4 Lessons I’ve Learned as an Influencer
I personally hate referring to myself as an “influencer.” I much prefer the term blogger, publisher, or simply Alyson.
But I understand that, when working with a brand, it’s helpful to have a term that everyone relates to.
Being an “influencer” while working at a social media analytics company is one of the most perfect matches out there: it goes together like cookies and milk, peanut butter and jelly, Nutella and…well, anything. I think it’s extremely useful because when my Simply Measured customers want to work with influencers, I know how to approach them. I bring a unique perspective to the table because I’ve been on both sides: being the influencer, as well as pitching them in my agency days.
Over the years, I’ve picked up some tricks, and suggestions that may help you. Here are some lessons I’ve learned that you can apply to your own brand.
Give Influencers Creative Control
If you’re working with an influencer on a campaign, do not try and edit their blog posts, style how their Instagram photos look, or dictate their tweets. Let them write their blog posts in their own words. It’s more authentic that way.
We’ve all witnessed blogs where posts sound natural and engaging until a sponsored post rolls around. The sponsored post feels like it was written by a completely different person and loses the voice that made people visit the blog to begin with. This makes blog visitors more likely to ignore or even create negative associations with branded content.
Likewise, if your brand is working with a fashion blogger who only does outfit posts, don’t force him or her to release a product review that only highlights your product.
Have your influencers naturally weave your brand’s story and winning qualities into their content, and perhaps show a closeup of your product on their Instagram.
Work with Influencers Who Naturally Fit Your Brand
As a reader of many blogs, I can tell when someone was paid to talk about something.
For example, If you work on the social media team at Kmart and you want to work with an influencer who only shops at Barney’s New York or Neiman Marcus, it may not be the best fit.
Believe me, there are millions of people who love, embrace, and advocate your brand. Don’t be afraid to do a little research and find them, because their praise will come across much more natural and genuine.
Not only that, but the followers of that influencer will most likely also be in your target demographic, which means their readers and followers will be much more apt to buy from them.
Share Blog Content
Bloggers and influencers love to have their content shared by brands. Not only does it provide exposure to a different audience who may not have heard of their blog before, but it also opens the door to a positive working relationship.
Influencers may retweet your Instagram post to their readers, or get interested in your product and company. I know personally whenever a company retweets my content, I get extremely excited and flattered, and I want to support them.
Another positive way to work with influencers is to host “Instagram takeovers,” in which you let an influencer take over your Instagram handle for a day, week, or even month. This is a great way to cross-pollinate your brand and your influencer’s brand on each other’s respective channels.
Form Relationships That Are Mutually Beneficial
Nowadays, brands realize the value and reach that influencers have. If you’re wanting to work with an influencer, provide something that would be valuable to them.
There are different forms of currency, be it time, money, product, exposure, experience, or name recognition. Make sure what you’re asking for equals what you’re willing to give influencers.
A lot of times, brands provide monetary compensation to an influencer to write a blog post in trade for hours of their time and endorsement.
If you’re asking for influencers to tweet about you, give them a shoutout on your Twitter handle to make that post count.
There are three types of media: owned, earned, and paid. Influencers fall into the paid category most of the time. If your company does not have a large influencer budget, offer them generous products, a guest blog post on your website, the ability to speak at your conference, or another enticing incentive.
Don’t expect that “free press” or “exposure” in exchange for hours of social media coverage is fair in terms of the time and energy influencers will put into their work. A lot of influencers do have full-time jobs and blogging is simply a hobby for them, but for some influencers blogging is a full-time job. It is their only source of income, and they need to be paid fairly in order to make their living and to continue to create amazing and unique content.
Got Tips or Questions?
What have you learned about working with influencers? Better yet, what questions do you have for me? Tweet at me @Alyson_Andrews and download stellar our influencer marketing guide below if you want to know even more.
I'm an Enterprise Account Manager here at Simply Measured, and absolutely love looking at data and talking strategy with my customers. I'm a born and raised Seattleite, a life and style blogger at CrushingOnClothes.com, and love Gonzaga basketball, corgis, and handbags.