Influencer Outreach: The Ultimate Guide for 2022 (Strategy, Tools, and Templates)

Imagine running an influencer marketing campaign with a celebrity on Instagram.

The content gets thousands of views and likes, and the influencer’s popularity promises to increase engagement levels even further.

Everything seems to be on the right track.

But there’s a problem. For some crazy reason, you’re not selling anything. Despite high content engagement, you’ve only managed to sell a few products in several weeks.

“What’s going on?”

The most common reason for a situation like this is you’re sharing a campaign with the wrong influencer. As you investigate the problem, you’ll probably find that you used a poor influencer outreach strategy that resulted in choosing them.

These outcomes are pretty common, and having millions of followers doesn’t guarantee anything. In 2019, for example, an Instagram star with 2+ million followers failed to sell 36 t-shirts.

To avoid losing your investments like this, you need a solid influencer outreach strategy.

In this post, you’ll find everything you need to build just such a strategy for successful influencer marketing:

  • Great influencer outreach templates
  • How to put together an effective influencer outreach strategy
  • Best influencer outreach practices and tips
  • Identifying the right influencers for your business
  • And some of the best influencer outreach tools.

Sound good?

Keep reading!

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    Influencer Outreach Strategy

    Influencer marketing is one of the most compelling strategies in the world of marketing. However, many brands don’t understand how to use this popular marketing approach effectively.

    Many followers of a particular influencer will not automatically use or purchase the products or services they share. And in some cases, the endless stream of adverts flooding their lives can cause followers to become numb or disinterested in what they see.

    Rather than rushing ahead and setting up an influencer campaign that you’re not sure will work, it is best to take a step back and compile a well-thought-out and effective influencer outreach strategy.

    So here are some key strategy points to get you off on the right foot:

    Set Realistic and Achievable Objectives

    This may sound easy, but sometimes this can be one of the more challenging tasks. To get a clear picture of what you want to achieve, you may need to do some research beforehand. That way, you can understand your clients better and see which influencers will be the best to approach.

    One example of a realistic goal is to start by determining how many influencers you want to reach. Moreover, you can also get a bit of experience under your belt, enabling you to set more achievable goals from the start. These goals will be things like determining the traffic you want to generate and the leads or conversions you want to reach through your influencers.

    Understand That It’s Not About the Numbers

    It’s important to remember that every influencer is a unique individual with different preferences and a unique personality. We can’t expect all the influencers we approach to be interested in our products or services or comfortable sharing our ads with their followers.  

    That’s why it is important to start getting to know your influencers before you approach them and make sure you understand WHO they are as individuals.

    Here are some things you can do to get to know them better:

    • Start following their social media accounts (like, share, comment etc.).
    • Take the time to read through their content to understand how they communicate.
    • Try to understand their particular niche.
    • When you reach out to them, start by showing your appreciation and praise for their work.

    Decipher the Difference Between an Audience and Influencers

    Finding an influencer with a large audience doesn’t automatically mean that the influencer affects that audience the way you might think they do. Sometimes, this can lead to a mismatch between the content and the influencers, especially when brands focus too much on the numbers as opposed to the relevance of the content.

    You should aim to find an influencer who shares similar interests or perspectives with you and who you can easily connect with from the start.

    Sometimes, influencers with a smaller audience will be the easiest to connect with and may hold greater influence over their followers. It’s also important to find an influencer who is genuinely interested in your product or services and who would want to share them with their followers.

    Summary: 3 Important Things to Remember in Your Influencer Outreach Strategy

    1. Set realistic and achievable objectives that you can measure.
    2. Understand that it is not just about the numbers and that the right influencer will authentically align with your brand values.
    3. Decipher the difference between having an audience and having influence. The influencers that are the most influential are not always the ones with the biggest following.

