The influencers within your industry probably are getting hundreds of requests a day. Therefore, the secret behind successful outreach includes standing out amongst your peers and catch your intended party's attention. The possibility of success may be bleak, yet influencer engagement isn't rocket science. Plus, it may drive substantial results with the proper social media practices and strategy.

Establish the proper goals and sustain KPI

The perfect outreach campaign has to start with a concise set of goals. Without them, it's impossible to measure success, as well as define a stable KPI (key performance indicator). The purpose of the influencer outreach plan may be to get an influencer to become a brand advocate, write for your blog, or vouch for your brand credibility or content. Begin by defining concise targets.

Have various KPIs for a variety of social media platforms. After all, these platforms are different from one another; the approach to each one is going to be different, as will what goal is better suited for each one.

Identify the top influencers that are relevant to your purpose

The second step includes identifying your industry influencers active upon social media. Additionally, if you want to measure your outreach efforts, as well as follow a KPI model, it's a good idea that you organize your targeted audience into different tiers, based upon their influence and social authority.

There will include several social tools to assist you in finding in industry experts, brand advocates, key decision-makers and opinion leaders, which include: Group High, Commun.it. Topsy, Klout, and Followerwonk, among others.

"If you truly want to get influencers to invest their social currency into your project, you need to get them excited about the goal. Whatever it is, it needs to be something they care about and think is worth their endorsement. Find out how your company relates to their life, both professionally and emotionally." Ryan Detert, CEO, The Influential Network

Get closer to your influencers upon social media

Influencer outreach may start through various means, and it's important to select the way which possesses a high success possibility and good conversion rate. Social media includes my favorite medium for contacting key influencers, as well as learning from their valuable predictions and insights. Most influencers are active on LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter, which is the reason why these social platforms make the perfect outreach communication channels.

Be socially active on these channels, and you will be one step closer to the influential audience. Remember that outreach will thrive on both perseverance and patience at each of these 3 stages: recruit; initialize and grow your relationship; then nurture.

Abide by great social practices and ethics

Just because influencers follow you back upon Twitter, does not mean they're your friends and you're able to get personal with them; resist this urge.

However, it's good practice to acknowledge a social mention, which includes retweets, with a 'Thanks'; occasionally, if you're able to improvise a way of expressing this appreciation, it may be a good way of getting attention.

Do not think you're able to hashtag your way to being successful

Hashtags are now a social custom, yet do not use them too much--or you'll come across as inexperienced and reckless. You should learn hashtags the wise way; turn to influencers for inspiration:

Explain yourself directly and clearly

While reaching out, be clear concerning what you are offering and what you want. Explain your goal in a lucid way, without any undertones of statements left unsaid; influencers appreciate directness and are going to answer 'no' or 'yes,' or perhaps connect you with somebody else who is able to assist you.

Their reaction depends mostly on how you have conducted yourself up until this point and what type of relationship you are searching for.

Work on building up social networks, post-outreach

Influencers may connect you to their own established social connections and networks, which is the reason why after an influencer outreach campaign that has been successful one has to concentrate on creating longer-range relationships. Do not stop as your outreach goals have had success.

Business expert and Influencer Matthew Woodward said "As an established business blogger I spend a lot of time dealing with both outreach requests and conducting my own outreach. It is really easy to get it wrong and if you are not careful you will be wasting your budget & time while doing lasting damage to your brand.

As I sit on both sides of the fence I'm going to give you a few tips to ensure that you don't blow your first and only impression with key influencer's.

The most important tip above any other is to make sure that your outreach is relevant. Take time to research your target influencers interests. Read their about page and last few posts to find out who they are and what they like--take time to leave a comment on an article as a real person while you are researching. At the same time engage them on social media by sharing an article and providing an opinion or thought on something they have recently posted. Try to engage in a conversation at this point--once you have done that, the hooks are firmly in.

Once you have built that initial conversation pitch free it is time to turn to email. Spend time to tailor the opening paragraph of your email based on what you have learnt about them during your research & also don't forget to mention your conversation with them on whichever social channel it took place on."

 

 

Published on: Dec 8, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.