Influencer marketing has been used by tens of thousands of companies, both large and small, to attract new customers and forge deeper client loyalty. Before the age of the internet and social media, celebrities, both local, national, and international, were the main focus of influencer marketing campaigns. Today, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media channels have allowed a brands a larger pool of influencers to choose from for different styles of advertising and brand awareness campaigns.
Whether you choose to reach out to a world renowned, international celebrity like Brad Pitt or a relatively minor micro influencer who has 8,000 followers on his or her YouTube channel, there are certain communication strategies that will help to improve the possibility of developing a successful branding partnership. Below, we offer a few guidelines for how to successfully reach out to an influencer.
Micro versus Macro Influencers: What’s the Difference?
Social media influencers are generally divided into two different categories: micro influencers and macro influencers. Generally speaking, micro influencers are people (or small businesses) who are active on the internet and social media and have an active following of anywhere between 500 and 10,000 individuals. Macro influencers usually have followers that number in the millions and have used that following to establish a recognizable branded name for themselves. Furthermore, many micro-influencers (though not all of them) have local or regional followers while macro influencers will almost always operate on a national or international level.
The line that differentiates micro and macro influencers can be hard to differentiate. For example, a person with 15,000 followers on their Instagram channel doesn’t necessarily qualify as a “macro-influencer” just because they have passed some statistical threshold in regards to their total number of followers. In general, macro influencers will be those who actively brand themselves and whose main “employment” comes from managing their online presence for diverse influencer marketing campaigns. Micro influencers often engage in marketing campaigns as an additional source of income and manage their online presence and social media pages as a hobby or secondary job.
Companies that want to work with macro influencers, including celebrities, are generally those that have a national or international audience and also have the marketing budget that is needed to work with these types of influencers. A company that is planning a new product launch might consider reaching out to celebrities and macro influencers to coordinate a series of social media posts and mentions that coincide with the planned release date of the product. The benefit, obviously, is that the millions of followers from all corners of the country will be alerted of the product launch thus helping companies gain a foothold on the market.
Strategies for Reaching out to a Micro Influencer
If your small company or brand has identified a couple of potential micro influencers that could be a good fit for potential marketing or branding campaign, there are two basic strategies for reaching out to a micro influencer, which we will detail below.
- Contacting them on social media: Another way to reach out to micro influencers is to simply contact them through their social media channels. Returning to the example of the small, university campus coffee house, tagging the micro influencer your own social media posts might be one way to garner his or her attention. If this isn’t yielding any results, sending a Facebook or Instagram message that directly outlines the parameters for a potential marketing partnership or deal can also be a good way to contact a local or regional micro influencer.
- Contacting them on via another channel: Another way to reach out to micro influencers is to simply contact them through their other social media channels. Returning to the example of the small, university campus coffee house, tagging the micro influencer your own social media posts might be one way to garner his or her attention. If this isn’t yielding any results, sending a Facebook message that directly outlines the parameters for a potential marketing partnership or deal can also be a good way to contact a local or regional micro influencer. LinkedIn is another great channel that will allow you to reach out to micro influencers who aren’t responding via direct messages on their social media accounts. Of course, with LinkedIn, you will have to have a premium account (which is paid membership) in order to be able to direct message people who are not already in your contact list. As a last resort, a Google search of the micro influencer might also yield other contact information such as an email address.
Strategies for Reaching out to a Macro Influencer
Both celebrities and macro influencers will most likely have representation due to their massive following on social media and the internet. Due to this fame, almost no celebrity or macro influencer will have the time and patience to individually read the thousands of emails and text messages that come their way on daily basis. Outreach to a celebrity or macro influencer, then will almost always go through their representation. Depending on the case, this might be via the celebrity agent, manager, or publicist. When devising a strategy to reach out to a celebrity or macro influencer, consider the following ideas and resources.
- Searching for their agents or representatives: Celebrities and macro influencers are obviously interested in using their image, their followers, and their fame to garner more income. In most cases, they will hire an agent, manager, or publicist to act as a “go-between” and who will negotiate the terms and conditions related to any potential marketing or branding partnership. Finding the contact information for celebrity representatives can be tricky, however, and much of the information that you find via a Google search might not be all that accurate. You can utilize a celebrity contact database to find who represents a particular celebrity along with their contact info.
- Send an introductory email: Once you have found the contact information for the representative of the celebrity or macro influencer of your choice, you will want to send out an introductory email that lays out, in the briefest possible manner, the “who, what, where, why, when, and how” of the potential marketing partnership that you are proposing. It is important to keep this introductory email as brief as possible (no celebrity representative wants to spend an hour reading a 5,000 word email) while still offering the essential elements related to who you are and what you are proposing. In most cases, it is also a good idea to offer a general idea of your budgetary constraints.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.