    Influencer Outreach Best Practices

    Take a look at these helpful tips to get you started on reaching out to your influencers:

    1. Ensure your strategy is solid – once you have done some hard work and clearly defined your goals, you can start by standing out to influencers. 
    2. Start fostering a relationship with your influencers as soon as possible – it’s never too early to start getting to know them. Relationships and real connections are at the core of outreach marketing, so this is always a good place to start.
    3. Start small – begin by engaging with them on their social media posts, showing them a genuine interest in who they are and what they do. Start by showing your respect for them. Then when it comes to offering them a formal partnership, it will be a lot easier and will come from an existing connection.
    4. Use message templates – these are always helpful and will make messaging a whole lot easier. Just make sure you personalize the templates as much as possible for each influencer and include something specific that you pulled off one of their posts.
    5. Then follow up – if you haven’t heard from them within 5 – 7 days, it will be worthwhile to follow up with them. Here are some more pointers to keep in mind:
      • Let them know what you both have in common.
      • Tell them why they stood out to you and why you would value working with them.
      • Present them with your partnership idea, but leave it open-ended, allowing them to also share their ideas with you.
      • Send one or two follow-up messages, but rather leave it if you don’t hear back from them. It will start to seem desperate if you follow up too much.
      • See it as a networking opportunity. If they are not interested now, they may be in the future, so keep that in mind.
    6. Provide your influencer with creative freedom – this will show that you trust their vision and creativity and will help foster an authentic and lasting partnership. An influencer might also come up with some other ideas that you may not have come up with yourself.
    7. Keep the relationship going – it will be beneficial to keep in touch with your influencers even once the partnership after to an end. This will make it easier for you to contact them in the future if you want to work with them again and will continue to strengthen an authentic relationship.

    Best Influencer Outreach Agencies

    If you’re looking for an agency to do your influencer outreach for you, these are the top options to choose from: 

    1.Acceleration Partners

    Acceleration Partners Logo

    Acceleration Partners

    Global

    Our Score

    4.9  

    AGENCY SNAPSHOT

    Founded: 2007

    Location: Global, with hubs on three continents and employees in over nine countries.

    Number of employees: 350+

    KEY SERVICES

    • Influencer Outreach
    • Influencer Marketing
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Partner Marketing
    • Customer Acquisition
    • Publisher Development
    • Full Program Management
    • Global/Regional Management
    • Program Design
    • Partnership Optimization
    • Partner Recruitment
    • Compliance & Fraud Monitoring
    • Data & Analysis
    • AP Vision

    NOTEWORTHY CLIENTS

    • TikTok for Small Business
    • Udacity
    • GoToMeeting
    • Grove Collaborative
    • Noom
    • Purple Carrot 
    • Redbubble
    • Vividseats

    WHY CHOOSE THEM?

    Acceleration Partners is a leading global agency with the expert skills and experience to develop, run, optimize and scale your influencer marketing. They specialize in finding and recruiting the best strategic partners for their clients, and they’re one of the top agencies for influencer outreach. Acceleration Partners delivers strategic, scalable, data-informed, and fully integrated influencer program management, from end to end.

    Acceleration Partners is an award-winning global partnership marketing agency with extensive expertise in influencer marketing. Their in-house Publisher Development teams actively find and verify the perfect strategic partners for your brand and your campaign.

    Acceleration Partners takes a collaborative, client-centric, approach to develop customized influencer campaigns that align with your unique needs, and are data-informed and continually optimized for performance.

    They can handle everything, from outreach to creative input, compliance and monitoring, and advanced analysis and optimization.

    Acceleration Partner’s global teams have all the experience, expertise, and technology needed to help you develop and scale your influencer marketing campaigns with a focus on achieving meaningful, measurable results.

    With Acceleration Partners, you can be confident that your influencer marketing campaign is built around your brand’s unique needs, and your brand’s goals will be supported with a dynamic range of capabilities and high-touch client service and campaign management. 

