Influencer Outreach: Getting Brand Ambassadors on Board

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Feb 16, 2024

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Influencer marketing is all the rage on Instagram. Instead of brands pouring their money into traditional, overly manicured ads, they tap content creators to promote their products. People are more receptive to it because it looks more authentic and seamlessly meshes with the typical “aesthetic” IG feed. But brands that have influencers promoting their stuff took a long way to get there. It all starts with proper, strategic, and respectful influencer outreach.

Nailing how you reach out to influencers is crucial if you want your current and future campaigns to succeed. You need to effectively communicate your brand’s goals and entice them to sign a partnership with you for a campaign. It’s also step one to building flourishing relationships with influencers. That’s super important if you want to tap them again for future brand campaigns.

So, how exactly do you contact an influencer you want your brand to work with? Let’s dive into the proper way to send a collaboration proposal to influencers that will be perfect for your campaign.

A female influencer recording a video of herself with her phone camera and a tripod.

What Is Influencer Outreach?

Everybody on Instagram knows what sponsored content and paid ads are. But what is influencer outreach, and why is it so important?

An influencer outreach strategy is a brand team’s game plan for contacting influencers to collaborate with to promote their campaign. Brands will typically reach out to creators with high follower counts and significant credibility in their niche. They’ll shoot out an email to these influencers to propose a partnership for their upcoming project.

Influencer marketing is incredibly important if you want to widen your reach on Instagram. It’s especially effective for campaigns targeting younger audiences. According to Morning Consult Pro, 72% of Millennials and Gen Z follow at least a few influencers on Instagram. So, aside from your typical ads, influencer campaigns are a terrific way to reach and engage these age groups.

Here are some other benefits of reaching out to influencers and having them work with your brand:

  • It allows you to reach a targeted audience, depending on an influencer’s main fanbase demographics.
  • It can make your brand look more authentic and trustworthy when real people talk about it.
  • It drives stellar engagement since many of these influencers’ fans are eager to interact with their content.
  • It’s cost-effective because the influencers produce their content to promote your brand.

A beauty influencer talking about a makeup product to a camera.

How To Reach Out to Creators for Influencer Campaigns: 6 Easy Steps

Not sure how to go about reaching out to content creators to work with your brand potentially? We’ve got you. Here are six easy steps for getting in touch with influencers and pitching your idea to collaborate with them.

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Before choosing the influencers you want to work with, you need to have a firm grasp of your target audience. Do your research and pin down who you want to reach with your influencer campaign.

Ask yourself basic questions about the audience you want to promote your brand to. Are they male or female? How old are they? What are they interested in? What kind of content do they love to consume on Instagram? Nail the demographics and psychographics of your intended audience. Why? Because the influencers you choose later on (and the content they create) need to be relevant to this audience.

By understanding the needs and personalities of your target audience, choosing brand ambassadors becomes easier. For example, if you’re targeting young females who love beauty and clothes, you’ll know to collaborate with fashion influencers. Or if you’re launching a campaign for parents, you’ll know to reach out to family-oriented influencers or mom bloggers.

Knowing your audience well doesn’t stop at influencer selection, either. It allows you to craft creative messaging for your brand influencers that you know will resonate with people. It also lets you narrow down what type of content to ask your influencers to create for you.

2. Choose Relevant Influencers You Want To Work With

Next, identify the influencers you want to collaborate with for the campaign. Make sure that these are relevant influencers that your target audience will find interesting and exciting. Aside from that, the influencers also need to display the same values as your brand.

When choosing influencers, don’t forget to research their current Instagram stats and numbers. Look not only at their follower count but also their engagement rates and how often they post, too. These will tell you how active they are and how much influence they actually have over their fans. All this information will give you an idea of how effective they will be as brand ambassadors.

Consider your goals for your campaign as well. If your goal is to reach as many people as possible, contact macro-influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. But if you’re trying to drive engagement and conversations with a niche audience, working with micro-influencers might be better. Their follower count might not be huge, but they are known to be incredibly engaging.

