or insincere which is why a code of ethics for your campaign is important.

  • Will you be following up with influencers after you’ve sent out your product?
  • Will you expect them to write something or send your product with no strings attached?
  • Are there any legalities that need to be considered?
  • Do your influencers know they’re not obligated to promote you?

Writing out your code of ethics and disclosure agreement makes your influencers aware of the policies and legalities behind your campaign. An excellent example of an Influencer Outreach Campaign’s code of ethics can be found on AngelSmith’s website.

5. Develop an approach or theme for reaching out to influencers.

Based on your strategy, come up with 2-3 concepts that will make your influencers EXCITED enough to engage and respond.  Encompass what you know about your audience and any obstacles you may face.

  • Make it personalized.
  • Do your homework
  • Don’t be a spammy douche.

Example:  Millennials in Boston are drawn together by one simple theme: FEAR OF MISSING OUT.  Share a free entry ticket to our 5k and access to the VIP lounge with all our favorite Boston Influencers. 

7. Think about how you will measure success.

Measurement should always be based on your goals. After all, that which you focus on becomes what you’re good at.

Many view these four metrics as the baseline measure for any influencer outreach campaign:

  • Social Engagement
  • Social Impressions/Reach
  • Clicks
  • New Sign-ups/Conversions

8. Use what you know to create a roadmap.

The last step is putting all the pieces together. Give yourself ample time to execute and record each of the following steps:

  1. Identify and write messages and themes.
  2. Scout and engage influencers.
  3. Educate influencers on your product/campaign.
  4. Give them something (free tickets to event, access to product, invitation, etc).
  5. Promote their content (after internal review/approval).
  6. Measure and repeat!
Do you know of a cool, funny, or just plain awesome influencer outreach campaign?  Share it — I’d love to see it!

2 thoughts on “Your Roadmap for Creating an Influencer Outreach Campaign

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