How to Ask an Influencer to Promote Your Product
Oct 07, 2023
Nowadays, several companies in different industries are working on influencer campaigns to effectively reach their target audiences.
Many brands work with micro-influencers and social media creators in their marketing strategies for an obvious reason - Influencer marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing (CJ Johnson).
According to PR Newswire, 37% of consumers trust social media influencers over brands.
In fact, the same research paper shows that only 13% of consumers discover new products or brands via traditional advertising.
Nevertheless, recruiting influencers is one of the biggest bottlenecks faced by companies that want to start an influencer marketing campaign (Forbes).
Let’s learn how to ask an influencer to promote your product by following three different phases.
How to Ask an Influencer to Promote Your Product
Asking influencers to promote a brand or product is a process that involves careful research, strategic influencer outreach, and authentic networking.
When an influencer promotes a brand’s products or services, they are using their personal brand to talk to engaged audiences.
Consequently, 77% of marketers say they rather work with micro-influencers than traditional celebrities (Marketing Charts), as brands can increase ROI, generate leads, and improve engagement.
There are three general phases to follow to contact influencers for brand collaborations:
- Phase 1 : Research.
- Phase 2: Contact.
- Phase 3: Follow Up.
By following these standardized phases, brands can approach influencers of different sizes to start working with them.
Let’s dive deep into each phase of the influencer outreach process to learn how to carry it out.
Phase 1: Researching the Right Influencer
It is important for brands to avoid influencers who might not bring the desired results for the campaign.
Most influencers are interested in brand partnerships as long as they benefit their audiences and content organically.
Therefore, the research aspect applies to both sides - companies and influencers do their own research before working with each other, which ultimately leads to more effective brand promotions.
1. Finding and Shortlisting Influencers
First, it is important to shortlist the best influencers to work with.
In this stage, the company needs to determine the size of the creator before crafting the influencer list.
The best way to find influencers is by using Hypetrace’s influencer database.
By defining the size of the influencer you want to work with based on reach ( nano influencer, micro-influencer, macro-influencer, or mega-influencer ), it’s possible to create a list of targeted influencers that can be truly useful for the campaign.
2. Research Engagement Rate, Audience, Content Type, and More
After shortlisting several influencers, it’s time to find the right ones.
To do this, consider the engagement metrics, follower count, target audience, and content type of multiple influencers by analyzing their social media channels.
Clearly, aspiring influencers (nano and micro) will have different metrics than a well-known influencer.
Therefore, using influencer analysis tools can give brands a broader perspective of the overall influencer’s engagement rate, audience demographics, evolution over time, and more.
3. Past Collaborations
Influencer mentions and collaborations with brands are not uncommon - a study titled “ The State of Influencer Marketing in 2023 ” by the IMH shows that 60% of brands already work with at least ten influencers.
By checking and researching the past collaborations of targeted influencers, it is possible to determine whether you are getting to the right influencers or not.
This will help you narrow down your influencer list even more , which improves the chances of success for the marketing campaign.
Phase 2: Establishing Initial Contact
After having a shortlist of potential influencers at hand, it’s time to establish the first contact.
Keep in mind that even influencers in the same niche are substantially different from each other, which turns this phase of the process into the most important one.
1. Email Contact vs. Social Media Direct Messages
Reaching out to new influencers is not always straightforward. There are two main approaches practiced by companies from all over the world: cold outreach and product gifting.
Product gifting consists of simply sending potential influencers brand products without any special obligation or need to promote them.
Razer influencer program (Razer Streamers), which focuses on reaching out to growing streamers, is a good example of brand product gifting.
According to Neal Schaffer, sending free gifts is an excellent incentive for nano and micro-influencers , but it might not work as efficiently for bigger creators.
So, what’s the best way to contact an influencer: classic email outreach contact, or direct messages on a social media platform?
|DM to Social Media Accounts||
First impressions are important , which means that analyzing the creator's social media page can give you a great idea of the ideal channel to contact them.
For example, a small business looking to work with a nano or micro-influencer might have better chances if they contact them via social media pages.
In contrast, big influencers might prefer direct email contact as they receive tens of proposals every week , and they can filter out the ones they like the most.
2. Personalizing and Improving the Pitch
The secret ingredient behind successful outreach campaigns is the personalization of the message.
To make the outreach personal, it is great to analyze the behavior of the influencer’s audience and the content style used on their posts.
Mentioning mutual benefits, calling their creators by their name, and showing appreciation for their latest posts are great ways to demonstrate that you, as a brand, are actually interested in partnering with the creator.
3. Template Example for First Contact
Collaboration opportunity approaches via email need to be extremely clear in a single message. Keep in mind that each email needs to be different based on the nature of each influencer, but in general, these are the main tips to follow:
- Include a personalized subject that aims at creating a good relationship between the influencer and your brand.
- Be complimentary - if you liked a recent social media post uploaded by them, don’t forget to mention it.
