Sure, Yeah, Okay: Stories Conducive to "Making It Work" Online and Offline is a NEW column by Nicole Best, Social + Influencer Manager at culture marketing firm, Matte Black.

She's here to share bimonthly stories and tips on "making it work" both offline and online.  

At this point... we all know that marketing efforts thrive on digital media. More specifically, paid digital media. Facebook will now punish a brand that publishes on its platform if said brand doesn’t put money behind said post. You have to “pay to play,” as they say. This ideology rings true for influencers as well. A digital influencer curates a dedicated community of followers who are tapped into their day-­to-­day. From 10,000 followers to 100,000, the influencer size doesn’t matter as much as their dedicated following does.

Two times a year, we at Matte Black take five to six influencers out to Las Vegas for the WWD Magic Trade Show. It’s here that we host a series of panels on influencer marketing and how brands can incorporate these people into their marketing strategies. Curating your pitch in a way that makes an influencer want to align with you is key to succeeding on social.

So here are some basic tips to help you achieve everything you want and more, from one of the most elusive networks of people out there: the digital influencer.


1. What are the goals of your campaign?

How will you measure its success? Figure out what this is and go from there. Do you measure your success off of the number of “likes” and “comments” an image will get? Do you measure in direct correlation to new followers you get from said collaboration? Or, do you measure it with corresponding sales? You should know exactly what you are looking for out of a partnership before you align with anyone, as this will directly affect the type of influencer you reach out to.


2. Do your research

 If you are a jewelry brand, then you probably don’t want to go out to an influencer who specializes in beauty. Pitching the wrong influencer will not only affect your credibility in future campaigns, but you’ll be putting your brand in front of the wrong demographic. Nowadays, influencers on Instagram will put all the information you need to know in their Instagram bios. Classification (lifestyle, travel, fashion, beauty), location, blog link (if they have), handles from other networks they manage, and contact information. After you’ve found your Hawaiian influencer who embodies the boho beach goddess you’re targeting, then you’ve found the right person.


3. Refine your pitch

The first sentence should be individualized to whoever it is you are going out to and should have nothing to do with your campaign. It should be specific to their feed or who they are as a person. Flattery will get you everywhere.


4. Then, introduce yourself

A one sentence description of who you are and what you do is all you need. Maybe embed a link to your brand or whatever it is that you’re pitching in this section.

5. Make your pitch short and sweet

A two to three sentence description of what you are looking to do with whatever campaign or collaboration you are running is more than enough. This is generally vague as all you really want to do is peak their interest.


6. End the pitch

Lastly, to end the pitch, say something along the lines of, “If you’re interested, let us know! Would love to chat through more details.” These details can include budget, posting times, who they need to tag/ what they need to hashtag ­ whatever. But you should keep the more specific details of your campaign private until the influencer expresses interest.


7. Budget!

Once you’ve done this, define what it is you want out of the relationship; Have a budget in mind. With 10,000 followers or more, influencers will charge you for a collaboration. This doesn’t mean to say you can’t negotiate rates. But more often then not, if you’re working with 6­8 influencers on a campaign, sized from 20,000 followers to 90,000 followers, you’ll want at least $1,000.00 to work with. Spending money also allows you to be more decisive in your ask, and will enable you to get exactly what you want out of the relationship.


8. Rinse and repeat

You did it, now do it again. A successful influencer marketing campaign will bring you impressions, reach, engagement, followers and (hopefully) sales. Because at the end of the day, what is the point if your brand isn’t selling? With influencers ROI can be extremely hard to measure... but these people have curated markets that you need to tap into, in creative and unique ways they are always happy to hear.

To learn more about Nicole Best, follow her at @Nikkiibest