Consumers trust influencers’ recommendations more than they do branded social media content. But what is the best approach to contacting creators for collaborations? Here’s what 100+ influencers had to say.
Influencer marketing has flipped traditional advertising approaches on its head.
With 74% of consumers dodging brand messages, social media personalities are now being used as a vehicle to promote products and services.
There is no denying the value content creators have in improving a company’s brand awareness, website traffic, and overall sales. But before a business can reap the ROI benefits of Instagram influencers, they have to first be able to reach them.
Which leads us to the question…with so many communication channels available, what is the best way to contact influencers for brand collaborations?
Our market research company surveyed 100+ content creators to determine their communication preferences and other ideal brand partnership factors. Get your copy now.
Contacting Creators via Email
Many creators see their social media presence as a business. And rightfully so. Based on our research, content creation and brand partnerships are big drivers of income for influencers.
For this reason, many have created ‘business emails’ as a way to communicate and make deals with brands. And luckily, content creators make their business email addresses accessible to the public. Marketers can find a creator's email address, simply by looking at their social media bios.
In fact, from our experience surveying content creators, we find that leveraging the creator’s business email is the best way to get in touch.
Here is an example of where you can find an email address for an Instagram influencer.
Now that you have accessed their preferred email, it’s time to craft the perfect message. Be creative about how you can capture their attention and pique interest.
Important context to include in an email to social media influencers include:
- Your brand name
- The products and/or services you sell
- What type of partnership you’re offering (sponsored posts, brand ambassadorship, affiliate code for their followers, etc.)
- How creators will be compensated for their work
Here is an email example when contacting creators for brand partnerships.
I’m Sydney from What Are You Wearing, an app that takes inventory of your closet to create outfit ideas with the clothes you own. We’re big fans of your personal style and enjoy following you on @TaylorMade.
I’m reaching out because we think you would be the perfect ambassador for our brand. Would you be interested in working as an affiliate partner?
In return, we would offer a stipend of $500 for one in-feed post.
We’ll also share a referral code so you can earn more money from those that download our app based on your influence.
Let me know what you think! We can chat further about how we can collaborate together.
You can call or text me at 555-123-4567 at any time.
I look forward to working with you.
What Are You Wearing
Bonus: There’s more where that came from. Download our free Influencer Brand Collaboration Email Templates to receive the best open rates and replies when contacting creators.
Direct Message (DM) Influencers on Social Media
Whether it be Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, social media is the best way to find relevant influencers in your niche (travel, cooking, lifestyle, beauty, fitness, etc.).
It’s where creators spend their time curating a platform and growing their following. That is the same following your brand can leverage to grow awareness.
Many social channels allow you to send direct messages (DM) to their users as a way to have private conversations. It is a great forum for contacting creators and discussing potential brand deals.
To message an influencer for a brand collab, find the creator you’d like to contact on Instagram. In their bio, there will be a call to action button, ‘Message’ that brings you directly to a private conversation forum.
Something to be aware of is that depending on their following, creators could be receiving hundreds to thousands of messages a day.
Your brand is competing with messages from fans, followers, and other brands. Not to mention the bot messages influencers receive from fake brands and online scammers as well.
To break through the noise, you must be strategic with your messaging. Be casual and straight to the point.
Here is a DM template you can follow when contacting creators for collabs.
The team and I loved your post about your favorite skincare essentials. At Breath, we make organic skincare products. Can we send some free cleanser and moisturizer your way so you can give it a try?
Let me know if you’d be interested and what address is best for you. Thanks! - Ashley
Blogger’s Contact Form Fill on Websites
Aside from social media, there are many content creators who have created their own websites. It is another vehicle for them to engage with followers (and make money).
This is especially true for food bloggers who share recipes, favorite cooking products, cookbooks, and more.
Many of these blogs include affiliate links. It is a type of brand partnership in which bloggers receive a commission for each visit, purchase, or sign-up they generate for a company.
This arrangement is most commonly seen with bloggers who discuss the brand and link to the brand’s page for readers to take a certain action.
If you’re interested in contacting creators for this type of brand collaboration, I recommend doing so directly on their website.
Look at their navigation for the ‘Contact’ section. This page will vary by the content creator. However, in most instances, it will share information on how to reach them for a collab.
Take food blog, Budget Bytes for example.
When visiting the contact page on the Budget Bytes website, they are very specific about what is the best way to communicate with them based on the visitor’s needs.
- For media, advertising, or promotion opportunities: Fill out the website’s contact form.
- For readers with a recipe question: Leave a comment beneath the recipe on their website or social media post. These are checked daily. They’ll do their best to respond to each question.
There will also be bloggers who are transparent about not currently accepting brand partnerships. Believe them! Do not waste your time emailing or contacting bloggers who are not looking for work.
Focus on influencers and content creators that are open to business partnership opportunities.
Influencer Marketing Agencies
There is more work involved when establishing partnerships and collaborations with creators than one may assume.
Brands must scour social media to find relevant influencers, successfully make contact with creators, and agree on terms and negotiations before the marketing campaign even begins.
Therefore, companies that lack the time and resources to establish these connections often work with influencer marketing agencies.
Many can help with all stages of an influencer marketing campaign from discovering the best creators all the way to analyzing the campaign’s success.
Think of these brand influencer platforms as a middleman between content creators and brands. Instead of you emailing, DMing, or reaching creators on their website, the influencer marketing agency will do it on your behalf.
Popular marketing agencies that contact influencers on behalf of brands include:
Comment on Creator’s Social Media Posts
The last option for reaching creators is by commenting directly on their social media posts.
This has better success rates for nano influencers (creators with less than 5K followers) in comparison to mega and macro influencers (creators with 100K+ followers).
Smaller creators often receive fewer comments, compared to the thousands of comments mega influencers earn. Therefore, getting noticed and receiving a response to your comment has better odds for creators just starting out.
It’s like expecting a reply from Kim Kardashian on her Instagram post. Highly unlikely.
Here are a few examples of social media comments that can lead to a brand collaboration with influencers:
- I love your style! DM us for details on a brand partnership opportunity.
- Collab? DM us for details.
While these are more generalized comments, don’t be afraid to add some personality and personalization. It will go a long way!
Other helpful resources
- Brand’s Guide to Working with Influencers
- How to Recruit Social Media Influencers for Market Research Studies
- 5 Tips for Conducting Market Research with Content Creators
- Market Research with Vloggers: Best Practices for Recruiting YouTubers
- Influencer Partnerships: 7 Ways to Collaborate with Creators
Watch our video for a recap of this blog post.
Drive Research is a full-service market research company that partners with organizations to oversee quantitative and qualitative research with influencers, creators, and bloggers.
We have access to an in-house panel of social media personalities, who have signed up and raised their hand to participate in market research.
To learn more about our services, contact us today.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.