Written by Annette McCormick and Bailey Carroll
Influencers are an important aspect of most brand campaigns. Working at Collective Bias for several years combined, we learned a lot of important lessons on how not to appear in an infamous “companies we hate to work with” lists. When it comes to working with influencers, it’s not rocket science, but if you don’t follow these basic tips, it can go downhill quite quickly.
Influencers are real people (we know, we were surprised too). They have feelings and they pour their heart and soul into their work. You must respect their blog and truly care about them and as a result you are more likely to get quality work. One way to show this is a personalized email to the influencers. From an influencer perspective, it is so easy to tell when it is a copy and paste pitch, especially when you leave in the [Blogger Name Here] at the top of the email. By showing respect for their work, they will in turn respect you and at least listen to your pitch.
Research A Good Match
Research the influencers you are reaching out to. Make sure that you aren’t wasting their time, or your time by reaching out to them. When you reach out to influencers, make sure you are not making assumptions, such as thinking that all female influencers are “mommy bloggers”. Amy Fulcher from As The Bunny Hops said, “I frequently get email pitches that try to build camaraderie by saying things like, “As a mom, you know how hard it can be to find time for yourself.” Did I have a baby I don’t know about? Never make assumptions about your email list.” Another common example is that if you are looking to create content for a beauty category, it probably would not make sense to reach out to an influencer who does 100% food posts, unless you want the possibility of bacon and chevron straws incorporated. By researching the influencers ahead of time you will create a lot less frustration from both parties.
Handle Complications Calmly
Have you ever gotten a cold unexpectedly? Yes, so have I. Sometimes things happen, like a cold, or illness in the family. Be patient, flexible and always communicate with the influencers if they are delayed in giving you content. Particularly in the cyber world, it is all too easy to become the troll behind a laptop when things do not go your way.
Have Clear Goals and Objectives
Before you reach out to an influencer, make sure you know what you want. Not unlike a personal relationship, no one likes the ‘define the relationship’ talk and it’s best to be clear upfront with your wants and needs. Hours of edits after something is published could be easily avoided with a detailed brief on expectations.
Look Beyond Numbers
All too often brands get hung up on pageviews, followers and the amount of times a potty training post was pinned. When you get down to it, content is key. Influencer Emily Stephens, from Naptime Is My Time said, “In terms of looking beyond numbers, I cannot wait for the day that brands/PR firms realize the importance of engagement rather than likes/followers. If the “fans” aren’t engaged, it does nothing for the product you’re trying to promote.” If you ignore the influencers with smaller numbers you may not only miss out on some amazing content but also reaching a unique niche of passionate followers.
Social media is ever-evolving and so is working with influencers. The opportunities are endless and influencers are being utilized by brands more frequently than ever before. In order to be successful with influencer programs, it takes concise strategy, a willingness to learn, and following these 5 tips.