How to Select the Right Influencer for Your Brand and Reach Out to Them

How to Select the Right Influencer for Your Brand and Reach Out to Them
05 December, 2023 • ... • 78 views
Selzy Team
by Selzy Team

Collaborating with influencers can be a powerful tool for enhancing your brand’s reputation.

Yet, let’s be honest: finding the ideal influencer can be a challenge for any marketer. This article will guide you through identifying the best influencers for your brand. Plus, we’ll share tips on how to approach them to kick off a successful collaboration.

Why work with an influencer?

The global influencer marketing sector has more than doubled since 2020. So it’s no surprise modern brands increasingly rely on influencers in their social media strategy.

Influencers tend to have a strong connection with their audience meaning that they’re able to create and frame new content the way it will resonate with those who might be your target audience and help you build brand credibility. Their engagement-driven approach ignites discussions and extends your brand’s reach, potentially attracting new demographics.

Working with an influencer can also offer a diverse range of marketing and branded content, where audiences can get a real sense of how great your product is. Whether they’re traveling around the world and showing how well a product lasts or they’re at home trying a new makeup brand and the creative ways it can be used, influencers offer invaluable social proof in a way that really appeals to your audience.

Getting creative with influencer marketing

When it comes to influencer marketing, the standard Instagram photo of an influencer posing with a product often comes to mind.

Instagram influencer post of a woman sat in a coffee shop drinking an iced coffee, wearing a black jumpsuit and promoting where she bought her outfit from.
Source: mollymae on Instagram

However, the world of influencer collaborations offers much more diversity and creativity than that. You can explore various types of influencer marketing campaigns to elevate your brand, including:

  • Sponsored content: This classic approach involves influencers promoting your products or services through photos, videos, or blog posts. Still, it can also be really creative like the example below where The North Face partnered with Eva Zubeck to sponsor her exciting trip climbing up a mountain in Mexico.
Sponsored influencer post of a woman climbing Pico de Orizaba, Mexico, wearing an The North Face jacket and promoting their collaboration
Source: evazubeck on Instagram
  • Reviews: Influencers can provide valuable product or service reviews, showcasing the unboxing or their first-hand experience of using it. This can be a great and trustworthy endorsement of your product, as influencers try on and describe your products.
Screenshot from the Youtube account thecozyvibe. London based influencer Pooja is smiling and holding some new trainers as she reviews what she recently bought on a shopping trip
Source: thecozyvibe on Youtube
  • Competitions: Engage your audience and expand your brand’s reach through exciting giveaways and contests hosted by influencers. As you can see in the example below, this can be a great way to boost your follower count, as contestants follow you to win.
Competition Instagram post of a woman wrapped in a hat and jumper and a photo of an outdoor bath, announcing a competition to win a fully-paid B&B and €500 voucher
Source: rosanna_davison on Instagram
  • Product collaborations: Team up with influencers to co-create unique products or content lines under your brand. That works especially well in industries like beauty and fashion.
Screenshot from youtube account Jenn Im. Jenn is smiling next to the makeup logo and about to do a makeup tutorial using her new product collaboration with Colourpop
Source: Jenn Im on Youtube
  • Long-term brand ambassadors: Establish a lasting partnership with an influencer who becomes the face of your brand, promoting it consistently through their content. Jack Wolfskin is a great example of this, they have multiple brand ambassadors, from outdoor enthusiasts to filmmakers, who share their adventures with their audience.
Screenshot taken from Jack Wolfskin’s site, with a list, description, and photos of their different brand ambassadors from all over the world
Source: Jack Wolfskin

How to find the right influencer for your brand

Set objectives

Before you set out looking for the right influencer, it’s essential that you are clear on what you want to achieve with your campaign.

For example, if your goal is brand awareness, your primary objective would be to increase brand visibility. On the other hand, if you’re looking to promote new products to the audience that is already familiar with your brand, you’ll want to focus on improving engagement rates.

Setting objectives from the start not only gives you a better chance of finding the right influencer fit, it also gives you clear KPIs to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your campaign.

Know your target audience

Identify your target audience and research what interests them. What platforms are they most active on? What content do they engage with?

Nailing this step is crucial for influencer partnerships. For instance, if you’re a makeup brand catering to a young, style-conscious demographic, approach a beauty influencer highly active on Instagram or TikTok.

Screenshot from nikkietutorials TikTok account, showing the final result of her Rolling Stones makeup tutorial
Source: nikkietutorials on Tiktok

On the flip side, if you’re a company promoting your VoIP phone for business, you might want to connect with an entrepreneurial influencer sharing valuable content on platforms like LinkedIn.

Screenshot from Kortnee Griffin’s Linkedin post where she describes the benefits of using Dialpad AI
Source: Kortnee Griffin on Linkedin

Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives and target audience, it’s time to find the right influencer for your brand.

Research the influencer

Whether you found an influencer through hashtags, asked your team who they are following, or delegated the search to an influencer agency, do your homework and thoroughly research the candidates. Consider things like their content style, topics they post about, and their follower demographic.

Selecting the right influencer isn’t just about buying Likes and bumping your follower count.

When looking for an influencer to work with, there are two key things to evaluate: reach and engagement.

