Give ’Em Something to Talk About: 4 Tips for Successful Influencer Relations
Posted on May 11, 2018 by ellenbarnes
Havas PR account executive Audrey Arbogast was recently named among the top Social Movers and Shakers in the country by The Social Shake-Up, which honored its award winners in Atlanta this week. A part of our team since August 2015, Audrey founded our 24/7-always-on digital marketing department, and her knack for mobilizing Instagram influencers has inspired us to add social media and influencer outreach into our scope for more clients. Here are some of her top influencer relations tips.
Groove to the influencer’s beat
“Similar to media relations, most influencers have a targeted ‘beat,’ so your goal should be to present your message in a way that matches the beat they cover. This doesn’t mean pigeonholing yourself—i.e., “my health-related pitch can only go to influencers posting about health”—but conducting outreach to out-of-the-box candidates requires creative pitching. Some of the best partnerships we’ve secured have come from unlikely influencers whom we’ve presented with a unique value proposition that relates back to their beat. For example, for True Citrus (our client that makes all-natural water enhancers), we were originally targeting fitness, mom and foodie influencers. I wanted to broaden that, and one of the ways I did so was by targeting outdoorsy-types/hikers/backpackers and re-framing my message to highlight the fact that you can easily take True Citrus on hiking trips to hydrate with water in a way that won’t weigh a backpack down. The main thing is to make the value of your product clear to the influencer and his/her lifestyle.
Professionally stalk (aka do your research)
“I’m almost ‘creepy’ with how much I get to know influencers through their social feed and blog. If I can find something to relate to, I use this to make my e-mail stand out, as I know these influencers can get inundated with pitches similar to mine. My real-life examples include telling an influencer I related to her recent post about a hike in Zion National Park and telling another that I love the restaurant she recently visited. I also told one that she and I have the same doormat from Wayfair.com. If you can relate the research back to the client’s purposes, even better—e.g., ‘I know I’ve reached out to you in the past, but I see you just announced you’re expecting! As such, I would love to have you try …” is a line I’ve used when doing outreach for AQUA Carpatica, which makes nitrate-free water that is naturally pregnancy-friendly.”
Real recognizes real
“Being real with influencers goes a long way and is eventually apparent in their posts. For example, if we’re paying for a post, I do my best to negotiate a rate that will A) satisfy our client and B) be respectful of the work/time it takes the influencer to do what they do. When having this conversation, I like to be totally transparent about budget restrictions and client expectations, and I find that more often than not, the influencer will meet me halfway. If I can acknowledge their position, they usually can recognize the one I’m in! This leads to better communication, which can build long-term relationships and yield more authentic results.”
Blow it out
“Use a partnership to its full potential. By having an influencer post from their Instagram and leaving it at that, you’re only getting about one-third of a paid post’s full value. To get the full value, we take the influencer’s post, use it on our own social media and push it out with a budget. There are also some instances in which we’ll have the influencer boost it on their end, which also works for adding a layer of distribution.”
Want more social media guidance? Read our blog post on how to create a hashtag that works hard for a brand and makes it stand out.