Brands are looking for influencers and micro-influencers, from bloggers to Instagram and YouTube stars. The demand (and budget) for influencer marketing grows every year, and it’s already a multi-billion dollar industry.
If you’re wondering how to find brands to work with on your blog, Instagram or other social media platforms, we’re here to help. You’ll also learn how to pitch brands once you’ve found them.
How to Find Brands That Work With Influencers
The first step to collaborating with brands, is finding the right contact. That can be easier said than done, but you have a better chance of success if you make the effort. If all else fails, you can send an email to a general department and ask who you should contact.
- Business websites or social media profiles often have a media/press page with contacts, or they may include the information on their contact page.
- Contact brands on social media and ask for the contact info of their PR/Marketing person or agency.
- Do some searching on LinkedIn for the brand name and job title keywords, like “public relations”, “Digital Marketing Manager” and so on.
- Use a search engine to search for the brand name + “press release”, “media contact”, or other related term. The contact info for the PR person is usually included at the bottom of press releases. If you think they use an agency, search for brand name + “advertising/PR/marketing agency”.
- Search for brand press releases on sites like Newswire.ca and set up My PR Newswire under the Journalists tab. You should also set up a media profile on Cision Canada so press releases can come to your inbox, which can be the start of ongoing relationships with agencies and individual brands.
- Connect at events, such as tradeshows.
“Sliding into the DM’s of your favorite brand will likely not yield any results,” shares Femme Fatale Promotions & Media, Toronto. “You need to find out who the media or marketing manager of the brand is and pitch to them. This is usually in the form of a cold call or email. A good pitch can get your foot in the door, even if you’re not well known.”
Don’t bother your fellow influencers by asking for their contacts. They’ve built their relationships, you have to build your own. Additionally, many marketing professionals don’t appreciate having their direct contact information shared.
Help Brands Find YOU
Optimize profiles, add a “Work with Us” page on your website, get on media mailing lists, and add your PA30+ Canadian blog to our list.
Of course, it’s also important to present your best work on your chosen social networks and in your blog. Brands and their agencies are always on the lookout for influencers who will make profitable partners. Dance like no one is watching, post like EVERYBODY is watching.
Keep an ongoing list of contact information for brands and agencies. A spreadsheet format is handy but you can also use a text file.
Tips for Pitching Brands
- Don’t let anyone tell you that thousands of followers are required before you start approaching brands. Brands are learning that the results from micro-influencers are better than from someone with a million followers.
- In the beginning, you’ll often find yourself working with small businesses and small budgets. That doesn’t mean they’re not valuable. They’ll help you build your reputation and demonstrate your expertise. They’re also more likely to share your content. Plus, small businesses usually grow and they may be back with a more generous offer when they can afford it.
- Approach brands that offer products you truly like, or you think your audience would be interested in. If you’ve already used some of their products, include a brief, specific reference to them. Don’t be generic in your praise, because they hear it all the time and it makes you look insincere.
- Keep your cold pitch letter brief and to the point.
- Tell them what you can do for them. That can include your reach or specific ways you’d like to promote their product or service.
- Don’t talk about your rates in your first pitch. You can bring it up after they respond to your initial inquiry.
- You can attach your media kit to the pitch email or wait for the brand to ask for it (sometimes they don’t).
- You can follow up, but don’t be a pest.
- Be prepared for their response! Have your media kit ready, along with commonly-requested statistics like age, traffic and engagement rates.
- Make sure your website and social media accounts are ready for them to visit. Clean up fake followers and bot comments.
Go ahead, make a list of the brands you want to work with. It’s fun and it will both inspire and guide you.
What Are Marketers Looking For?
Here are the top 10 reasons marketers utilize influencers in digital marketing campaigns, according to a Linqia study:
- Relevance to my audience (73%)
- Authenticity / trusted voice (72%)
- Drive engagement (60%)
- Organic reach (55%)
- Spark word-of-mouth (45%)
- Quality of content (44%)
- Drive product sales (33%)
- Drive conversions (32%)
- Cross-channel following (22%)
- Generate reviews (17%)
Canadian Influencer Marketing Agencies
Have a look at agency websites to find out which brands they represent. Sign up with them if they have the option to apply. Following are a few to get you started.
- 66 Agency (Quebec)
- The Influencer Agency (Ontario)
- BrandFit (Ontario)
- Made In (Quebec)
- ID (BC)
- Talk Shop Media (Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto)
You’ll also find popular influencer networks and platforms, such as:
- Tap Influence
- Social Fabric
- Kin Community for YouTube influencers targeting the female demographic
- Starngage or Peersway for Instagram influencers.
??? Have you had any experience collaborating with brands on influencer campaigns? Please share your questions or tips in the comments below, or discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group!
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
How to Become an Online Influencer in Canada and Beyond
How to Make Money Blogging in Canada: The Ultimate Guide
Canadians on Social Media: Influencer Content Marketing (Statistics)
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.