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The role of marketing and advertising has changed from the simple days of simply broadcasting the same message over and over on Facebook. In fact, millennials – the most popular demographic marketers are trying to target – have become immune to the practically retro ways of banner and sidebar advertisements. This leaves marketers scratching their heads on how to get their product visible to that demographic.

Well think back to the days of when you were in high school. We can all recall a time when we saw that impossibly cool and popular girl, who showed up to class wearing UGGS for the first time. By the end of the week, ten other girls had their own pair and you were practically begging your Mom to drive you to the mall so you could get some, too. Wait. Just me? Either way, take that same example but the popular girl is now a girl on Instagram with 12K followers.

The whole idea behind influencer marketing is that a company looking for brand and/or product exposure utilizes influencers’ following base and fans to help them market their product in a more “genuine” way. Consumers trust these influencers over advertisements. In fact, BlogHer found that 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from bloggers. These influencers have a whole lot of power, with 61% of online consumers admitting to having made a purchase based on a blog’s recommendation.

So, how do you go about outreaching to one of these influencers?

Prep Work

When you’re looking for a potential influencer, make sure you know who you’re working with. For example, if seeking exposure in relation to a running app or product, don’t just reach out to fitness bloggers in general, but find those more closely in sync with your niche. Once you’ve narrowed down your influencers, start engaging with them. Follow them on social media, and be sure to like and share their content a week or two before reaching out.

Show Them You Care In Your Pitch

Here is an example of an influencer outreach letter:

Hey Sabrina!

My name is Meredith and I work in the marketing department at Nike Inc. I started following Young, Fit & Fabulous when I stumbled across your post on how to train for a 5k on Pinterest and have been hooked on your posts ever since! You definitely helped motivate me to start working towards running my first 5k! By the way, I made your guilty-free chocolate chip cookie recipe last week and have literally shared it with all of my friends!

Anyways, enough fan-girling here! I wanted to write to you because Nike is launching a new running app and is looking for runners who would be interested in trying it out. You immediately came to mind.

I would love to get your input on any creative ways we could possibly work together. Is this something you would be interested in? Let me know and we can figure out all the details! I look forward to hearing from you.

Meredith

Just like making a new friend, building influencer relationships take time. Don’t take any shortcuts by simply adding their name and mentioning their most recent post in the first sentence. These cut and paste campaigns aren’t effective. Make sure to introduce yourself, talk about how you found them, and how much their blog has impacted you. Mention things from their blog that are a few months old to prove you are an actual reader.

I like to keep the next few paragraphs concise and open-ended. This provides a natural flow in conversation and helps you start to build that relationship. If you don’t hear immediately back, don’t worry. Wait a week and send a follow-up email. If they are interested, they will usually respond to the second email. Just keep it casual and low pressure, such as:

Hey Sabrina,

I just wanted to follow up with you and see if you were still interested in collaborating with Nike on the launch of our new running app. Let me know!

Thanks,

Meredith

If you don’t hear anything after the second time around, it’s time to move on. Don’t be THAT person.