How to reach out to influencersLast Updated: March 22, 2019
Influencers are a very important part of your online marketing. They have access to the audience you want to get access to and they have the 'Influence'. This means that people listen to what you have to say.
They can provide exposure to your brand, but more importantly, they can drive engagement and move people to action.
Types of influencers
Following are four types of influencers you'll want to reach out to:
- Bloggers - This type of influencer has built a large audience through their website. They have the authority on the topic you are interested in, and they have a loyal, engaged audience.
- Journalists - Their content is relevant to what you do and they have a strong, relevant audience.
- Industry authorities - These people are seen as industry experts because they share their thoughts and knowledge about industry-specific topics and issues in multiple forms e.g. articles, reports, keynotes, interviews, etc. They may be C-level executives, successful company owners, industry analysts, etc.
- Social media influencers - They have similar authority as bloggers except it's more focused on social media. Brands typically work with these influencers to increase their social media exposure and drive qualified traffic to their websites.
Steps to effective influencer outreach
1. Understand them - Don't be tempted to cast a wide net because most of those people won't be interested in what you have to say/offer. You are better off with a smaller targeted list of influencers whose interests align with your brand and your request. The more you understand your target influencers and their work, the easier it will be to connect with them and start a relationship.
2. Interact with them before you reach out - Your outreach efforts will bring much better results if you start engaging with the influencers before you send your first email. Do whatever you can to get on their radar e.g. interact with them on social media, comment on their blog, quote and mention them, etc. If you don't get a chance to interact with them, then at least share their content and @mention them to get their attention.
3. Follow the PAUSE method when interacting with them - refer to our page on using PAUSE
Don't forget to follow up - Don't get discouraged if you don't get a response from an influencer the first time around. There's a chance they didn't see your first email or that it wasn't a good timing for them. Make sure to hit the reply on the first email and write a short reminder about it. Most replies are triggered by the second or third email, so make sure you have your followup sequence ready when you send that first email.
If you're reaching out to Journalist, you'll pitch your story from a different angle than when you're pitching other type influencers. Why? Because bloggers and industry experts don't cover news stories.
For example, if you're a startup and you raise 10 million in funding this may only be interesting to a Journalist. Also, Journalists like talking about hot topics in the industry. So if there's something hot going on in your industry and you can link it to your story, this could be of interest to journalists.