17% of businesses say they spend more than half of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.
After working with over 800 influencers in the last five years, we’ve seen first-hand just how powerful this modern marketing strategy can be.
We’re not alone, either. 93% of brands have now used influencer marketing in one form or another.
If you’re a small business, there’s no longer any doubt that influencer marketing is a valuable channel to reach new customers through brand awareness. Before starting to promote your brand through collaboration, you must build a strong relationship first.
We’ve got you covered if you want to invite an Instagram influencer to attend your next event or reach out to other industry professionals to get people talking about a new product launch. Here are all the details within our ultimate guide to influencer marketing.
How To Use Direct Message Influencer Marketing to Your Advantage
From inviting influencers to exclusive events or partnering with them to post on their social media platform, you can use influencer outreach templates to build partnerships.
Create a marketing campaign that drives sales and attracts more followers to know your company name. Influencers want to post consistent and relevant content. You can build a working relationship that matches both of your needs. All it takes to start is either an outreach email or a direct message on their social platforms.
Here are six tried and tested influencer outreach templates for fast and effective direct messages that’ll encourage a reply from an influencer.
1. Affiliate and Brand Ambassador Invitation
Hey, [influencer name],
Loved your last video on the [insert subject]. We wanted to ask whether our new product could help inspire some more content.
We’re keen to collaborate and help you to develop your ideas in your authentic style.
We would also like to invite you to our affiliate program — there’s a significant commissionrate. Please let us know if interested, and we’ll share details. We’d love to have you on board!
It’s almost always a good idea to swap ‘affiliate’ for ‘brand ambassador’ when referring to the influencer. The campaign will be the same, but becoming an ambassador is a much more attractive proposition.
Influencers who become your brand ambassadors may even display their affiliate links on their social media bios and profiles. Besides collaboration on social media, they may want to attend a brand event in the future.
Hi [influencer name],
We’ve been watching your channel for a while, and we’re super impressed [influencer content], which was [your genuine reaction after watching it].
We’ve got a product that’s gaining recognition for being a great alternative, and we wanted to ask if you’d like to feature it as part of a paid sponsorship deal.
Let me know if you’d like to explore this opportunity.
Are you asking, “Do you have to pay for sponsorships?” Stay tuned for more details below.
3. Free Product and Sample Product
Hi [influencer name],
You’re building a fantastic community - I’m so impressed with how you approach your Instagram account. I also have a product I think you’d be interested in trying.
We’d love to get your thoughts and for you to share your opinion with your followers. If you are interested, we can send one to you to get your feedback.
4. Invite to Venue for Influencer Event
Hey [influencer name],
Amazing shots on your Insta! That [insert recent example] looked incredible. We’re big fans of that place, too.
We’d love to invite you to [business name] on the house so you can try some of our [insert your product / service], get your feedback, and have a chance to appear on your accounts.
Are you reaching out to an Instagram influencer or a TikTok influencer? Learning how to use influencer marketing to promote your venue is a necessary skill. They will be interested in creating new content for their followers and providing them with eye-catching images in a stand-out event or venue. This outreach idea to attend an event is sure to attract.
5. How to Invite Influencers to Your Event for Product Launches
Hi [influencer name],
Are you free [insert date and time]? We’re hosting an exclusive preview event of our [insert product] and would love it if you would consider attending.
Of course, you’ll get to try [insert product] on the house, and there’ll be plenty of photo ops.
We’re looking to create a big buzz on social media for the launch, so knew that we had to invite you! Please let me know if you can make it and the name of your +1.
If your marketing team has an event budget, take advantage of your outreach efforts and create brand events. Attendees will promote your brand on their platform of choice, giving an even broader reach for your company name through future brand recognition.
6. Product Giveaway or Competition
Hi [influencer name],
Great to see your audience growing! Our team has seen your latest posts about [reference influencer work].
For the launch of [brand product] we wanted to engage with the community and partner with an influencer who knows their stuff.
We’d love it if you hosted a giveaway for [brand product] on your profile, as we think our brand is a match made in heaven for your audience.
We ask for is your honest assessment of the [brand product]. In return, we’ll cover the costs of the competition to engage your audience.
