So you’ve got this great piece of content or brand new product that you want to share with influencers and opinion leaders (more about the benefits of this strategy here). How should you go about it? Below is the process I follow every single time, fine-tuned over years of outreach marketing planning.
The first step is to research which influencers you’ll be reaching out to. Of course you should include any long-time brand evangelists you already have relationships with, but any campaign, big or small, is a great opportunity to reach out to new audiences. You can read more about my influencer research methods here. This is the longest and most important step – do thorough research and think creatively about which websites and bloggers could potentially be interested in your content. Cast a wide net at first, which can then be narrowed if need be.
2. Organise your list
Once you’ve identified all the influencers you’ll want to reach out to, add them to a campaign-specific list, whether that’s in Buzzstream, Excel, or any other tool you want to use. This list should include:
- Their first name
- Their email address
- The metrics that matter to you (Domain authority, Twitter followers, etc.)
- The main topic they like to write about (and how it relates to your campaign)
At this stage I usually put this outreach plan into slides to present to the Content team in order to get their thoughts as well as ideas for potential blogospheres I haven’t thought of yet.
3. Create some templates
Identify the different types of influencers you’ll be reaching out to (e.g. bloggers, journalists, experts) and create a different email template for each type. This way you won’t forget the essential information you want to communicate to each kind of audience. Make sure to leave plenty of space for the templates to be personalised for each recipient.
I like to send my outreach emails in waves of 10 to 20 influencers, so the internet isn’t flooded with our content and brand at once (remember – many bloggers are friends and talk to each other!). You can read more about writing the perfect outreach email here. Make sure to spend enough time on each individual email – influencers will know if you’ve just sent out a massive batch of identical emails and will probably be much less receptive to your message.
5. Record responses
Make sure to keep track of all replies you receive from influencers – the email date, what they said and your next steps. Make sure to reply to each and every one of them, even if they do not wish to collaborate with you on this particular campaign. It’s all about long-term relationship building, not short-term gains.
6. Chase them up
A week or two after my original email, I always send out a polite chaser email. This will remind the influencers who were meaning to get back to you but didn’t have time yet, or hadn’t opened your first email yet, to reply. And the rest will just delete it like they did your first one! In fact I often get more replies from this second wave of emails than my first.
7. Track links
At the end of your campaign, keep a record of all links and social media shares you got as a result of your outreach. And keep checking all the blogs and websites for a few weeks afetrwards – some may have shared your content but not let you know!
8. Say thank you
The relationships you’ve started don’t just end when your campaign does. Say thank you to the influencers who have shared your content or even just shown interest in it, and make sure to add them to your list for future projects!
If you liked this post, please like, share, tweet or pin it! And keep on finding out more about outreach marketing by reading my latest blog posts. Thanks for reading!