I've been thinking about writing this for a few months, but yesterday I saw the lovely Rhianna of Robowecop tweet this:
actually hear back from them? Idk yeah just any help would be appreciated, ta huns ❤️— Rhianna 🍁🍂 (@robowecop) September 19, 2016
This gave me the nudge to finally sit down and write!
I've been a blogger for what feels like a million years, and I've worked with many brands, including TK Maxx, Specsavers, Dorothy Perkins, Veet, Dolce Gusto, Freya etc. I've received items for review, items that I've been paid to feature, I've been to blogger events (both paid and unpaid), and I've watched the influencer market grow and flourish. I've had collaborations arranged privately and through an agency.
I am now perched right in the middle, with a toe in the outreach market, so I now chose influencers for brands to work with, and arrange collaborations from the other side.
There isn't a single method that outreach managers use to identify influencers to reach out to, but I'd like to imagine my method isn't wildly out of the park from how some others do it. So here I am, about to share how I select influencers to work with. Hope it helps!
1. It's who you know. I start with who I know first. The fit still has to be right, but of course it makes for a smoother journey if you're not complete strangers. I love having opportunities to support people I've known along the way, but if I don't know anyone suitable (or no one I know feels the project is right), I'll have to expand my search.
2. I may use google, twitter, instagram or personal recommendations to broaden my search. I may use data bases if the client has paid for access to them, however I tend to prefer a more organic approach. Clear bios are great, as are easy to find email addresses. I'm also surprised at how many people don't easily link to all of their social channels.
3. The judgement call. Each collaboration may have different desirable outcomes for the brand/client:
- SEO goals - for this sort of campaign I may look at DA scores (Domain Authority) as well as just judging the general quality of the blog itself.
- Sales goals - here social stats come more into play, as well as who your audience actually is. For example people who are 'compers' on twitter may have a larger twitter following, but just other compers. I'd be looking for genuine audiences who engage well. I may look at the audience on each platform, or stats like bloglovin etc.
- Content goals - quality of content matters too. I may want some beautifully written reviews to promote, or some lovely photos the client can share. For this, hard stats don't matter at all really.
- Growth goals - if a client just wants social growth, then we're back to looking at numbers again. This is particularly valid on instagram as money doesn't even help with growth (I'd never work with a brand buying fake followers), and growth needs to come organically.
So it's really true that sometimes it's about stats, but it certainly isn't always. And a focus on stats doesn't mean just people with 150k. Smaller campaigns with smaller budgets are sometimes a great fit for those with smaller reaches too. Not every campaign can afford (or needs) influencers managed by agencies).