Because the landscape of marketing and public relations is constantly evolving, it is important to keep up with current trends and include them in your client’s PR strategies.
Influencer marketing has become a massive component in successful digital PR campaigns, and it has proven impact on brand exposure.
An influencer is someone who has clout in a particular industry. He or she has a loyal following of individuals who trust what the influencer is filtering to them. There is great value in having influencers associated with your client’s brand. Not only will they help get information to your target audience but their communities also highly respect their authority. They are therefore able to impact consumer purchasing decisions.
All PR professionals know the importance of forming meaningful relationships; relationships are the core of what we do. By cultivating relationships with both influencers and media contacts, we can continue to expand our network of influential connections across industries.
The process of first identifying and then managing relationships with influencers can be a bit tricky. Here is a step-by-step guide to building these connections.
Finding influencers can be a mundane task. However, the research is worth the reward. Recognizing the right individual who has influence over your target audience will have a great impact on your marketing and digital PR efforts.
For example, say you are looking to find influencers in the beauty industry. If you search Google for terms like “top beauty influencers,” it is possible there are existing articles highlighting major influencers in that field.
Leverage social media by searching similar terms. You could search “beauty blogger” on Twitter, where the platform will generate the most popular accounts associated with those keywords.
How you engage in your initial conversations will set the tone for the rest of your engagement with influencers. As with traditional PR relationship building, you should start by taking the time to familiarize yourself with the individuals, their social channels, and their work.
Engage with them on social media by liking, commenting on, and sharing their content. When the time comes to send them a message, choose the best platform, whether social or e-mail (if listed). Then share as much information with them as possible.
Compliment the influencers and let them know what about their online presence made you interested in connecting. Tell them about yourself and your client and how you envision working together. Be sure to include how working together will be beneficial for the influencer’s brand. No relationship should be one-sided.
Defining the Relationship
If an influencer expresses interest in working with you and your client, your next step is to strategically define how you will fulfill the relationship. Think about what you want out of working with the influencer. Do you want that person to review your client’s product for exposure on his or her channel? Do you want to invite the influencer to a special event, such as a grand opening?
Know what you are looking for before reaching out so you can easily define goals to the influencer. Keep in mind it’s always possible that the people you are contacting have not had a positive experience with your client’s products or services.
Building a Long-Lasting Relationship
If working together is a positive experience for both you and your influencers, then it is important to continue your working relationship. When projects are over, continue to engage with the influencers on social media, and send the occasional e-mail checking in with them. You never know when a similar project or client might arise that would bring you together again.
In the digital age, it is becoming less common to have in-person meetings. Still, it is never out of question to ask an influencer to grab coffee and discuss current ways you can work together in the future.
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- Influencer Marketing: Building Successful Relationships - August 17, 2016