Influencer marketing has taken the world by storm, and more than ever blogger relationships are forming a significant part of brands' PR strategies. It may all seem a tad complex, but it's all pretty simple once you look past the numbers. Want to get your product featured by the best influencers in the country? Here's a few things you need to know..
1. Engage the Right Influencers
The first thing to know about influencers is that they tend not to promote products or brands that they wouldn't use - sounds simple, but sometimes brands are so eager to get their name out there that they fall at the first hurdle. It's so important that you look for influencers who match your brand values and who will promote your brand and product with passion. You need to make sure that their target market is the same as yours; where are their followers shopping? Eating? Going on holiday? If an influencer features predominantly high street items and you're a luxury brand, chances are your audiences won't align, so even if you do get that all-important social mention it's unlikely to lead to anything.
2. Share Creative Control
One thing to remember is that influencers didn't grow their following overnight; they've worked hard to get to where they are and with time they've come to know their audience pretty well. The key to a successful partnership is authenticity, so it's important to give the influencer creative control and trust that they know their followers better than anyone else. Let them introduce your brand to their audience in their own way and watch them work their magic.
3. Quality over Quantity
It is important to remember to not only contact the influencers with the biggest following. Having a massive follower count does not mean they are right for your brand. Make the most of your niche - are you an ethical brand? Go after the smaller, sustainable bloggers whose audience is more likely to invest more money into fairly made products. It will be a lot more beneficial to align with influencers who are less known on the whole, but are more respected within the specific target market you are in.
4. handbags don't pay rent
This is perhaps the most important point to make about working with influencers - sending products is all well and good, but for many blogging is a full time career and unfortunately most landlords won't accept clothes as payment. Many influencers will be happy to take a product for free, but don't expect that they'll post just because you've gifted them. Unless you've paid them, social coverage is no guarantee.
5. Monitor and Measure Results
So you've gifted an influencer and they've posted about your product - great! It's one thing to work with influencers to increase your brand recognition, but there's no point doing so if you don't know what's working and what isn't. Don't just measure sales (after all, consumers often need much more than a social post to be convinced to buy) - measure engagement on the post, any new followers to your account and website traffic. Use this information to hone in on the right influencers for you and use your findings to influence who you work with next time.