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Working with influencers can be a very powerful element of a consumer campaign. Helping your lifestyle brand reach new and engaged audiences, giving you additional reach that you might have only dreamt of previously. However, it does require time, research and thorough planning to be effective – read on for our top tips…
- Do your research
Finding the right influencers takes time, and this comes in two parts. Firstly, finding who you want to work with. It is important you look through relevant content on your social feeds and Google the specific blogs you might be interested in. Use hashtags, keywords and your industry sectors as search terms to reduce the results to look through. Think about your target audience and consider who they might be following or engaging with. Think about what is important in the type of influencers you work with – their number of followers, engagement of the audience, how the content looks on their channels, or a mix of everything? This will help to drill down your search and make finding the right influencer for your lifestyle brand easier.
Secondly, it is important you actually look through their content and make a judgement on what they’re publishing:
- Is it relevant content?
- Do you like how it looks/it’s laid out or presented?
- Does it (or can it) align with your brand?
- Do they work with lots of competing brands (and therefore dilute the message)? Or have they worked with a competitor recently – if so, what was it about?
- How does their content make you feel? Do you believe what they’re saying?
- Do they get engagement?
- Are they honest about promoted or sponsored posts? #ad
These types of questions will help you make a decision on whether they are the right fit, and if so, you can add them to your shortlist – or discard them and continue with your search.
- Work out what you want from them
Before you make contact, think about what you actually what from them. A post on Instagram, a full review on their blog, a competition, links to your site? Having done your research properly (as above), you’ll have an idea of what they have done previously, which should give you an idea of what might be possible. Make a list for each influencer of what you like or examples you’d like to consider. Often, influencers also have “PR/work with me” pages, where there may be helpful advice about what they do and don’t like, or how best to contact them.
When you make contact for the first time, it’s good to be personable, approachable and genuine. Yes it may be a business transaction, but you are asking them to share your content/business/products on their own channels, so they *should* want to work with you because they believe in your business, they genuinely love what you’re doing and you are a natural fit with their brand. Give them a little background on your business and the campaign you’re working on, so that they have the relevant information up front. Ensure your message is tailored to their site, mentions their name and maybe comment on some of their recent posts that you like. A “one size fits all” approach is unlikely to deliver the best results, so accept that this part will take time and enjoy the process!
- Work out an agreement
Set out what you are expecting from them (nicely), what you are giving them in return (product samples, payment, discount codes, etc) and when you expect each element of the campaign to be complete. This will help to set expectations on both sides and helps to give the agreement structure. Some influencers will share their posts in advance to check you’re happy, and some will want creative freedom to deliver content that works for their audience. Also agree (in advance) who will be replying to questions from their followers – it might be some can be handled by the influencer and the more technical questions require you to step in. This should also form part of the (written) agreement.
If you’re working together, it’s important to stay up to date with their content (especially when you know your campaign with them is coming soon). Like, love, comment and share their posts (as appropriate) and interact with them as your audience would. This is particularly important for activity on Instagram or Facebook Stories as these only stay live for 24 hours and you’ll likely want to report on the content produced. Whether your partnership moves forward or not, it is important to maintain and nurture the relationships you have built – you never know when your paths might cross again.
Influencer marketing is time consuming but can be super rewarding for your lifestyle business. It’s important to take the time to find the right influencers and work out what is right for both parties before you make any agreements, send out products or make any payments.
For more information, check out a previous blog on the influencer marketing landscape and the rise of micro-influencers. We’d love to know your experience of working with influencers, send us your thoughts (good and bad) at email@example.com.
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If you’re not sure where to start take a look at some of our lifestyle PR campaigns, or ADPR’s guide to maximising your lifestyle brand’s PR campaign or contact us for a chat about how we can help.
Getting your consumer PR campaign right is critical. It’s not a quick process and will take time, energy and investment to ensure you’re speaking to the right people, with the right message at the right time. But we’re here to help, view our Consumer PR 101.