We get it—this step can be overwhelming. There are thousands of content creators on Instagram. How can you possibly pick which to work with from such a huge pool of talent?

To make things easier, make a shortlist of 50-100 influencers that catch your eye during your initial research. Then, do additional research, zeroing in on their engagement rates and content styles. Narrow down that list of influencers to those that meet your standards for excellent Instagram metrics. Keep trimming that list until you have your final influencer squad.

Note that not every influencer in your list will say yes to your invitation to collaborate. So, don’t throw out that shortlist. If your top picks turn down your offer, contact the other creators on your initial list.

Someone typing a list of people’s names in their phone’s Notes app.

3. Reach Creators via Email and Pitch Your Partnership Idea

Now that you have the final list of influencers you want to partner with, it’s time to shoot your shot. Visit their Instagram profile and see if they have their contact details in their bio. Then, send out an email to tell them that you’re interested in working together for a campaign.

Your outreach email should be clear and professional but still in line with your unique brand voice and personality. Introduce yourself politely and give a brief background on your brand and what you stand for. Then, tell them that you have an upcoming project and that you’d like to collaborate with them.

Personalize each email according to the creator you’re speaking to. Remember to address them by name and to insert details about their content that caught your eye.

After the niceties, tell them all about the campaign you’re about to launch. Be open about what products or services you want them to promote. Their response will rely heavily on how interested they are in what you have to offer.

Give them as many details about the campaign as you can without giving the whole project away. Tell them the benefits they’ll receive, like product samples or affiliate marketing links, for extra commission. You want to reserve the juiciest details for creators who will officially sign on as your brand ambassadors.

Make it clear that you’re offering them a paid partnership. Some influencers—especially those with previous collaborations or a large following—might not be interested in pro bono work.

Lastly, tell them how to contact you if they’re interested in the collaboration. Give them your contact number or ask them to reply directly to your email. Then, sit back, relax, and wait for them to reply.

4. Negotiate the Partnership Terms if They Express Interest

If an influencer responds to your email and expresses interest in working with you, it’s time to negotiate the collaboration. During this process, you’ll be communicating back and forth to iron out project details, expectations, and compensation.

The first thing you want to do is acknowledge their response to your initial outreach. Thank them for replying to you and express that you’re excited to work with them. This creates a positive, enthusiastic atmosphere that can make them look forward to working with your brand.

You can then share more details about the campaign with them. While you can easily do this via email, it’s better to hop on a video call with the influencer instead. That way, the communication is a two-way street. You brief them on the project, and they can ask any questions they have and get an immediate answer. Here are just some of the things you should do on the call:

  • Give them an in-depth rundown of what your influencer campaign is all about. This includes what products or services will be promoted and the overall campaign messaging.
  • Discuss the expectations from both parties. Talk about what types of content you’d like to see from them, posting schedules, and how many posts you’ll sponsor.
  • Hash out the possible legal components of your partnership, such as a non-disclosure agreement or exclusivity clause.
  • Negotiate compensation, whether it’s through a monetary fee, free products, affiliate links, or other brand perks.

After discussing everything with the creator, draw up a contract with all the agreed-upon terms. Then, have both parties sign it to seal the deal. And that’s it!

A group of people in an office signing a contract during a meeting.

5. Send Them Your Products for Them To Try Out and Promote

Reaching out to influencers doesn’t stop at the contract signing, though. You still have to hold up your end of the bargain before they start creating content to promote your brand.

Influencers are effective marketers because they share their raw, authentic thoughts on the products they promote. They can’t do that without trying out your brand’s products. So, send them the products or services you want them to use and promote on their channels.

Be as creative as you can when packaging these products. Build a PR kit if you have the budget for it. Include freebies, beautiful packaging, product instructions, discount vouchers, or even a personalized note thanking them for working with you. Sending them a thoughtful package with your products isn’t just respectful—it also makes them think positively about your brand.

Of course, make sure you send the package to the correct address. Track your shipment as it makes its way toward your brand ambassadors. After a successful delivery, follow up with them to confirm receipt of the package. Use that opportunity to ask them what they think of the products, too!

