How Brands and Influencers Can Partner for Giveaways

Have you been looking for ways to partner with a blogger/influencer to get your brand in front of new people? Do you recognize how effective co-branded efforts can be, but aren’t sure how to get started?

I can help! A giveaway where you partner with an influencer/blogger is a relatively easy way to the word out about your brand. A giveaway also provides you with an opportunity to collect valuable data — like email addresses — which you can use for future marketing.

Here are six steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Research potential influencer partners

There are a couple of ways you can find the right giveaway partner, but they all involve doing research. First, use the search feature on various social networks. On Twitter and Instagram, you’d search using relevant hashtags. Let’s say you run a restaurant in Chicago and you want to partner with a blogger who writes about travel and hospitality. You’d search using terms like #chicago, #chicagoblogger #chicagopizza.

You can also use an “influencer discovery tool” like GroupHigh or BuzzSumo. Many of these tools are free to use, and you search for influencers using key industry-relevant terms like “foodblogger,” “foodie,” and so on.  There are also agencies that represent bloggers and the agencies broker deals between the bloggers they represent and brands.

Another easy way to find relevant influencers is to survey your existing network. You can post a question on Facebook or Twitter, or create a simple form that you link to from your social platforms and your website,  and ask your followers/customers to tell you who their favorite bloggers are.

Step 2: Target influencers who are the best fit

Once you have a list of a few bloggers who seem like they’d be good partners with your brand, do some due diligence. Make sure they’re active and influential on the social networks that are the most important to you. If you want to gain momentum on Instagram or SnapChat, your prospective blogger should have a vibrant presence there.

Step 3: Check the influencer’s “references”

This might sound like a very formal step, but you’ll definitely want to make sure your potential giveaway partner has worked with the kinds of brands you want to be associated with. The influencer/blogger might have a ton of influence, but if s/he has worked mostly with, say, adult beverage brands and you sell electrolyte-infused water, it might not be a good fit. (Then again, maybe the people who indulge in adult beverages might also need a recovery beverage too!)

The point is, take a look at the blogger’s following and then decide if it’s the right audience for your products and services. If the blogger has worked with several of your competitors,  s/he likely knows your audience, but on the other hand, people might think it’s odd that s/he is suddenly promoting your brand and the effort could seem disingenuous.

Step 4: What to say in an email to the blogger

Once you’ve chosen the person or people you’d like to partner with, it’s time to get in touch. Sending an email with a personal note referencing a post or two you’ve read is a good start. Tell the influencer why you like their work, why you think they can represent your brand well, and why you believe their followers will love whatever it is that you’re giving away.

Step 5: Get all the details in writing

Once you and an influencer have decided to team up, it’s time to nail down the details by creating a contract for your partnership. You should do this ASAP, as agreeing on the language and details of a contract and a payment schedule (if there is one) is often what takes the longest. I spoke with Sarah Bowen Shea, cofounder and COO of the popular running community and blog, “Another Mother Runner”  and she says it takes about three months from pitch to signing on the proverbial line when she partners with a brand for a giveaway.

The contract should include details you’ve agreed to. It might spell out how many blog posts, tweets, Facebook or Instagram posts the influencer must post to promote the giveaway, the dates the giveaway will run, hashtags you’ll both use to promote the giveaway, any expectations you have of the influencer once the giveaway is over, and so on.

Step 6: Choose tools to make things run smoothly

Software tools like ShortStack or Wyng or Heyo make it possible to create a branded giveaway that also allows you to collect email addresses from everyone who enters your giveaway and build a following of relevant, engaged people.

So there you have it: six steps to finding an influencer to partner on a giveaway with. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer here, find me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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