Today’s consumers–especially the coveted millennial demographic–value experience and authenticity over advertising. While only 1% of millennials are persuaded by advertising, 33% look to trusted online personalities for purchasing guidance.
The question is, how do you connect with those personalities–dubbed influence marketers–most likely to see and share the value of your product or service? In a recent blog post, Social Media Beast provides a clear approach for integrated marketers reaching out to influencers.
Identify the Influencer(s)
Refine your list of potential partners to those most closely aligned with your area of expertise. These are most likely to become fans and share positive reviews or recommendations to their audience/your potential customers. This post from last year offers a quick checklist for getting started.
Open a Dialogue
Once you’ve narrowed it down, get to know the influencers better. It’s considered poor manners (as well as counterproductive) to do a cold outreach. Read their posts and opinions on social media, engage with their content, become a part of their communities.
When you send your first email, be open and genuine—after all, it’s their candor that made them stand out to you in the first place. Introduce your business, explain your product and why they and their audience will be interested. Tell what you have learned from them, and how you can help them and their readers. Be prepared to describe what a partnership between you might look like: will it be an invitation to participate in an upcoming event or contribute a guest blog?
Online personalities became influencers by amassing an audience through hard work, dedication, and commitment to their brand. They may be in demand by many others looking to piggyback on their success. If you don’t hear back right away, send a friendly follow up.
If your second message goes unanswered, move on; you have a business to run. If you hear back and are able to work together, rein in your need for instant gratification. Like many integrated marketing tactics, this approach may not yield immediate results. You are leveraging the trust the influencer has established with audiences over time for an endorsement of your product or service.
Embracing this influencer outreach approach allows you to build brand credibility and trust with your audience by connecting them to sites and people they already trust, thus improving your likelihood of success.