We’re big fans of your content and look forward to working together!
Fan giveaways are fun events for influencers to give back to their followers and share their appreciation. Brands interested in participating in a competition or giveaway will have the privilege of getting their product name in front of more people.
Although you may be thinking, how does something free drive sales? By putting your product into the running for a giveaway, your influencer partnership could lead to future sales through those interested in seeing the influencer’s post.
Paying Influencers: Is Giving Them a Product Enough?
If you want an influencer to speak enthusiastically about your product, you must give them access.
However, if you simply send out a bunch of products to attract influencers, believing that it’ll be enough for them to feature you in their content, you could end up with nothing more than depleted stock and zero coverage.
Paying the right influencers is an essential part of working with them. Sometimes, sending a product is enough to pique their interest and grab your product a spot on their next video or blog post. But not always. Social media stars are busy people. Influencers receive countless free products and swag; it can take much work to stand out from the rest. Building a solid relationship and partnership will lead to your desired results.
From a business owner’s perspective, using a free product as some form of payment sounds more cost-effective. But before suggesting that, you’ll need to do some homework.
How To Audit Your Influencer’s Audience
If the audience is small but still significant and engaged enough to interest you, the influencer may still be in the early days of building their brand.
You can get a good idea of an influencer’s market cost by looking at their existing posts. Ask yourself these questions as you review an influencer’s social media platform:
- Are they accepting free products already?
- Are they being sponsored by other brands?
- How much engagement do they get on individual posts?
- How many total followers do they have, and over what time?
If you pitch it right, they will probably ask for something more than a review unit or free samples if they still need to get sponsorships.
Look out for mentions of press packs on their website, too. If something like that exists, their brand has evolved enough to warrant payment for sponsored content as an industry professional.
Lastly, remember that you can offer different methods of compensation. One of the most popular is to provide the influencer with a share of revenue via an affiliate program. This method means there’s no up-front expense from you, but it can lead to recurring revenue for the influencer if they manage to help you sell your products.
For brands, it is essential to get into the right collaborative mindset. You must focus on collaboration with other influencers before reaching out to industry professionals.
Influencers want to keep their feed consistently active and full of relevant content. You can help them do that by offering to feature your products, but more is needed. You can’t simply send them something and sit back while you wait for the referrals to flood in.
How To Get a Reply From Your Influencer Outreach
Reaching the point when you’re ready to contact your chosen influencer is exciting. If you’ve done your homework correctly, it should be the start of something big!
It’s also scarily easy to get wrong. So, you must include the following elements in your initial influencer outreach message to foster collaboration:
An enticing introduction - Treat this like your elevator pitch with a few examples. Explain who you are, the company name, what you do, and why it’ll benefit them as quickly as possible on their social media platforms.
Why you want to work with them - What drew you to the influencer? Talk about how great they are and how aligned their ethos is with yours - they’ll love that (we all do).
- Show an interest - Don’t make this up; go and watch, read or listen to their content. Note that you’re impressed and highlight one piece in particular that caught your eye. This step makes a huge difference.
- Set clear expectations - Get straight into the nitty-gritty; what’s the compensation on offer, and how quickly can you get a product to them (with no strings attached)?
- Manage expectations - Many influencers will have some form of publishing schedule and a backlog of content to work from. You need to be not only interesting enough to fit within it but timely, too. So be honest about your timescales for your next campaign.
- Play it safe - There are strict rules governing product placements in online content, and while you may wish to leave this element out of your initial communication, make sure it’s covered before you go live.
Remember that the better you pick your influencers, the better the relationship will be. But that can only happen if you go in with a clear desire to work directly with them.
How Do I Know if My Influencer Partnership is Successful?
If your outreach email or direct message leads to collaboration, you are well on your way to a successful partnership.
But these tips don’t mean you should be taking over the content creation process (influencers certainly won’t warm to that). It does mean taking an active interest in what they’re doing, both historically and potentially with you in the future, and offering constructive feedback on their content.
If you get this collaboration right, the relationship will blossom, and you may even find that the influencer continues to promote your products in the future to your target audience without any advertising spending on your behalf.
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