6. Content Creation and Final Approval From Your End

After sending your products to your influencers, it’s time to patiently wait for them to revert with their first drafts. During this time, a lot of magic is happening behind the scenes. Your brand ambassadors are assessing your products and filming content to promote them. When they’re done, they should send you samples of their work for your final approval.

Double-check to see if the aesthetic style of their content aligns with your brand personality and vibe. See if you like how they paint your product in their post. Remember to check their post captions as well to ensure they line up with your campaign’s overall messaging.

Don’t be afraid to give them constructive feedback. If you need to ask them to make necessary changes, be sure to be respectful about it.

After the necessary revisions, sign off on the final output to approve it. Then, wait for your influencers to post the content on the agreed schedule and watch that audience engagement roll in!

A young female influencer taking a video of herself talking to her followers.

Pro-Tip: Let Influencer Outreach Tools Help You Choose the Right Influencers

As mentioned earlier, finding the most relevant influencers your target audience loves is crucial for any influencer campaign. But if you’re not well-versed in who’s in and who’s out on Instagram, this can be quite difficult. That’s why we suggest using accessible influencer outreach tools at your disposal to identify the best influencers for your campaign.

There are plenty of tools out there you can use to find creators and get in touch with them. Two of the most common ones are influencer marketing platforms and social listening tools.

Influencer marketing platforms have databases with trending influencers you can work with. They’ll typically have a list of influencers from every niche, from beauty to tech to art. Filter the database according to their demographics, and you’ll get a shortlist of creators that fit your criteria. Not only can this streamline the process of choosing influencers for your project, but it connects you to them, too.

You can also use social listening to see which influencers your target audience is talking about online. It’s an awesome, accurate way to find creators your potential customers love and listen to. Plus, it gives you a glimpse into people’s opinions on these creators. It allows you to select only creators that garner positive sentiment from your target audience.

An Influencer Outreach Email Template To Keep Handy

Having an influencer outreach email template at the ready can help make contacting creators easier in the long run. Instead of typing out long emails from scratch every time you reach out to a new influencer, use a template. Then, just copy and paste it and make the necessary edits to personalize your pitch per creator. It makes outreach way more efficient and consistent.

Here’s a template you can take with you for the next time you reach out to influencers for a campaign. Feel free to customize it to make it fit your unique brand voice and personality.

Subject: Hey [influencer’s name], we’d love to collaborate with you!

Hi [influencer’s name],

I hope this email finds you well. This is [your name] from [your brand], and I’m reaching out to present you with a great collaboration opportunity. We absolutely love your content and want to invite you to partner with us for an upcoming campaign.

We’re kicking off a new project called [campaign name]. The main purpose is to [insert specific campaign goals here]. We’re looking for the most creative, authentic creators to help us turn this project into a reality. Your style, personality, and relationship with your audience make you the perfect candidate to be one of our brand ambassadors!

We’d love to hop on a call with you to see how we can team up to promote this project. We know that with our top-notch products and your creative flair, we can wow audiences on Instagram together! If you’re interested, please shoot an email back so we can discuss partnership possibilities and concrete next steps. Feel free to read more about our brand on our official website and social media channels as well. Looking forward to speaking with you soon!

Sincerely,

[your name]

[your brand]

Give Your Influencer Marketing Campaign More Exposure With Path Social

Now that you know how to contact influencers and communicate your campaign’s needs well, your partnership can be smooth sailing. Remember to maintain strong relationships with influencers to ensure that they’ll stay loyal to your brand. That way, it can be much easier to activate them again when you have a new product launch or campaign.

Influencer outreach and sponsored content aren’t the only ways to promote your brand. You also need to be mindful of how your content is performing. Need to reach more people online? We can help.

At Path Social, we use an advanced, AI-powered targeting mechanism to find your ideal target audience. Then, we serve your content to their feeds to ensure they see and engage with it. After that, you’ll quickly see a noticeable uptick in your follower count. You’ll have a solid community of real, genuine fans who look forward to your content. Grow your IG fanbase today!