     

    Screenshot of the Acceleration Partners Agency Homepage

    2.Ubiquitous

    Ubiquitous Influence Logo without Background

    Ubiquitous

    Los Angeles, USA

    Our Score

    4.8  

    AGENCY SNAPSHOT

    Founded: 2020

    Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

    Number of Employees: 11 – 50

    KEY SERVICES

    • Influencer outreach and contracting
    • Influencer matching based on proprietary data
    • One point of contact for all influencer campaigns
    • Influencer campaign strategy – full creative services
    • Influencer campaign execution, optimization, and management
    • Measurement, tracking, and analysis
    • Content creation and management

    NOTEWORTHY CLIENTS

    • Lyft
    • Target
    • Amazon
    • Popeyes
    • TurboTax

    WHY CHOOSE THEM?

    Ubiquitous is a full-service influencer marketing agency that offers great influencer outreach and contracting services and has a database of over four thousand vetted and verified influencers. They also offer a full set of influencer marketing services, including in-house creative, content management, and data-informed campaign optimization. Ubiquitous specializes in TikTok influencer campaigns, as well as Instagram and YouTube.  

    Ubiquitous is a full-service influencer marketing agency that can handle your influencer marketing from A to Z.

    With a database of over four thousand verified influencers, their influencer outreach services are streamlined to find you the very best match for your brand. Ubiquitous also offers in-house creative services, proprietary data analysis, and a fully vertically-integrated platform.

    They’re experts in influencer marketing, especially for TikTok, their speciality, alongside Instagram and YouTube. Ubiquitous is also an expert agency for data analysis and ongoing program optimization to drive real results as efficiently and easily as possible.

    Screenshot of Ubiquitous Influence's Homepage

    3.The Influencer Marketing Factory

    Influencer marketing factory Logo

    The Influencer Marketing Factory

    Miami, USA

    Our Score

    4.8  

    AGENCY SNAPSHOT

    Founded: 2018

    Location: Miami, Florida; and New York City, USA

    Number of Employees: 11 – 50

    KEY SERVICES

    • Influencer identification and search
    • Influencer recruitment & contracting
    • Influencer campaign strategy
    • Tracking, reporting, and analytics
    • Content management
    • Target audience identification
    • Content guidelines

    NOTEWORTHY CLIENTS

    • Google
    • META
    • Amazon
    • Sony Music
    • FOREO
    • Ren Skincare
    • Chobani
    • High Key
    • Envato
    • HarperCollins,
    • Basic Fun! (Care Bears)

    WHY CHOOSE THEM?

    The Influencer Marketing Factory is one of the best full-service influencer marketing agencies. They’re experts in influencer marketing on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Finding and recruiting the best influencers for you to work with is a key element of their approach. They can then handle every other aspect of your campaigns from end to end, including content creation and management.

    The Influencer Marketing Factory is a global, full-service influencer marketing agency that specializes in influencer marketing on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

    With an impressive client list and a great track record, they’re one of the best influencer outreach agencies, especially if you’re targeting Millennials and Gen Z influencers and audiences.

    They offer a full set of services to handle your whole campaign from a to z, including content management and ongoing campaign management and optimization.   

    Influencer Marketing Factory website

    Best Influencer Platforms for Influencer Outreach

    To find a key influencer in your niche, you can use specially made influencer outreach platforms:

    1.Afluencer

    Afluencer is an all-in-one influencer marketing platform that specializes in connecting brands and influencers. The platform is designed to make influencer outreach as simple and efficient as possible.

    You can create a collab, set out your requirements, and then use the Influencer Directory of 15 000+ influencers to filter, sort, and invite your ideal influencer(s) to apply to your Collab directly.

    Using Afluencer’s ‘save and subscribe’ feature, you can save your criteria and get notifications of new influencers who match your needs. This means you don’t need to repeat searches to find new influencers that have joined since your last search! The same feature notifies well-matched influencers of your offers, so they can come to you too.

    You can use Afluencer to handle all your influencer campaigns from one place and keep track of invitations, relationships, and more in a single platform.

    It integrates with all the top social media platforms – Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook – and accurately verifies every influencer’s data directly from their social media platform.

