Three tips to influence with integrity
According to a recent Mediakix study, brands are set to spend up to $10 Billion on influencers in 2020, compared to this year’s total of $3.2B - $6.3B. It’s time to join the revolution, but you need to do it right.
Once a blogger and working in PR for more than five years, I’ve seen my fair share of brilliant, terrible and mediocre brand influencer campaigns.
The best are totally authentic between brand and influencer - you can see the influencer truly believes what they’re promoting. You will also often see the influencer talking about the brand again and again.
The worst look painfully obvious - the influencer will post a seemingly copied and pasted caption with a few brand hashtags and slap together a selfie with the product. You will likely never see anything else about the brand from the influencer.
The ones in between are unmemorable and fall into the abyss of online content.
Let’s talk about what an influencer is, why they matter and what you can do to influence with integrity.
What is an influencer and why do they matter?
An “influencer” is exactly what it sounds like - someone with influence. Originally, an influencer would have been media personalities, television stars or sporting heroes but today, thanks to the internet, they can be just about anyone who’s built up a following in their niche.
The best influencers are great content creators who truly believe in what they’re sharing. They turn their following into a passionate, engaged community, many having personal relationships with their followers. For example, Nic Scott, who runs men’s website The Empire, receives many private messages from Kiwi men sharing how much they appreciate his content and share their own problems with him.
Yes, you read that right. Kiwi men replying to an online content creator to say they appreciate him and his content.
Or Larissa from The Leo Style, who was involved in a paid partnership with underwear brand Berlei (my client at the time) who, after sharing a personal story on body acceptance, received more than 20 messages from women thanking her for her honesty, and complimenting the bras at the same time.
Now tell me if that’s ever happened with a TV commercial?
three tips on how to influence WITH INTEGRITY
The best way to get authentic content with your influencer is to be authentic yourself. Tell the influencer what made them stand out to you and want to work with them. If it’s just because of their following and engagement levels then I recommend you spend a bit more time getting to know them through their content. Do this and you’ll be able to truly trust in the partnership from the get-go.
That also means being authentic to the audience aka disclosing that it’s a paid partnership. And yes, just product means paid, too. You must always ensure all of your marketing efforts are labelled as such. If you do an advertorial in the paper - it must be disclosed, this is no different.
In your contract ensure #ad and your brand hashtag are compulsory requirements. If the influencer isn’t comfortable with that, then see ya later.
Trust them and let them do their thing
Unlike traditional marketing, for an influencer campaign to work the influencer must have creative control. You have to loosen the reigns of your branding guidelines and let the influencer create content they adore. Don’t send over fully fledged captions and expect them to be used word for word. If you’re working with someone you truly admire (see tip one) this shouldn’t be hard.
Open your wallet.
Sorry friends, but they don’t call it a $10 Billion dollar industry for nothing. If you want your campaign to work, you need to pay. I can’t imagine you would ever book a TV ad, send the station some of your product and expect it to be OK? Same goes here.
Research, find your favourite influencer, think of a mutually beneficial, longer-term project you can both work on and then send that email!
If you’re still not sure though, let’s chat. Shoot me an email and we can schedule a free 15 minute chat to get you going.