Influencer Outreach Survey: How to Reach Out to Influencers?

Nick Baklanov

Marketing specialist at HypeAuditor. Connect on Linkedin.

HypeAuditor, the AI analytics platform for brands seeking fair, transparent, and effective influencer marketing, has released the global results of its “Influencer Outreach Survey”, providing insights into what influencers want to see from brand partners and why they would refuse to work with brands.

The survey, which polled social media influencers across the globe, showed that 43% of influencers reported to have never or rarely received a personalized message from a brand tailored to their platform. This means in a large proportion of cases, influencers are being approached by brands with generic, cut and paste style messages, without any personalization to them or their platform. 

The survey also revealed why influencers would refuse to work with a brand, with the top reasons being that they do not like or value the brand (51%), that they were not happy with the budget (42%), and that they were told exactly what to write with no creative freedom (38%). 

When asked what they’d like to see in messages from brands, to make it easier to select potential brand partners, the following top reasons were selected:

  • 59% of influencers stated they’d like to see a clear idea of available budgets and expected deliverables.
  • 61% of influencers want a clear description of the product or service to be advertised.
  • More than half (51%) asked for information on the company they would be aligning with.

Despite the rise of social media talent agencies in the last decade, only 15% of influencers have opted to work with agents. In addition, more than two thirds (67%) of the influencers surveyed that work with agents and talent agencies prefer to be contacted directly by brands. In fact, 40% of all influencers questioned stated that they prefer to be contacted directly on their social platform. Email communications remain the preferred methods by 51% of influencers surveyed.

On average, each month, most influencers (37%) receive one to three messages sent by brands; most enquiries are in relation to free product testings (for 33% influencers), collaboration on sponsor posts (31% influencers), and brand ambassador proposals (for 18% influencers). However, only one to two brands’ enquiries result in paid collaborations for almost 39% respondents.  

We know that the best brand and influencer relationships are based on authenticity and meaning,” said Alex Frolov, CEO of HypeAuditor.“This research has reinforced that from an influencer perspective, it is so important for brands to strike the right tone in their communication to influencers, prioritizing personalization and clarity above anything else. With our new outreach tool, we’ve made it easier than ever for brands to discover, analyze, and reach out to potential influencers, all in one platform.”

To coincide with the launch of the Influencer Brand Survey, HypeAuditor has launched its Influencer Outreach tool, allowing  marketers to research and liaise with influencers from within the HypeAuditor platform. Helping to remove friction and increase efficiency for brand marketers, Alex Frolov has also developed these top tips for brands marketers to improve how they communicate with influencers: 

  • Know your audience and your influencers – use research and insights tools to identify influencers that are relevant to your target audience and also assess the quality of the influencer’s audience, to ensure any budget spent reaches potential customers and not bot accounts. 
  • Let’s get personal – The majority of influencers share a lot of information about them online, use this to your advantage. Get to know them and personalize your sales pitch according to their likes. 
  • Clarity is key – ensure you have the important facts in your messages to help influencers make a more informed decision. Details on the product services, timelines, budgets, and expected deliverables should all be listed in the initial outreach 

HypeAuditor provides a comprehensive set of tools for brands to discover and analyze influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, verify their authenticity, and track the results of influencer marketing campaigns. 

How do you prefer to be contacted by brands interested in collaborating with you on a social media post?

How do you prefer to be contacted by brands interested in collaborating with you on a social media post?

 40% of all influencers questioned stated that they prefer to be contacted directly on their social platform. Email communications remain the preferred methods by 51% of influencers surveyed.

How many messages do you receive on average each month from brands and agencies seeking to work with you?

How many messages do you receive on average each month from brands and agencies seeking to work with you?

30% of influencers receive each month over 7 cooperation proposals from brands.

Do you think messages received from brands are usually tailored to you and your platform, or are usually cut, pasted and sent to lots of different influencers?

Do you think messages received from brands are usually tailored to you and your platform, or are usually cut, pasted and sent to lots of different influencers?

43% of influencers reported to have never or rarely received a personalised message from a brand tailored to their platform. This means in a large proportion of cases, influencers are being approached by brands with generic, cut and paste style messages without personalisation to them or their platform. 

Which from the following list do you receive enquiries for most often?

Which from the following list do you receive enquiries for most often?

Most popular enquires are for free product testing (33%) , sponsored post collaboration (31%) and brand ambassadors proposals.

What kind of information would you like to see in the messages from brands to make it easier for you to find interesting proposals (multiple)?

What kind of information would you like to see in the messages from brands to make it easier for you to find interesting proposals (multiple)?

When asked what they’d like to see in messages from brands, to make it easier to select potential brand partners, the following top reasons were selected:

  • 59% of influencers stated they’d like to see a clear idea of available budgets and expected deliverables
  • 61% of influencers want a clear description of the product or service to be advertised
  • More than half (51%) asked for information on the company they would be aligning with. 

For what reason would you refuse to work with a brand (multiple)?

For what reason would you refuse to work with a brand (multiple)?

The survey also revealed why influencers would refuse to work with a brand, with the top reasons being that they do not like or value the brand (51.1%), that they were not happy with the budget (42%) and they were told exactly what to write and had no creative freedom (38%). 

How many direct messages from brands result in paid collaborations on average each month?

How many direct messages from brands result in paid collaborations on average each month?

34% of influencers say that 0 messages from brands result in paid collaborations. Anyway, 13.9% of influencers have over 5 brand deals per month.

Do you work with an agent or talent agency for social media?

Do you work with an agent or talent agency for social media?

Despite the rise of social media talent agencies in the last decade, only 15% of influencers have opted to work with agents.

Do you prefer brands to contact you directly or via your management/agency?

Do you prefer brands to contact you directly or via your management/agency?

 more than two thirds (67%) of the influencers surveyed that work with agents and talent agencies prefer to be contacted directly by brands.

How many followers did you have when you decided to work with a talent agency / manager?

About HypeAuditor:

Founded in 2018, HypeAuditor is a leader in AI-powered analytics for transparent and fraud-free influencer marketing. Its platform includes Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube analytics, as well as a suite of discovery tools and reporting features that integrate an advanced AI-based, fraud-detection system that safeguards authenticity in influencer marketing. HypeAuditor applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine behavioral patterns, identifying fake followers, and ascertaining engagement on influencer accounts and sponsored posts. The HypeAuditor platform has more than 500,000 users, and key customers include Dior, GroupM, Influence4You, L’Oréal, Ogilvy, TAKUMI, Traackr, and Unilever. To learn more, visit HypeAuditor.com.

Methodology

HypeAuditor’s study was conducted as an online survey in September 2021 and analyzsed responses from 1,656 people who self-identified as influencers and have social media accounts with over 1K followers (verified by HypeAuditor).

Among those surveyed, 62% identified as female and 33% identified as male. Responses from influencers in the 18-25 age category made up 37% of the results followed by the 31-40 age category with 26%. Influencers with 1K to 10K followers made up 53% of the results and influencers with 10K to 50K followers made up 34% of the results. Lifestyle influencers were the most popular surveyed coming in at 31.5%.

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