    You can post multiple collabs for multiple brands and work with many influencers at the same time. It is an excellent choice for a platform that connects you to thousands of authentic, verified influencers that meet your specific criteria and are actively looking for collaborations like yours.

    Influencer Outreach Platforms - Screenshot of the Afluencer Homepage

    Afluencer’s Pricing

    • Free Version: Lifetime
    • VIP: $49/month
    • Concierge: $99/month
    • Boss: $199/month

    Website: afluencer.com

    2. Heepsy

    Heepsy is an easy-to-use, influencer outreach search engine for brands and agencies. With Heepsy, you get access to 11 million real influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. It also provides a lot of useful data to help you choose the right influencers to work with.

    One of Heepsy’s strengths is its advanced reports on each influencer’s audience and authenticity. The reports contain the authenticity score calculated based on an influencer’s profile data, which includes audience growth rate, engagement rate distribution, and follower evolution.

    This means you can find influencers who are a great fit for your campaign and who can drive real results for your brand as they have a legitimate and verified audience.

    Heepsy is a great influencer outreach platform, but remember that you will need to use a different platform to manage your influencer marketing campaigns. Heepsy functions solely as a platform for finding, verifying, and connecting with influencers.

    Influencer Outreach Platforms - Screenshot of the Heepsy Homepage

    Heepsy’s Pricing

    • Free Trial: Up to 500 results and 3 influencer reports
    • Starter: $49/m
    • Business: $169/m
    • Gold: From $269/m

    Website: heepsy.com

    How to Choose the Right Influencers for Your Brand

    Influencer marketing is one of the best strategies to promote brands online, and it is predicted to reach $15 billion in value by 2022.

    According to a recent survey by Tomoson, 59 % of digital marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets.

    Influencer marketing stats-outreach
    Credit: Tomoson.com

    However, using this strategy could be a total waste of money if you’re working with the wrong influencer. It’s very easy to make a poor choice because of two reasons:

    But there’s some good news, too. Although there’s no universal formula for finding the best influencers, a few critical things can drastically improve your chance of finding “the one.”

    1. Research Different Types of Influencers

    Many brands make a mistake by focusing too much on the industry during influencer outreach. While important, it’s just a part of the puzzle.

    Besides industry, there are different types based on the number of followers,” advises Sara Ottaviani, a digital marketing expert at Studicus. “Knowing them is important to ensure proper campaign reach and plan a sufficient budget.

    Here are the four most common influencer types:

    1. Mega Influencers

    These are celebrities and other very famous individuals followed by over 1 million subscribers.

    Pros: they are able to reach millions in one post and make a brand look exclusive.

    Cons: don’t have a personal connection with their audiences; are very costly. They are known for not using products before promoting them, which is something to keep in mind, as 82 percent of consumers agree that influencers should disclose any history of personal use of a product or service they endorse.

    Best For: quickly raising awareness of a new product or service.

    2. Macro Influencers

    Influencers who have between 50,000 and 999,000 followers. Typically, these are individuals interested in a specific subject, so their content is perceived as more authentic.

    Pros: have large loyal fan bases, perfect for targeted reach; are often interested in cooperating with brands.

    Cons: quite extensive and hard to secure; don’t have a personal connection with their audiences.

    Best For: reaching a certain audience for a relatively low budget.

    3. Micro Influencers

    Those with between 5,000 and 50,000 followers.

    Pros: cost less, are more trustworthy, and generate higher engagement compared to the previous types.

    According to influencer marketing statistics, 82 percent of online shoppers are more likely to use advice from this group. Business2Community claims that micro-influencers generate a 41.7 percent higher engagement rate than the macro.

    Cons: very hard to find someone legit.

    Best For: increasing conversions, subscriptions, and lead generation.

    4. Nano Influencers

    Those with less than 5,000 followers.

    Pros: have a high conversion rate; perfect for local promotion.

    Cons: often poorly experienced with driving conversions and creating content.

