Tip #1: Consider your outreach message as an opportunity to build a close relationship with the influencer
Building strong working relationships with certain influencers can be hugely advantageous to the extent that some influencers may even end up reducing their rates when working with you or, the ultimate, post you for free. Some ways to go about building closer relationships with influencers are.
Tip #2: Include them in your brand story and vision
Try to make the influencer feel included in your brand story and vision as well as the problem you’re solving. You can do this giving them more detail around the ‘why’— why you have chosen them in terms of how they align with your brand and values. This is particularly powerful if you brand or campaign has a social cause or charitable aspect to it. It appeals to their humanity and makes them feel like they’re a part of something larger than themselves.
Make the influencer feel unique
Tell them why you chose them over others, how they do things differently and better and make your communication and collaboration as personalised to them as possible. Influencers are becoming increasingly used to VIP treatment and this goes beyond just getting free products and into far more customised, personalised experiences. So you want to go above and beyond, aim surprise and delight and always exceed expectations.
One example of this is when Shopify sent one of their power users Kylie Jenner a customised jumping castle for her birthday party. This might seem crazy but if you think about it, Kylie Jenner costs upwards of $300,000 a post and the jumping castle would have cost $20,000 tops so it’s actually a really smart move if she does end up posting it. Of course there is a bit of risk involved in bigger, showier public displays like this as they may not end up posting it or even find it too much so make sure to do your research first. Clearly some of these ideas will only be relevant when working with highly paid macro influencers as they could be quite costly and resource intensive to coordinate.
Some more ideas include:
At the very least including a hand written thank you card with the product when it’s sent out.
Product customisation and personalisation like having their name printed, engraved or embroidered onto your product.
Creating influencer only products or brand merchandise, for example if you’re a bikini company and it’s Winter, a branded fluffy robe and slippers to say we get it, it’s cold shooting in a bikini.
Even creating a gift pack around your product with complementary products from other non-competing brands within your niche or just sending them a big bunch of flowers for no reason.
And then on the more extreme end, including an all expenses paid experience in your campaign like a trip to New York or Bali or the increasingly popular branded influencer retreats concept.
Treat your influencer relationship like a personal one
You also want to find relevant reasons to make your influencers feel special and connected to your brand so another idea is helping them celebrate big milestone events like their birthday, graduating university or a special anniversary with thoughtful gifts and experiences. Basically, you want to treat your close influencer relationships like you would treat your close personal relationships at work but remember it’s still a working relationship at the same time so always keep a level of professionalism.
Have a think, look what others are doing and get creative. For ideas, check out brands that are doing this well like Glossier, Ouai Haircare, It’s All Fluff and Frank Body. Some general ideas include branded sweaters, phone covers or tote bags. These are really cool because if they’re done right, they can even end up being further brand offerings on your website down the track as another touchpoint for your customers to engage with your brand.
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