Whether you like it or not, bloggers and social media influencers have taken over the internet marketing stratosphere in recent years, making mini-celebrities out of ordinary people. These individuals are powerful, with armies of loyal followers, and their impact shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, which is why incorporating influencer marketing into your overall strategy is essential.
Point Blank Music School outlines what to do – and what not to do – when approaching key bloggers and influencers within the industry.
DO pitch to the right influencers
You wouldn’t pitch a music article to an interior magazine and the same rules apply when approaching bloggers. There is simply no point contacting the wrong type of influencer, you’ll simply be ignored and may even annoy a few people.
Instead, take the time to do some research and find the bloggers in your particular niche so that you can ensure your messages are getting in front of an audience who will actually be interested in what you’re promoting.
Most influencers will have a page on their site outlining their rules regarding working with brands, so read this carefully and don’t waste your time on those who aren’t open to partnerships.
DO your homework
Once you’ve found the right people to target, the next step is to do your homework and come from a place of genuine interest and enthusiasm. These days, even the smallest bloggers are inundated with requests to review products, listen to artists and attend events, so the key is to stand out from the crowd.
ALWAYS personalise your communication and refer to them by their name or their internet persona – bloggers are business savvy and can smell a generic e-mail a mile off. It doesn’t take too long to tailor emails, but this is still a mistake so many brands make. Show that you’ve taken the time to read their blog and browse their socials, rather than sending out the same message to 500 other people.
For example, mention that you loved their review of Stormzy’s latest gig and point out a couple of reasons why. From experience, this approach works much better, as flattery will get you everywhere.
DO offer something worthwhile
It’s never a good idea to approach influencers with a take-only state of mind. The partnership needs to be mutually beneficial, and with influencers being in hot demand, they can afford to be choosy. Be upfront from the beginning and let them know what you’re offering and why it is of value to them.
Remember though that you should only promise things that you are sure you can fulfil because if the influencer feels like they are not getting enough back for what they’ve put in, the relationship can quickly turn sour and you’ll have to start the process all over again.
DON’T bug them
Bloggers/influencers are a rather tight-knit community with whom it’s wise to keep on good terms. Once you make a name for yourself as a nuisance with a couple of them, the news can soon become mainstream knowledge and the accompanying social media backlash which can take place quickly and unrelentingly at the hands of a powerful influencer can be extremely damaging.
Our advice is to keep things polite and above all, be patient. Wait at least one week to chase up on your original outreach email, because sometimes hectic schedules, spam filters, forgetfulness or other factors mean your attempt has simply been overlooked rather than wilfully ignored.
The important point is to not act desperate and if there’s still no reply after your follow-up attempt, then it’s time to let go, as they’re probably just not that into you.
DON’T limit yourself
With influencer outreach strategies, a low hit rate is to be expected. Remember that this type of marketing is all the rage right now and the big names will get literally hundreds of similar requests each week. They will also cost a small fortune.
As such, it’s wise not to rule out the lesser-known “mid-level influencers”, especially if they’re within your particular segment and are resonating with your target audience. Research holds that these people have a smaller reach, but their followers are much more loyal, driving 16 times more engagement than the well-known “mega influencers”.
So, if you’re a tech-house label which has managed to build strong connections with several key mid-level influencers that love your genre, these can become your biggest ambassadors and as their devoted community and following grows, so too can yours along with it.
DON’T forget to build relationships
You can approach influencer marketing in the same way as you’d approach networking – by targeting a few carefully selected people to build close working relationships with over time. You cannot just expect people to help you out, rave about you, or put you in contact with important people unless you are ready to put in the work and steadily build a strong bond.
Once you’ve seen the benefit of an influencer’s blog post, Instagram share or tweet, don’t just assume that the work is done. The best influencer partnerships are long-term, which means keeping in regular contact so that next time you need a favour, they’re more than happy to help.
Influencers are currently one of the most powerful consumer audiences, with legions of loyal followers all interested in the products they’re using, the events they’re attending and the music they’re listening to. By following these simple rules, you’ll quickly master how to tap into this community and build lasting key relationships.
Author Bio: Matt Stewart-Evans is Head of Marketing at Point Blank Music School, a world-renowned electronic music school based in London, LA, Ibiza, Mumbai and online, which offers professional programmes on many topics, including music industry management, singing & songwriting, DJing, music production, sound engineering and more.