    Best For: driving engaging brand conversations on a small scale.

    Summary: 4 Types of Influencers

    • Mega Influencers: 1 million or more followers.
    • Macro Influencers: 50,000 to 999,000 followers.
    • Micro Influencers: 5,000 to 50,000 followers.
    • Nano Influencers: 1000 to 5,000 followers.

    Dive Deeper:

    So, no one-size-fits-all approach here. Review your campaign and brand goals to know who you’re looking for during influencer outreach.

    2. Ensure that Influencer’s Values Align with Your Brand

    Before looking at things like followership and assessing their content marketing strategy, check out how an influencer’s values align with your brand image.

    For example, if you see customer-generated content, it’s definitely a good sign of engagement.

    But you might also find that the influencer isn’t a perfect match for your brand because they have a different personality.

    Look for those who share a similar tone of voice and values. This is done by researching:

    • The content they create, share and promote
    • Brands they had previous partnerships with
    • Engagement level (do they engage with followers? What kind of responses do they write? etc.).

    3. Check an Influencer’s Image and Reputation

    Would you be willing to work with an influencer whose every third post on social media is sponsored? Of course not.

    Even though this suggests that the person is popular among brands, a high ratio of sponsored content also means lower trust.

    Check what kind of comments the influencer’s followers write about them. For a broader search, use a social media listening tool.

    Dive Deeper: 6 Social Media Listening Tools

    Outstanding Influencer Outreach Direct Message Templates

    When it comes to approaching an influencer, it all comes down to making a personal connection with them, and often sending them a direct message (DM) is the best first point of contact.

    Here are some helpful DM templates to get you going, and remember to make them as unique as possible for each of your influencers.

    Generic Collab DM Template

    Hey [insert influencer name],

    My team and I loved your recent post regarding [insert description of related post]. We at [insert company name here] sell or provide [insert what you do/sell]. We would love to send some of our products your way so you can give them a try and share them with your audience!

    If you’re interested, let me know! We’d love to hear from you.

    -[insert your name here]

    Brand Ambassador DM Template

    Hey [insert name here],

    We’re getting ready to launch a new marketing campaign for our [insert product here] and would love for you to become a brand ambassador for our company, [insert company name here]! We really loved your post on [insert a reference to a topic they post about], and would like to talk more in depth with you about our brand and how you could partner with us.

    If you’re interested, please send me an email at [insert email here].

    We’re looking forward to you joining our team!

    [insert your name here]

    Giveaway Collab Pitch DM Template

    Hey [insert name here], 

    We really liked your [insert topic] content and thought you would enjoy our [insert company name and products]. We would love to send you a package of our products for you to try out. If you’re interested, we would love for you to host a giveaway for your followers! Let me know and I’d be happy to chat with you about the details!

    Thanks!

    [insert your name]

    Outstanding Influencer Outreach Email Templates

    Okay, so how to ask an influencer to promote your product or brand?

    Many businesses are struggling with writing influencer outreach emails. For some, it’s a business transaction, so they treat it as such (which not all influencers appreciate).

    To avoid these mistakes, take a look at these influencer collaboration email templates.

    Influencer Outreach Email Template I: Let’s Connect and Start a Relationship

    Notice how the title says a “relationship,” not something like “business partnership”?

    With most influencers ready to endorse brands and products they’ve tried personally, you need to be cautious about the language and tone of the email.

    Businesses typically use writing tools like Grammarly, BestEssayEducation, TrustMyPaper, and GrabMyEssay to create multiple templates and respect these requirements. They also help clarify and focus the email.

    Here’s how to word the first influencer collaboration email:

    Subject line: (Influencer Name), Let’s Work Together!

    Hi (Influencer Name),

    My name is (name), I work for [name of the brand].

    I’ve been following your profile at (social media name) for quite a while now, and I’m impressed. Your content is great, and your ability to provide value is simply amazing.

    Is there any way we could start a relationship and work together?

