The consumer landscape has shifted dramatically in the last decade. People have more power over brands than ever before, and many companies are unsure how to navigate the best path forward for reaching their targeted audiences.
One strategy is to leverage social media influencers, who command their corners of the internet by harnessing authenticity and relatability. These individuals are the future of marketing and PR—and savvy brands everywhere are tapping into their power.
Consider this statistic: 70% of teenagers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. Influencers are such masters of their audience that 4 out of 10 millennials surveyed said they believe their favorite influencer understands them better than their friends.
These aren’t just pseudo-celebs with smartphones. Influencers can help brands secure major digital marketing wins. But these relationships, like any, require work and forethought.
Before engaging an influencer, follow these steps to prepare for a meaningful partnership.
Preparing for a Successful Influencer Partnership
1. Let go of outdated ideas about influencer marketing.
Some of your brand stakeholders (maybe even you!) may not like the idea of working with social media stars. But influencers are professionals—and they work extremely hard to develop content that cultivates a loyal following.
Leaving influencers out of your social media strategy could put you behind the curve, especially if your competition is already leveraging influencer marketing.
2. Find the right influencer for your brand.
Take a strategic approach to influencer marketing by identifying people who align with your brand. Determine who your audience is following and which influencers might resonate with them. Planning a product placement shot with the right influencer can yield big rewards.
If you find someone whose content you enjoy and think he/she would help elevate your brand, act sooner rather than later. It will be more difficult (and expensive) to secure a partnership as the influencer gains more followers.
3. Prepare to pay.
Like any professional, influencers don’t work for free. Early in their careers, they’re likely to accept free products in exchange for promoting your brand. But as they garner a larger following, one social media post could cost you up to $1 million.
With the right approach, influencer marketing is a worthwhile investment. Allow for some trial and error in your process, but be prepared to pivot if you don’t see a return on your investment.
4. Be ready for success.
If your campaign is successful, are you prepared to meet increased demand? Influencer campaigns could crush your website with traffic or cause an influx of rush orders for your products.
The prospect of going viral is exciting, but you’ll need a plan to scale quickly and customer infrastructure sophisticated enough to handle rapid growth. Otherwise, you risk making a poor first impression on your brand new audience by having to navigate through a crisis that you created.
PR and influencer marketing go hand in hand. Both are about finding the right angle and using creative messaging to earn publicity. You even pitch influencers and reporters in a similar fashion.
A seasoned public relations professional will have the skills to help you land the right influencer and build a mutually beneficial partnership that yields the best results. Want to learn more? I’m here to help. Get in touch today!