  • Reach: Reach is how many people will potentially see the content an influencer posts for you. Let’s say an influencer has 10,000 followers. Their maximum organic reach would be 10,000 people. In reality, the numbers tend to be much lower. This is due to social media algorithms that prevent your content from appearing on every follower’s feed. However, there are influencers with a huge following who can provide global reach, such as Charli D’Amelio:
Screenshot from Charli D’Amelio’s TikTok account, showing her profile picture and that she has 151.6 million followers
Source: Charli D’Amelio on Tiktok
  • Engagement: This metric looks at all of the follower interactions with a specific post. To calculate an engagement rate, you take the number of total impressions and divide it by the number of followers. For example, you could say that the engagement rate of Charli D’Amelio’s post below would be 0.76%. This is a little on the low side, with the average good engagement rate being between 1% to 5%, demonstrating how there can be a trade-off between scale and interaction.
Screenshot from Charli D’amelio’s TikTok account, showing one of her posts and its high levels of engagement, with 17.3K comments, 1.1 million likes, and 32.9K people who saved this post for later
Source: Charli D’Amelio on Tiktok

Although these metrics can be a good initial guide, when considering who to partner with, don’t just settle for visibility; aim for meaningful connections that drive engagement and conversion. For instance, a micro-influencer who specializes in your niche is likely to have a smaller but highly engaged audience.

Let’s revisit our earlier example of promoting a small business phone service. Partnering with a niche influencer whose audience consists predominantly of business owners proved more effective than pursuing a high-follower-count influencer with a potentially irrelevant audience for the product.

Finally, it’s worth researching an influencer’s authenticity and credibility to ensure they align with your brand values. Whatever your product is, you want to collaborate with an influencer who is genuinely passionate about your brand and your vision.

Start collaborating

So, you’ve done your research and have found an influencer who perfectly matches your brand. But, how do you approach them for a collaboration?

Of course, there are influencers out there who are motivated by free products or financial compensation. But chances are they’re not ones you want to work with. Good influencers genuinely care about the brands that they represent and are selective about who they work with.

Let’s look at how to pitch the idea of working together and win their enthusiastic “Yes!”.

Do your homework

If you’ve followed our tips above, you should already have researched the influencer you want to collaborate with.

So, when you reach out to your chosen influencer make sure that you show genuine interest and alignment with their style and values. The more you know about them, the better you can personalize your pitch and demonstrate how the partnership can be mutually beneficial.

Build relationships

While you’re busy immersing yourself in your influencer’s world, don’t miss the simple but crucial step of following them and engaging with their content.

When the moment arrives to contact an influencer, they may recognize your brand because you’ve already been commenting on their posts. This familiarity can make it much easier to strike up a conversation and significantly boost your chances of successful outreach.

Instagram post by Coco Gauff promoting Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds with a visible comments section. Bose left a comment 'We’ll be cheering you on!' followed by two emojis: star with a tail and tennis ball.
Bose cheers on tennis pro Coco Gauff's upcoming London game in an Instagram post featuring a training video and showcasing Bose earbuds

Use the right channels to reach out

You might be following an influencer on Instagram, but when it comes to reaching out and starting a conversation, resist the urge to slide straight into their DMs.

Emails provide a more professional platform and often yield higher response rates. Most influencers list their email address on their social media bio or website. If contact information isn’t readily available, consider leaving a comment on one of their posts politely asking them to share it.

Show appreciation

While it’s important to mention who you are and what you do, don’t expect an influencer to instantly fall in love with your brand and product.

Avoid using the initial contact as an opportunity to pitch your products directly. Influencers who are genuinely interested will take the initiative to learn more about your brand. Instead, focus on showing them that you value their work and what they bring to the table.

This is where your research will pay off: share specific examples of their content that has resonated with you or inspired you.

By kicking off the conversation on a positive note, you’ll capture their attention and set the stage for a collaborative relationship.

Keep it concise

Remember, influencers are busy. Keep your initial outreach short and straightforward.

Decide how you want the influencer to support your brand and clearly communicate your expectations, along with the compensation you offer.

While you might think being vague is better, it’s more helpful to outline exactly how you’d like them to be involved. They should understand what you’re asking for and get excited about the prospect.

Consider language and tone, especially when reaching out to influencers from different countries. If needed, translate your messages to ensure smooth and relatable communication. For more in-depth discussions, consider scheduling an international phone call with the assistance of a translator.

Follow up

When it comes to following up with influencers you’ve reached out to, persistence and patience are key. Don’t worry if you don’t hear back right away – influencers are busy people!

Send them a friendly follow-up message to show that you’re still excited to collaborate. Be respectful of their time and offer any additional information they might need. Remember, building relationships takes time, so stay proactive and keep those lines of communication open.

Summary

Influencer marketing has numerous benefits, but finding the perfect influencer and approaching them can seem challenging. However, it’s a rewarding journey that can significantly boost your brand’s reach and build trust with customers.

By setting clear objectives, understanding your target audience, and evaluating influencers for relevance, you can identify the perfect partner.

Remember when approaching influencers to do your homework, show appreciation for their work, and follow up with persistence and patience.

05 December, 2023
Article by

Latest Articles

Selzy Selzy Selzy Selzy