Influencers are everywhere. So much so, they’re now a mainstream marketing avenue. When collaborating with influencers how you work with them is as important as who you choose to work with.
Influencers fall somewhere between celebrity and traditional media outlets. They navigate the challenges of monetizing on a channel where they have built up an authentic following. For longevity, smart influencers know they need to stay true to their audience and personal brand. There are no advertising guidelines, no set rates and the working parameters vary from person to person. So when embarking on an influencer program (paid or not) it is important to consider how and where your brand will show up.
As a brand, a great way to get the most out of working with influencers is by creating experiences for them. Influencers are always looking for opportunities to create content and share details of their day. Tarte Cosmetics takes influencers on trips to a beautiful, exotic location a few times a year to align with a product launch (#trippinwithtarte). Other successful brands bring influencers on sourcing trips or behind-the-scenes tours of their head office or manufacturing, or they simply invite influencers on a private shop tour.
Personalization is key. Influencers love to share experiences that are created specific to their personality. The Bite Lip Lab in New York and Toronto allows customers to create their own shade of lipstick color. Influencers have shared their experiences at the Lab widely on their social channels, really putting Bite's name on the map. While not all brands can open a pop up shop, you can personalize elements of your brand when liaising with influencers. Unique send outs and events with custom gifts are just a few examples of this.
Trends are awesome. If your brand can jump on something that is trending and create a product or experience in line with that trend, you're likely to see a lot more coverage. Unicorns are very trendy in the makeup world right now, while athleisure is something a lot of clothing brands have been capitalizing on for a while. As always, staying on top of trends and being reactive is key.
Challenges are fun. Launching a product or embarking on a campaign? Think about how you can have influencers add their voice through a challenge that is fun for them to do and draws attention to your brand. Challenges are fun, easy to follow and allow influencers to engage with one another. Successful challenges include: the bean boozled challenge that launched with Harry Potter's flavoured jelly beans, ice bucket challenge that raised millions for ALS and the Disney challenge that draws a lot of attention to the brand.
Engage with them. Liking and commenting on influencers posts is so important as a brand and helps keep the relationship intact. This helps to keep your brand top-of-mind as working with influencers can ebb and flow, so keeping that consistent touch point is key to ongoing success.
Overall, it's important that you work with influencers who are passionate about your brand, or at least eager to learn more. With any influencer, it is important to consider not only their followers but engagement and comments on the content they produce.