    We have a product that we think your followers will love. Would you be willing to test and review (product name)?

    Please reply if interested.

    Warmest regards.

    Why this template is good:

    • It’s friendly
    • It gets straight to the point

    Be sure to know what you’re talking about in your email. If you say you have been following the influencer’s profile for some time, it is best to be honest.

    Also, note that this influencer outreach email subject line includes their name. This technique could increase the open rate by 50 percent.

    Influencer Outreach Email Template II: Someone Introduced You

    Send this template to influencers who were recommended to you by someone you know.

    Hey (Influencer Name),

    My name is (name), and I’m a friend of (mutual connection’s name).

    He/she mentioned you recently when I talked with him about (marketing, promotion, social media, etc.). I became interested in your experience as an influencer because I think we can collaborate. (Mutual connection’ name) told me to get in touch with you and ask if you’re interested.

    Would you be willing to consider this opportunity?

    Regards,

    Why this template is good:

    • It has a friendly and open tone
    • It grabs the attention of the reader by mentioning the mutual connection right away.

    Influencer Outreach Email Template III: We Share a Passion/Interest

    This is a great technique to use for influencers interested in a specific topic.

    Hey (Influencer Name),

    I’m (name),from (brand name).

    We’ve been following your (blog, social media profile, etc.) for 6 months now, and we’re thankful.

    We share the same passion for sustainable living (or any other topic).

    At (brand name), we’re on a mission to encourage more people to live sustainably, so we thought that your followers would like our (product). We have package-free shampoo bars, reusable food wraps, and environmentally-friendly deodorants (relevant characteristics of your products).

    Would you like to test some? We’ll be happy to send them to you for free in exchange for a mention on your (blog, social media profile, etc.).

    Please let me know what you think.

    Regards,

    Why this template is good:

    • It has a friendly tone and conversational language style
    • It focuses on a mutual interest to attract attention

    Please keep in mind these are recommendations. Be sure to add more details to personalize every influencer collaboration email.

    If you decide to go with cold emailing, you should check the following tools:

    Important! Follow up after a few days if you don’t get a response. Influencers are busy people, so there’s always a chance they simply missed your outreach email.

    Putting it All Together

    Now, you know enough about influencer outreach to make your next campaign a success. Be careful, though. It’s important to remember that finding the right influencer will take time, so it is best not to rush the process.

    With proper preparation and patience, you’ll find an awesome partner to tell the world about your brand in a way your customers like.

    About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of words. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin is gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at Wowgrade. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.  

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are Nano-Influencers?

    Those influencers that range from 1K to 5K followers. They are new to this business and they are growing an audience that is interested in their content. More on Influencer Marketing in the full article.

    What are Micro-Influencers?

    Micro-influencers are always a great resource because they have from 5K to 50K followers. They have a very committed audience and they are experts on their field. Read the full article for more details.

    How to choose the best influencers for your brand?

    To select the right influencers for your brand, you need to focus on three things, your marketing goals, your preferred marketing channels, and your target audience. Read more on selecting influencers in the complete article.

    What are the best influencer marketing agencies for influencer outreach?

    The top agencies for influencer outreach include Acceleration Partners, Ubiquitous, and The Influencer Marketing Factory. Read the full guide to learn more about influencer outreach and the best agencies to choose.

    What are the best influencer marketing platforms for influencer outreach?

    The best influencer platforms for influencer outreach include Afluencer and Heepsy. Reads the full guide to learn more about influencer outreach, and the best tools and platforms to find influencers for your brand.

    References

    Insider: An Instagram Star with 2 million Followers Couldn’t Sell 36 T-shirts, and a Marketing Expert Says Her Case Isn’t Rare 

    Business2Community: Influencer Marketing: 2020 Trends & Stats 

    Tomoson: Influencer Marketing Study  

    Forbes: Can We Trust Social Media Influencers?

    YESMarketing. Data: Personalized Email Subject Lines Boost Open Rates by 50 Percent