Tips for Successful Influencer Relations

Although it’s been around for decades in the form of celebrity endorsements, influencer relations is the latest craze in public relations and integrated marketing and is only going to continue to grow in relevancy. Rightfully so, too, because if done correctly, partnerships with influencers equate to a more personal approach to telling your brand story and thus generate brand loyally over time.

 

If you aren’t already incorporating influencer relations into your strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Working with an influencer can result in a number of things, including increased website traffic, social followers, new subscribers, brand recognition, and hopefully product or service sales.

 

First things first, though: Spend time identifying your goals and objectives for a social influencer campaign, as well as a clear understanding of your target audience. Once that is set, you can build your list of influencers – researching to find ones that align with your brand, have an engaging follower base, manage a presence across more than one platform, and showcase the ability to tell a story with each post. Influencers come in many forms – from celebrities to bloggers to creatives – so look far and wide to find those that are most likely to positively impact your brand and convert into engaging customers.

 

As PR pros, we have been bred to run successful media relations campaigns. We understand the research and creativity it takes to consistently secure our client’s a spot in the headlines. Whether earned or paid, successful influencer relations campaigns require just as much thought, strategy, and personalization.

 

There is not a hard-and-fast equation to follow when engaging with influencers. Instead, ensure that these relationships are specific to both the influencer and the brand you represent based on the desired target audience, deliverables, and outcome.

 

Here are a some of our top tips for your next social influencer campaign:

 

Lay out partnership expectations up front. Social influencer partnerships are often set up as an exchange of product and/or payment for social or blog content. Proposing a clear list of expectations – timeline, number of and type of posts, etc. – will set the partnership up for success from the very beginning.

 

Take the relationship beyond transactional. This rings true in media relations, too, and it’s just as important with social influencers. Treat them as professionals but don’t forget to be personable. Engage with them on their core channels and build a relationship before, during, and after the partnership.

 

Do your research. As previously mentioned, the personal brand of the influencer should align with the brand of the company you’re representing. Spend time reading their blog, scrolling their Instagram, or watching their videos to understand what content performs well for the influencer before proposing a partnership. Every relationship and partnership should be customized.

 

One post is not enough. Work with the influencer to build a partnership that extends beyond one post on one platform. Opportunities that engage with an influencer’s audience repeatedly are going to have a higher ROI by gradually creating better brand recognition and by extension brand loyalty. In other words, consider monthly partnerships with options to extend based on the success of the campaign.

 

Create a social media budget. These days, most social influencers require compensation, so be prepared to offer more than just a product exchange. Set aside a percentage of your marketing budget for influencer relations if it’s an important medium for your business. There is always room for negotiatian but be careful not to discredit an influencer’s work.

 

It’s not about the follower count anymore. Influencers worth working with should have an engaging and loyal audience. Also deemed as micro-influencers, those with fewer followers may have a higher ROI than those with tens of thousands of followers. Analyze how their followers engage with their content – such as comments and likes – and the type of content that performs best for their audience.

 

We’re no strangers to successful social influencer campaigns. Need assistance? Contact us for a consultation.

 

Homegrown By Heroes – PR with a (purple) heart

In July 2015, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture launched the first statewide, state-supported program – Indiana Grown – that creates a clearer designation of which products are truly farmed, produced and/or processed in Indiana. Through Indiana Grown, the term “local” started to take on an entirely new meaning.

Pence-launching-Homegrown-By-Heroes-.-270x180By focusing on its three major components – including educating consumers on the importance of buying Indiana Grown products, increasing sales and networking opportunities for Indiana farmers, and expanding support for Indiana processers in their effort to process more Indiana Grown products – Indiana Grown has already witnessed great success for its more than 400 members.

With membership on the rise, Indiana Grown is continuing to build its portfolio of benefits with the launch of Indiana Grown Homegrown By Heroes, a program that aims to recruit Indiana Veterans to the agriculture industry.

HomegrownThe launch of this program was celebrated publically at the Indianapolis War Memorial on Feb. 29. In addition to the presence of many Indiana Grown representatives and members, Gov. Mike Pence, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Homegrown By Heroes and the Farmer Veteran Coalition offered support at the press conference announcing the new veteran-focused program.

Homegrown By Heroes is a national program administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition that includes more than 250 members in 43 states, including Indiana. By teaming up with Indiana Grown, the new program gives local producers who have served in the military the opportunity to use an exclusively-designed logo on their business signage and/or product labels. As a result of this added marketing logo, consumers can easily identify products made by Hoosier veterans and support them through every purchase.

As the PR agency on record for ISDA’s Indiana Grown program, Dittoe PR worked diligently to build awareness through personalized media relations, resulting in more than 50 pieces of TV, digital and print coverage in the first week since launch. Our team is thrilled to play a role in telling the story of programs such as Indiana Grown that focus on better supporting Hoosiers and Hoosier veterans in agriculture.

Sputnik-sized grand opening propels Broken Beaker Distillery

Focusing on the experimental side of distilled spirits and craft cocktails, Broken Beaker Distillery opened its doors yesterday to a warm welcome (minus the weather). The bar was packed and popping within the first ten minutes and didn’t slow down until last call.IMG_9079

Inspired by their owners, a chemist and an engineer by trade, Broken Beaker combines humor and science to create an atmosphere unlike any other on the popular Massachusetts Avenue.

The distillery focuses on the ‘experimental’ side of craft cocktails. Periodic table shelving extrudes from behind the bar and holds signature and seasonal spirits with quirky, scientific names. Broken Beaker’s soapstone bar top and classic laboratory bar stools bring back memories of a high school chemistry classroom while foosball tables and 50-inch TVs modernize the trendy 3,500-square-foot distillery.

Guided tours provide customers and alcohol aficionados a sneak peek into the on-site distillery and encourage feedback and ideas for future science-infused spirits. An outdoor patio is already planned for this spring.

How Dittoe PR assisted in the Broken Beaker opening
IMG_9019Broken Beaker is Mass Ave’s first on-site distillery and a business with a story that was begging to be told. Needless to say, hiring the professional storytellers at Dittoe PR was a no-brainer for these science minded entrepreneurs.

Leading up to the grand opening, Dittoe executed several communications tactics that secured mountains of coverage and ensured that the distillery would be on the forefront of everyone’s minds.

We created and managed Broken Beaker Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, using these to connect with food and beverage reporters, on-air personalities, restaurant reviewers and influential Indianapolis thought leaders. Our established relationships with members of the local media earned us coverage in nearly all relevant outlets including, The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Business Journal, Indianapolis Monthly, WTHR, Fox59, WISH TV, and Indiana On Tap.

IMG_9047Finally, Dittoe organized an exclusive VIP event with social media influencers, local media members as well as movers and shakers in the Indianapolis tourism scene. This generated a palatable buzz the night before the event which carried over until the grand opening.

Stop by Broken Beaker Distillery

With Dittoe PR’s assistance, Broken Beaker Distillery is well on its way to becoming a unique and popular staple in a neighborhood known for its iconic nightlife. They’re located at 643 Massachusetts Ave., next to Ralston’s Draft House. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that stopping in for a drink is a good idea!

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