How Reply Helped the Influencer Marketing Factory Get Massive News Coverage with Zero Marketing Spend
We are a global full-service influencer marketing agency that helps companies engage with Gen Z and Millennials on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
I’m Alessandro Bogliari, and I’m the co-founder and CEO at The Influencer Marketing Factory. In a couple of years since we started the agency, we’ve expanded the team to include people across Europe and the United States. We’ve also been able to work with some of the most widely recognized brands in every corner of the world, including Google, Amazon, and Dunkin.
We help brands and companies with influencer marketing in industries as diverse as beauty, toys, app, and music. Clients come to us with a budget, timeline, and overall goals in mind.
In turn, we help set the campaign KPIs, come up with ideas for the concept and storytelling, contract influencers who appeal to the appropriate demographics and manage the logistics. We then track the results of the campaign, with in-depth reporting and analysis.
The core of our business is TikTok, where we’ve been active since 2018—before most marketers had realized the platform’s potential. We started by creating campaigns on TikTok for Sony Music, which then led to work for Warner Music and Universal Music Group. We also create influencer marketing campaigns for YouTube, Instagram, and Triller.
Using Reply to build brand awareness
As well as being the company’s CEO, I’m also in charge of the CMO tasks. That means I still take care of the SEO, marketing, and PR tasks (with some help from my team). As a result of our efforts, we’ve been featured in many well-known publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Adweek, Ad Age and the South China Morning Post.
This has all been accomplished by sending targeted sequences carried out through Reply. Rather than just being used for direct lead generation and cold emailing potential clients, we’ve found that Reply can also be used to approach journalists and bloggers to build brand awareness and increase authority. It may not be as direct, but being featured in a well-known publication can have a tremendous effect
It all starts with Google Alerts, set up to let us know when journalists write about relevant topics. We find their email address and validate them with Reply credits to minimize the bounce rate. Then we reach out through Reply to introduce ourselves and offer to share our expertise on those topics, with each email personalized to the recipient.
We never pitch them; we simply mention that we’ve seen their articles, explain that we have additional information and insights on that topic that could help them, and ask if they’d be interested in having a chat and learning more from us.
We never pitch journalists; we simply mention that we’ve seen their articles, explain that we have additional information and insights on that topic that could help them, and ask if they’d be interested in having a chat and learning more from us.
We’ll use a really specific and clear subject line, something like ‘TikTok insights.’
The journalists we’re reaching out to receive up to 300 emails every day. Ours is just one of them, so it has to stand out. Having used this approach for over 18 months, we’ve grown our understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Along with getting the right subject line, you also need to get the message copy so that it’s short enough to keep their attention while still containing enough information.
It’s all a cycle. We get published in a renowned publication, which leads to more clients, we get more case studies, we uncover more insights, we share those insights with journalists, and so on.
The benefits of using Reply
By using Reply as a communication platform, we’re able to send several hundred emails a month. When you’re sending out so many emails, it’s easy to lose track of who you’ve reached out to and who you’re waiting for a response from. Rather than manually sending follow-ups, we’re able to set them so that they’re sent automatically.
As someone who’s obsessed with performance, something I personally like is the ability to carry out A/B testing on the subject, the copy, and other aspects of the message. At this scale, an increase of even just 5% in open rate or click-through rate can make a huge difference.
Along with its many features, one particular advantage is that it’s easy to use, even for non-techy people. You can see everything in one dashboard, storing it all in one place and seeing how each email has performed.
Instead of paying thousands of dollars a month to a PR agency, we’ve been able to get amazing spotlights in top publications by using Reply. It’s nothing fancy, but combining Reply with different tools and thinking outside the box.
Instead of paying thousands of dollars a month to a PR agency, we’ve been able to get amazing spotlights in top publications by using Reply. It’s nothing fancy, but combining Reply with different tools and thinking outside the box has enabled us to find PR opportunities that others have missed.
In terms of big publications that came thanks to a Reply.io cold outreach were eMarketer, WSJ, Glossy, MIT Technology Review, Business of Fashion, CampaignLive, South China Morning Post, BuzzFeed News, VICE.com, AdAge, BusinessInsider, Telegraph UK.
In the future, we’re planning on taking advantage of Reply’s Zapier integrations and multichannel sequences. I’ve been using Zapier for a long time for automation and retargeting, and we already manually use multiple channels for our campaigns—usually email for initial contact, before connecting on LinkedIn. We’re looking forward to seeing how we can implement more of Reply’s features to get even more opportunities to get in front of the right people.
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