Influencer marketing is an effective way for businesses to gain exposure, increase followers, and bring in potential new customers. In developing an influencer marketing campaign, brands have to reach out to influencers to get the ball rolling. But note that starting off on the right foot means communicating the right way and avoiding some of the common mistakes some brands make when working with influencers.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to inform your strategy when reaching out to potential influencer partners.
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The Do’s of Working with Fashion Influencers
· Do Offer Compensation
Fashion influencers work hard to represent your brand in a good light. Whether it’s taking photographs, writing a post, or organizing a social media campaign, it all takes time and effort, and this should be compensated. Hard work is hard work, regardless of the following. And if you can offer any incentives, be transparent about it.
· Do Take the Time to Familiarize Them with Your Product
Working with influencers who love your brand is a huge advantage. But if they aren’t familiar with your product, help them understand what makes your company unique, and share any information you feel will align with their values and lifestyle. Perhaps they are cause-driven and will connect with a charitable component of your business. If you’re in the design, accessory, or cosmetics industry, you may want to send them items they can use in a way that suits them.
· Do Give Them Creative Freedom
Nobody knows what will resonate with the audience better than the influencer. You should provide them with talking points to cover, but it’s just as important to give them creative freedom when it comes to conveying the ideas to their audience.
Influencers have spent months or even years learning what generates positive reactions and engagement from the audience. With the exception of inappropriate or off-brand remarks, do your best to help them create a sincere connection with the readers on behalf of your brand.
· Do Offer Social Media Support
When working with a fashion influencer, offer social media support. Tweeting and sharing their content on social media will go a long way. It will cultivate a relationship between you by building trust and a sense of dedication. It will also help drive brand loyalty among their followers.
· Do Identify the Best Social Media Channels to Reach Your Target Audience
Consider all the elements of your campaign when selecting the best social media channels for your influencer marketing strategy. Is your target audience active on a particular platform? Will a certain medium be the best way to frame and present your product?
For instance, both Instagram and YouTube attract millennial users, but each has a different format. If you’re a makeup brand, you can sponsor an Instagram post where an influencer shares a visually appealing photo of herself wearing your cosmetics. For makeup tutorials, you can tap YouTube influencers.
Consider how each social media platform intersects with your industry. Certain verticals, such as gaming, have higher concentrations of influencers on channels like YouTube and Twitch, while fashion collaborations are generally more common on Instagram and blogs.
The Don’ts of Working with Fashion Influencers
· Don’t Pitch to an Influencer Who Doesn’t Fit Your Brand
In finding social media influencers, keep in mind that there is no point in reaching out to someone who doesn’t fit your brand. It’s a waste of time and resources. Just like fashion influencers choose who to collaborate with, you should also pick which influencer to work with.
Think about whether an influencer would fit your product. If they don’t, consider moving on to other candidates. If you get it right, your business may soon be on the road to bigger things.
· Don’t Assume Event Coverage
One of the pet peeves of fashion influencers is when marketers assume inviting a blogger to an event means there will be an automatic blog post about it. Don’t assume that this is always the case. Most influencers attend events mainly for networking purposes. Focus on building relationships with them first before thinking about your content.
· Don’t Be Overbearing
An overly aggressive marketer is a huge turn-off for fashion influencers. Neither excessive follow-ups nor sending more than pitch will guarantee placement, and your pitch might even go out the window. Most influencers will give submitted proposals due consideration and, if interested, will contact you. Be respectful of their time and, they too, will be considerate of your pitch.
· Don’t Forget Their Audience
Just like how you take care of your clients by providing top-notch customer service, fashion influencers value their followers in the same context. Keeping their audience in mind while pitching will set you apart immediately.
Remind them how working with you will benefit their readers. Also, be sure to offer a news hook and explain why they need to cover something new. Being considerate of someone’s audience shows that you have done your research.
Focus on the Relationship
In developing your influencer marketing campaign, authenticity should be a key consideration. Hence, it’s important that you align your strategy with your influencer’s persona. Make sure they fit your company’s values and aesthetics and they understand your brand’s representation. Most importantly, keep in mind that the most successful partnerships are grounded on continuing relationships, not just onetime collaborations.
Maki is a writer for 0917 Lifestyle who’s always on the lookout for upcoming trends and isn’t afraid to test the waters with fashion-forward pieces. He loves vibing to lo-fi and R&B.