How Influencers Create Content
The concept of “influencer marketing” is nothing new. For decades, brands and the advertising industry have gravitated toward using the notable, famous, and controversial as the face of their product endorsements. The thought process was that celebrities, due to their famous nature, were trustworthy enough to tell the truth about the products or services they were endorsing. But today, after many questionable partnerships, the magic has been tainted. And although celebrity endorsements are still being used, a new kind of “face” has swarmed most recently across the web (and even traditional media): digital influencers.
Digital influencers are bloggers, vloggers, or those who have simply amassed a sometimes inexplicably large following across their social media channels. The one thing they have in common is in the name: influence. One Instagram post and products fly off shelves, one tweet and “out of stock” notices come faster than you can add to cart.
But not all influencers are created equal. With the understanding that most influencers get paid to endorse products (just like Hollywood actresses would, albeit for a lot less), there is a lot of work that comes before an influencer posts a photo, produces a video or writes a blog post on a brand. It all starts with the pitch.
The PitchBefore deciding whether or not an influencer will create content for your brand, first you need to ask yourself the following question: does this influencer make sense for my brand? If you’re after them for their numbers, exposure or fame, it will come across as phony.
If you want the biggest fitness influencer to endorse your brand of faucets then you’ll need to do the legwork. Craft a storyline and pitch it to the influencer in a way that they’ll understand the value in your partnership. With a crappy pitch, it will go one of two ways: they’ll accept it but the story won’t be authentic, which will create no value for either of you. Or they’ll reject it entirely and it’s a missed opportunity for you.
Craft your pitch in a way that shows the influencer that they add value to your product and they’d be crazy not to work with you.
The Brand Messaging
This one goes hand-in-hand with the pitch but once the working relationship has begun, make sure to arm the influencer with everything they need to create stellar content. Your brand messages need to be concise and easy to include within blog posts.
Write short sentences, free of buzzwords and “kitschy” brand speak. It needs to make sense to the reader and although the influencer will adapt it to his or her own voice, it doesn’t hurt to already provide them with messaging that they can use directly.
Stock or Generic PhotosThinking of handing over a folder of stock photos or generic product photography for your influencers to use in a blog post? Just don’t do it. If anyone wanted to look at your brand-produced product images, they would go on your website. That is all.
Original Written Content/PhotographyYay! Fun! The internet’s favorite blogger is wearing your product/using your service! That’s what you want. The holy grail of influencer marketing culminates when your partnership comes to life creatively. Influencers got the where they were because they have a share of voice and/or because they produce content that gets people excited.
So let them take the reins and explore the creative process in a way that feels the truest to their own brand. Readers, followers, and general audiences won’t even know it’s a partnered post – until they see the FTC notice, but hey, by then they have already added your product to cart. #Score!
The Follow-upBe sure to remember an influencer is still a person, and this goes without saying, but thank them for their time, their creativity and the awesome pieces of content they’ve just produced for your brand or product. And obviously complete your part of the deal (and pay them).
Influencers have tight-knit communities and chances are, you may end up wanting to work with a fellow colleague. Word-of-mouth in this case works backwards as well. If similar influencers heard great things about you/your agency/your brand, they’ll feel more open to hear your initial pitch.
The SyndicationNow you have great array of content about your brand. What’s next? Our sister company, Carusele, produces Content Everywhere™ for some of the best brands in the world. They aggregate and syndicate the proven content both organically and with highly targeted social media buys.
The result? Scaled, targeted audience reach across the social web and beyond, featuring exceptional, authentic, branded content that is forever licensed to you and your brand. Take a look and see how the influencer content can continue to work hard all over the internet.
Now that you understand how influencers create content, continue onward and start reaching out to those you think will work for your audience.