3 Mistakes Brands Make When Reaching Out to Influencers on Instagram



“I’ve analyzed a large number of our emails as well as some of our influencer friends and below is a list of the most common mistakes.”

No one can deny that social media is an important part of our lives. It is where we get our news and entertainment, and connect with family and friends. As the focus has shifted to digital, consumers turn to their social media feeds to make informed buying decisions.

They scroll through their Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration from their favorite bloggers. With consumers looking at this select group of influencers for their purchasing decisions, brands have a real opportunity to tap into these social media accounts with wide followings.

Influencer marketing has been shown to drive more revenue than traditional advertising (i.e. banner ads). There’s never been a greater opportunity for brands to tap into the power of these influencers as they can generate website traffic, increase social media exposure and sell products.

Two years ago, my sister and I decided to start a lifestyle and fashion channel on YouTube for fun. We treated video blogging as a hobby until we started receiving invitations to work with brands. Within two years, we’ve had the chance to collaborate with several of them, but for every brand we chose to work with, we rejected about four other brands. That’s because they didn’t tailor their outreach message enough.

I’ve analyzed a large number of our emails as well as some of our influencer friends and below is a list  of the most common mistakes:

1. They are too generic

I’ve seen brands send a mass email to influencers and expect to get a positive response. There is no mention of individual names or accounts in the text and you can tell they just copy pasted it into each person’s inbox.

Just like a hiring manager at a prestigious company would ignore a generic cover letter, a popular influencer would delete your email. Everyone loves a warm introduction. It shows that the brand spent time getting familiar with the influencer’s content and crafting a thoughtful message. Personalization is key.

2. They don’t do their research

If you follow us anywhere, you know my sister and I are on the skinny end of the spectrum. As such, we don’t promote weight loss products. We once received an email from a tea company that wanted to send us free samples to try out.

Being the tea lovers we are, we were interested. but we ultimately refused to work with them when we realized they were weight loss products. This showed that the company didn’t take the time to read about us and what we do.

There isn’t a shortage of influencers to work with. This makes finding the right people that much more difficult. Companies need to spend more time researching potential matches and creating a mutually beneficial marketing plan. It may sound like a big investment, but influencer campaigns can lead to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising annually. Their selling power cannot be underestimated.

3. They don’t have a marketing plan

Most brands will offer free products in exchange of a few sponsored posts. Some offer monetary compensation as well. We’ve had one or two companies suggest we take pictures with their products without making time to discuss how to best represent their brand. That leaves all the work to the influencers and it may end up not benefitting the brand.

The best brands have a well thought out campaign idea before reaching out to influencers. When everything is laid out in front of them, the influencers can more easily make their decision. This saves times and helps with faster delivery and great results.

Influencer marketing, when done right, can drive sales more than traditional advertising. When brands don’t include it in their social media strategy, they miss out on a huge opportunity to boost awareness. Forget banner ads. Influencer marketing is here to stay.

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