How to create outreach campaigns that influencers WANT to work on

7th September 2017

Pam Reichhartinger-Lawlor Head of Client Services at 8MS

How to create outreach campaigns that influencers WANT to work on

Working with influencers has a number of benefits for brands, including increased reach, brand awareness, unique content and traffic to your site. It has become an essential arm of digital marketing strategy and not one that should be ignored by any brand.

Once you understand how to source relevant influencers and have set your business objectives, it’s time to come up with the campaign idea and start pitching it. Campaign ideation isn’t always easy, so we’ve got some tips to help you come up with an idea that influencers actually want to be involved in.

You need to collaborate in an area the influencer is invested in

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An Outreach Campaign starts with the idea

Running a successful campaign with bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers isn’t as easy as sticking a freebie product in the post hoping for a review. Whilst this might get you a standard blog post, it certainly isn’t going to create an online frenzy with your target audience.

To create something really meaningful that will drive the engagement metrics you’re hoping for, you need to collaborate on something that the influencer is invested in. If they buy into and care about the idea behind the campaign, both brand and influencer will get so much more out of it.

Coming up with campaign ideas

When planning influencer campaigns, it’s easy to become stuck in a rut and to continuously repeat the same type of outreach project. To help you break the mould and create fun campaigns your influencers will care about, we’ve compiled some areas of inspiration.

01. Competitor Research

It’s highly beneficial to keep an eye on what your direct competitors are doing with influencers. This can help spark fresh campaign ideas, flag influencers to work with or avoid and allow you to ensure your ideas are better than those of your competitors.

Looking at your competitor’s backlinks is the best way to discover what influencer work they’ve historically and recently completed. Using a tool such as Open Site Explorer or Majestic will allow you to export all backlinks pointing to the competitor’s website. Once you have the export, open all links from blogs and analyse the content to figure out what type of campaign it was.

Moz Competitor Backlink Checker Also have a look at the destination URL to see which landing pages are regularly being linked to by bloggers. This will allow you to gain some insight on which products or services are being promoted by the competitor. By looking at backlinks in general, you can easily identify content your competitor has created, like infographics or creative campaigns and see how well they are doing.

02. What do your influencers think?

Don’t overlook going directly to an influencer to ask if they’d be interested in collaborating with your brand and what ideas they have. Many bloggers are experienced in collaborations and will have lots of ideas off the bat that you might not have even thought about.

If a blogger can use this opportunity to experience something new, be creative or perhaps tick something off their bucket list, they’ll take a lot of care when writing their blog post or filming their vlog.

Asking influencers for their campaign ideas is also a nice way to carry on the conversation after a campaign has come to an end;
e.g. ‘It’s been great working with you on this campaign and I hope to work again with you soon! If you have any ideas for how we can collaborate in the future please just let me know, I’d love to hear them.’.

03. Think outside the box

Don’t be afraid to try something new with influencers. Your campaigns should stand out from competitors to ensure they capture the attention of readers.

If all of your competitors are popping products to review into the post, go one step further and host a trendy blogger breakfast event where you can meet the influencers you’re interested in and show your product off in person.

Try to ensure your campaigns are offering influencers something a little bit different as they receive numerous pitches a day. Even if all you’re after is a product review, put a fun twist on it to make the write up more enjoyable from a blogger and reader perspective.

Thinking Outside The Box

04. What are big brands doing?

Whilst your company may not have the marketing budget of the world’s biggest brands, it’s worth keeping up to date with what they’re doing as a source of inspiration. Have a look at the idea or emotion behind the campaign and think about how you can replicate it on a much smaller scale.

If all of your competitors are popping products to review into the post, go one step further and host a trendy blogger breakfast event where you can meet the influencers you’re interested in and show your product off in person.

A great site for marketing stunts and campaign inspiration is Creative Guerrilla Marketing.

Let’s sum this up

In order to make the most of your influencer campaigns, it’s important to ensure your idea is fresh, exciting and attractive to influencers. The more invested an influencer is in the idea behind the campaign, the better the coverage you’ll receive.

For inspiration when thinking of a new campaign idea, check out what your competitors are doing by searching their backlinks. It’s also very worthwhile asking influencers if they have any ideas to bring to the table – they might have a great campaign concept you hadn’t yet thought of.

Try something different! Don’t be afraid to trial a new type of campaign on a small scale to see if it works. As long as you’ve put in the correct preparation, it may be your best campaign yet.

And finally, keep an eye on big brand campaigns and think about how you can tap into the same emotion their campaigns do, on a much smaller scale.

Think you are up to the task?

The Digital Co offer Content Marketing Training suitable for those starting out and more experienced marketers; is this course for you? Why not check it out.

Why not test yourself with our Content Marketing Skills Test and start preparing yourself for the adoption of Digital Marketing.


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