top of page

How To Ask An Influencer To Promote Your Product

by Kimberly Perez

Have an amazing brand and marketing strategy, but struggling to build your audience and brand awareness via social media? Influencers, the disruptive field in brand marketing, have become the desired way to build awareness with their power and influence among their loyal niche following. With 1 billion monthly active users, the high level of users has made Instagram a go-to platform for influencer marketing.


There have been 6.12 million brand-sponsored posts on Instagram in 2020. If you’re looking to grow your audience and conversion rate, influencers might help pave the way. While this process is relatively straightforward it may be tricky to know where to start. Luckily, I have gathered a few tips that you can use to increase your chances of success.


FINDING THE RIGHT INFLUENCERS TO APPROACH

The search to find the right influencers may be perhaps the most time-consuming task in your outreach strategy. Even if you are confident in the quality of your product line and are excited to partner with influencers, it may feel intimidating to contact influencers out of the blue with a collaboration opportunity.


It is important to dedicate time to doing influencer research. You might want to start by figuring out who your most interactive followers are, then checking their following list to see what influencers they follow. Those accounts will likely reach people in your ideal demographic.


Do your research! Look through social media accounts including Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn. Skim through relevant hashtags, competitor mentions, competitor hashtags, blogging sites, and influencer databases. For an influencer campaign to be effective, follower number isn’t always the most important metric. Sometimes setting influencers apart from the largest pool market can be easily done by conducting an influencer performance analysis through their engagement rate.



Follower counts can help you gauge the size of an influencer’s audience, but the number of followers can’t tell you how well connected they are with their audience. To measure the relationship strength between influencers and their followers, you need to check engagement metrics; predominantly likes, comments, and post shares.


To manually calculate an engagement rate, simply follow the formula: Total number of engagements / Total number of followers = Engagement Rate. You can perform in-depth influencer research by looking at the latest posts, audience responses, post consistency, aesthetics, and relevance between sponsored posts and the influencer’s brand. When a follower takes time to comment or share, you can view those engagements as quality interactions.

Once you've located some potential influencers to collaborate with, dive deep into their previous collaborations. You want to get a good sense of their image and values to see if it accurately reflects your brand. Find influencers that align with your brand and who would use your product. Your influencers don’t just need to be authentic content curators, they also need to be a good fit for your brand.


The influencers you want are the ones that put values and quality content first, brand promotions second. When these influencers do promote products, they demonstrate a clear accord for what they are posting about and use that brand excitement to achieve a better connection with their audience. It is also essential that your influencers know how to use your products. Offering gifts (product seeding) is a great way to introduce your products to influencers beforehand.


HOW TO ASK AN INFLUENCER TO PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT

If you’re aiming to start with a small group of influencers (ten or less is a good start) then the best strategy is to reach out to them directly via the platform. Start by creating a spreadsheet and adding the names and Instagram profile links for each influencer that you’re wanting to contact. Make a note of the time and date that you contacted each influencer so that you can follow up again in a day or two.


I recommend engaging with influencers via social media before directly reaching out. This will accomplish two things. One, you will develop a rapport and they will be more receptive to discussing a partnership. Influencers get a lot of spam messages, so they must know you’re a real person behind the account. Secondly, interacting on their posts will show you if this influencer responds to all of their comments, how long it takes them to respond, their willingness to reply and how genuine the engagement is.


The best way to approach an influencer is by doing your research and understanding where and how they prefer to be contacted. Many influencers will list their contact information on their website or in their social media bio. Don’t be afraid to get straight to the point when you know that a particular influencer is a good fit.


WHAT TO DO

Reaching out over social media is often the go-to for many people, but it’s not always the tactic. It’s easy to get lost in the mix of direct messages as popular influencers get many inquiries. Small business owner and entrepreneur, Christine Wang who’s worked with influencers to promote The Ski Girl, suggests trying to find out if you and the influencer have any similar contacts as this will allow a more direct line of communication, leading to a faster and more personal response. “If you share a mutual acquaintance, it’s often easier to communicate and begin working together.”


It is perfectly acceptable to reach out via DM to inquire about a partnership. Instagram messages in this format generally feel endearing to influencers. They appreciate thoughtful compliments and collaboration requests to show that your brand took the time to consider their strengths. Because it is a relatively short message and broken up into paragraphs, fewer words are easier for the influencer to digest.


Keep in mind that this process is all about building a relationship so you need to be clear with yourself on what you want to get out of this relationship. Influencers can provide high-quality lifestyle images or videos, drive traffic to a website, or encourage their followers to follow you online (among other things). Be very clear and realistic in your expectations.


When asking an influencer to collaborate with you, don’t open with a big message. Keep the proposal short and to the point. Say hello, introduce yourself and your brand, make your pitch, and ask them if they’d be open to collaborating. Eli Ratansi, Marketing Director of Vegano Foods says “If you don't hear back from them right away, be patient.


If a week goes by and you still don't get a response, send them another quick ping but do not be overbearing. If after two attempts you still don't hear anything, it's best to take a step back and give them space. Focus your attention on other collaboration opportunities and maybe you will hear back from them at a later date.”



WHAT NOT TO DO

First, avoid influencers that are willing to promote anything. It’s important to know that there is an increasing number of aspiring influencers that are quick to promote and less aware of how promoting anything can negatively impact their brand.


Second, avoid Instagram comments as your outreach channel. Some brands search for influencers and then add a public comment on an influencer’s post inviting them to collaborate. This technique is the weakest approach and is generally overlooked particularly because they come out as spam to influencers.

The more appropriate manner to reach out to influencers is to send them a direct message or email. Don’t be vague but don’t oversell your brand either. An open invitation to collaborate without any campaign specifics leaves the influencer with too many question marks.


BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

Even the best influencers will struggle to maintain authenticity if the brand-influencer relationship is forced and manufactured. At the end of the day, you need to employ a communication style that fits your brand.


The more genuine you can be in your influencer outreach, the better that relationship will perform during influencer campaigns. It may take a few outreach attempts before they begin to feel natural, but with practice and attention to detail, you’ll gain confidence in building relationships with influencers and establishing a thriving influencer community.

Comments


bottom of page