Top 5 Questions Marketers Have About Influencer Outreach

Top 5 Questions Marketers Have About Influencer Outreach image medium 813966437 300x225Top 5 Questions Marketers Have About Influencer OutreachWe’ve learned a lot about influencer outreach since our inception in Fall 2012. We’ve talked directly to marketing and PR professionals to develop our beta release, and we’ve had many questions from prospects since then. Our Account Executive, Daniel Fanaberia (@danielfanaberia) gets great insights from all of you about influencer outreach, and it seems like there are certain questions that keep popping up in discussions. Here are the top 5 questions marketers have about influencer outreach, taken right from the trenches:

1. How much should I pay influencers?

This question pops up in every single discussion we have with marketing and PR professionals. Paid influencer outreach has been around for a while, but since not everyone does paid outreach, there aren’t really any standards on what compensation should be.

You should always pay influencers for their time. It doesn’t matter what you offer them in free products, there is a time component that goes into reviewing, forming an opinion, writing a draft, proofing, editing, making sure everything is in an authentic voice, and then publishing. If you’re not paying for the influencer’s time, they won’t put the effort into it.

From what we learned by talking to PR professionals, bloggers, freelancers, and influencers, a basic sponsored post goes for anywhere between $150-$250. Add in some social shares, giveaways, responding to comments, promoting the post, driving conversions, etc., and you are looking at a major time investment on the influencer’s part. We’ve seen basic sponsored posts + social promotion campaigns go from $250-$500 per influencer, on average.

But again, this is based on time. If you’re asking for Youtube videos, or asking them to go on a 3-day trip with all sorts of schedules, you can expect to pay more. The more time it will take on the influencer’s end, the higher the rates. Also, some influencers with larger reach will charge more.

2. What if they write negative content about my brand?

What?!? Influencers would actually do that? Yes, they will, and it’s not a bad thing.

An influencer has a reputation to protect. If they come across anything they didn’t like about your product or experience, they’ll report it. If they don’t, and they only praise the positive side of the review, they’ll lose trust. If one of their readers tries the product based on the review, and it’s not what the influencer described, it won’t go over well!

Negativity in a review sets realistic expectations. Danny Brown has a great example on his review of InNetwork. He praises the features he likes about our platform, but also mentioned what we were missing. Reporting the negative can actually be more beneficial, because the readers take the review seriously. If everything is positive, they might take it with a grain of salt. Add negativity, and the review becomes real.

3. How can I know the influencer will get back once I reached out?

If you do your research, you treat the influencer as a person, you treat them as an INDIVIDUAL (don’t mass spam influencers, they each have their own style), you should at least hear back from them. If an influencer doesn’t get back to you, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • You didn’t personalize the email – saying “Hey,” or “Dear webmaster,” or “Dear admin” is the worst thing you can do. If you’re not addressing the influencer as a person, don’t expect a response back.
  • Reference their work – show that you’ve actually been on their site. Show that you know who they are. Reference what you LOVE about them, and how great THEY are. Send an individual email, not a cookie-cutter type spam-mail.
  • Make sure they’re relevant to your brand – a lot of times, marketers reach out to influencers because they have huge audiences, but the influencer’s topics are completely irrelevant to the brand. Influencers won’t respond if your product is not relevant to their readers.
  • Make it clear what you want from them – name the brand you’re working with, name the product, say exactly what you’re looking to accomplish with this relationship.
  • Reference compensation – influencers get emails all the time about product reviews. I get at least 20 a week on my own blog, and I don’t answer back to most of them. Why? Because they don’t mention any type of compensation. If you’re not paying cash, you can automatically expect 50% of people won’t respond. If you’re making a low-ball offer, don’t expect a response either.

What’s important to remember when reaching out is to make your whole pitch about THEM. The influencer is King/Queen, not you. If your pitch is about yourself, and not the influencer, don’t expect much will happen.

4. How do we monitor influencers once they start the campaign?

That’s a good question! You should set a follow-up schedule. Don’t just ask them to do something for you, and then go cold. Once in a while, email them, tweet at them, etc., and ask how things are going, what’s new, and if they can send you updates on the campaign.

Also, you can set-up feeds in Hootsuite to monitor their twitter presence. Like their Facebook page, follow them on Pinterest, G+, etc., and subscribe to their newsletter/RSS feeds. This will allow you to keep track of the influencer and your brand.

5. How can we tell if there’s a conflict of interest or if they’re working with competing brands?

The top influencers work with a lot of companies. They have dedicated themselves to their online properties, and brands want to work with them. Chances are, they’ve been approached by a competitor before.

You can usually tell who the influencer worked with by going to their blog, and looking through their giveaway, sponsored posts, and reviews sections. If there are any mentions of brands on the influencer’s blog, it’s usually from a campaign. Make sure you look through their online properties and see if they’re working with your competitors.

If you’re not sure, you could always ask. Influencers that take this seriously and care about their reputations will be honest.

Conclusion

So there you go! These are the top 5 questions marketers currently have about influencer outreach. What are your questions about influencer outreach? Leave them in the comments below!

If you’re interested in learning more about influencer outreach, you can subscribe to our newsletter. If you’re interested in testing out our software, request a 30-day free trial!

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