Last week, Scott Disick, of Kardashian fame, gave the world a glimpse into "influencer marketing" when he copy and pasted an email from the Bootea marketing team into his sponsored Instagram caption telling him exactly what to write in his post.
This was definitely a mistake on Disick's part, but trend reports show that there's no slowing down when it comes to influencer marketing. Brands are dedicating more and more budget to this area and let’s face it, “influencer marketing” is certainly the buzzword for 2016.
PR and marketing teams have now absorbed blogger, YouTuber and Instagram influencer outreach campaigns. At Be Social, we are spearheading influencer campaigns for almost every one of our PR clients.
Define your market. Like any campaign, start with defining your target market, so you can find influencers who speak to your company or brand.
Make your list. Create an outreach list of bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram stars through a simple Google search, Bloglovin’, Instagram stalking, and paid services. In this world engagement is key, so make sure the following matches the engagement.
Craft your pitch and angle and start your outreach. If you have an enticing product and creative pitch, you will soon find influencers looking to collaborate, but remember just because you gift an influencer does not mean it will show up in their blog or social channels. Often times it will if the influencer genuinely likes the product or brand, but if you want guaranteed posts implementing all of your campaign hashtags, tags and asks, you’ll likely need to pay.
Be ready to pay. You will find quickly that influencers with a high reach and following require a payment for any brand features. And for good reason. These influencers can have a dedicated following ready to engage with your client or brand. They bring value. And lots of it.
And work with management companies. If you intend to pay and have a budget, working with management companies is a quick and easy way to get collaborations together. Our talent agency, Be Social Talent, represents style bloggers, other leading management companies include DBA and Socialyte, or you can work with the big boys such as APA, who rep some of the largest YouTubers. Give them information on what you are casting for, and they can help match the influencers who make sense for your budget and ask.
Get it in writing. If you are paying, have a lawyer craft an agreement with the blogger that includes details on FTC guidelines. Yes, that means #ad, #spon or #IworkwithbrandX.
Make it easy for your influencer. Provide the influencer with a creative brief, detailing what you are looking for, from photo inspiration to content. This will help create on-brand content ideal for repurposing on the brand’s own social channels and sending key messages across all channels.
Measure. Give the influencer trackable links to be embedded in their posts to be able to track clicks and traffic generated from the content. This will help you gauge ROI.
You will soon find that influencer outreach campaigns are time consuming...from the list building to the outreach. There are tools that can help streamline the process, such as Revfluence, InstaBrand, and Fame Bit, many of which come with a monthly or yearly fee.
Whichever route you go, remember that communication is key for a successful influencer program. If the message is lost, you just gave away free product with no real return. But, if done successfully, brands see a spike in sales, social growth, digital chatter and overall awareness.
Don’t dismiss the power of an engaged and dedicated digital following.
Ali Grant is the founder of Be Social, a premium lifestyle communications agency. She started her career at the beginning of the blogger boom facilitating blogger seeding for fashion labels and has since merged her digital expertise with traditional public relations to form Be Social. Through strategic public relations and social media campaign management, Ali has earned recognition for Be Social in leading industry publications, including being named by PRWeek as the Top 50 Innovators in digital publicity. Further accolades include features in Huffington Post, PRWeek, Fashion Monitor, The PR Closet, PR Couture, Daily Front Row, BW Confidential, The Holmes Report, O'Dwyer PR, and has held educational courses at America's Beauty Show and Bloguettes.
Photo: Instagram via Shutterstock