- Be clear on the message - tell them that you are eager to collaborate with them and talk about mutual benefits.
- Keep the email short and end it with a Call-to-Action , such as “ You can reply to this email if you want to learn more about our offer .”
On the other hand, direct messages on social platforms need to follow these patterns:
- Be short and concise - when it comes to messaging influencers through DMs, it is important to transmit your ideas briefly.
- Avoid being vague - since you are messaging them through their own social channels, it is important to demonstrate that you know about their content creation efforts deeply.
- Don’t be generic - influencers get a significant amount of direct messages every day, so it’s important to stand out on the first line of the message.
Phase 3: The Aftermath of Contact
After sending the first message, it will be time to wait for an answer in order to proceed with the campaign.
This stage defines when and how the influencer will start promoting brand products via sponsored posts.
1. Follow Up On the Conversation
Influencer outreach is not always straightforward - some influencers will answer, and some will not.
If you’ve done this right, then your chances of continuing the conversation greatly increase.
Most likely, interested influencers will reply back to ask for more information. During this phase, the brand needs to be attentive to reply quickly and show a professional interest in further collaborations.
2. Agree On Compensation, Posting Schedule, Content Guidelines, Etc.
After exchanging a few messages, the time to launch the influencer marketing campaign will be close.
Agree on compensation for sponsored posts, provide support if needed, send resources to align the promotion with branding guidelines, and confirm the launch date of the campaign.
Since the goal is for influencers to promote your brand’s product, don’t forget to promptly send them the digital or physical product as requested.
Keep in mind that discussing compensation and establishing a partnership contract might take a while.
During this time, getting things ready and preparing for launch will dictate the efficiency of the marketing campaign.
3. Measure and Improve
After launching the sponsored product campaign, it’s time to track, measure, and improve the collaboration efforts.
During this stage, it might be necessary to contact the influencer again based on the previously agreed terms.
Measuring engagement metrics, quality interactions, and the influencer’s audience reaction to the sponsored content will help companies improve their future campaigns.
Likewise, some companies will have more data to measure , such as coupon code redemptions, engagement on social media posts with campaign-specific hashtags, link clicks, and more.
What Not to Do and Mistakes to Avoid: 3 Tips
Before asking influencers to promote your product, there are a few things to consider.
Neglecting these tips might negatively impact your ability to work with influencers, so don’t sleep on them.
1. Avoid Social Media Comments as Outreach Channel
Interacting with influencers is good as it shows appreciation for their content, but reaching via social media comments is not advisable at all.
If an influencer does not accept direct messages, do not use their social media posts’ comment section to reach them out.
This is unprofessional and will not yield the desired results. Some influencers are picky about the brands they collaborate with, and reaching out to them via comments is not considered a good approach whatsoever.
2. Don’t Target the Wrong People
As mentioned before, choosing the right influencers for the campaigns is the cornerstone of the contact process.
Your brand’s audience needs to be previously defined before reaching out to potential influencers.
If there’s nothing for them on the proposal , or if their audience will simply not resonate with the products of the brand, then the entire outreach process will most likely fail.
That’s why the research part is so important. For instance, imagine that you are a brand in the tech space selling computer keyboards.
Then, you decide to send free products to an influencer in the sports space.
Since the product does not resonate with the audience and content of the influencer, then not even your goodwill product sending will work at all.
3. Don’t Use Generic Messages and Mass-Messaging
Personalizing direct messages and cold emails is a crucial part of success when it comes to contacting influencers to promote your product.
If the message looks generic, bland, and lacks personality , then it will probably get ignored by the influencer.
Mass-messaging several potential creators is not as effective as crafting individual, personalized messages for each of them.
When it comes to influencer campaigns, quality always goes over quantity.
Summary: How to Reach Out to Influencers
Working with influencers is a great way for brands to improve their overall results by reaching the correct target audience.
Consequently, learning how to ask influencers to promote your product will set the basis of the campaign ahead.
Keep in mind that just because a strategy works for some companies, it doesn’t mean that the outcome will always be the same. These are the three general phases of influencer outreach:
- Research: Start by researching, finding, and analyzing the overall profile of certain influencers based on their content types, metrics, audiences, and engagement levels.
- First Contact: Craft personalized and tailored messages before sending the first email or direct message to an influencer. Avoid mass spamming and focus on quality over quantity.
- Follow Up: Continue the conversation, provide assistance to influencers, send the products if necessary, and measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
What is Product Seeding in Influencer Marketing?
Product seeding is a marketing strategy that consists of sending free products to individuals without pre-signed contracts or obligations to promote the products on their social media channels. The goal is to leverage the power of influencers’ social media profiles as they organically showcase the products sent by the brand.
Should I Email or DM Social Media Influencers?
Normally, emailing influencers is a more professional and effective way to send partnership proposals online. Nonetheless, direct-messaging nano and micro-influencers can also bring the desired results as long as the message is clear, precise, and customized.