How to influence an influencer
Influencers are everywhere – they are bloggers, journalists, lobbyists, social media stars, analysts and celebrities. They are people with influence in their social circles, industry or marketplace. From a PR perspective, influencer campaigns can increase sales, promote events, raise funds, manage reputations, educate the public or even shift policy. Influencers can be used as a strategic media relations tool to change perceptions and even make your brand relevant again.
At Atmosphere, we see four spheres of influencer relations activities:
Co-creation: This involves commissioning content that is delivered in a credible and authentic voice. It includes written content, photography or video from social media creators such as YouTubers or Instagrammers.
Product ‘tasting’: This refers to gifting products to influencers – products which fall within their sphere of interest – with a view to having them comment on the products’ benefits. An authentic, first-hand opinion is a very powerful marketing tool.
Brand experiences: This is about offering experiences that allow the influencer to get closer to your brand. It can include VIP access to sponsored events or tailored events such as a make-over and photo shoot.
Strategic ‘hook-ups’: These involve one-on-one meetings between key influencers and clients on relevant topics of mutual interest. This activity is used more widely in the business-to-business context.
Our influencer checklist:
- Do they have a strong following on social media?
- Do they have a high profile in traditional media?
- Do audiences engage with their profiles?
- Do followers regularly share their content?
- Are they outspoken in their area of interest or expertise?
- Do they present alternative viewpoints – i.e. are they ahead of the curve or controversial?
- Do they work with or represent any competitor brands?
Our golden rules when working with influencers:
- Influencers prefer to be consulted from the start of a campaign so that the activity is targeted and relevant.
- Contracts and expectations should be tightly managed.
- Campaigns should be short to maintain momentum.
- Inspiring visual content encourages better engagement and sharing.
- Influencers expect remuneration or product if briefed on an activity.
- Be prepared for upfront costs and hard-core managers or agents!
- Be aware of the budget required to boost and promote social content.
- You’ll never able to reach all followers or fans through a campaign, but the stronger the message or content, the greater the engagement.
Whichever way you want your brand talked about, it is important to realise that in today’s social media landscape, influencers are here to stay. They are an integral part of the future of public relations – ignore them at your peril.