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.


In Review: PERQ Launch Party & My First Verge Pitch Night

Whether born and raised or adopted into, any Hoosier who calls Indianapolis home can testify that there are a number of reasons to live and work in this great city. One I’m particularly pleased to see surfacing in these last few years is Indy becoming one of the world’s top marketing tech hubs. Indy was also just named the ninth city in the United States creating the most technology jobs.

There are several businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations behind Indy’s buzz and Verge is one of them. Verge, a meet-up for Midwestern entrepreneurs, marketers, developers or other professionals working in or investing in tech startups, is helping Indy uphold its advanced tech reputation.

Last week I had the great fortune to be under the same roof with Indianapolis’ elite tech professionals at our client PERQ’s launch party at my first ever Verge Pitch Night. Being a recent graduate and young professional who uses technology in my everyday life, I was excited to mingle with the familiar faces and names I’ve been following who are molding Indy’s tech scene.

I should mention that 500+ of Indy’s movers and shakers turned out for the event and helped make this the largest meet-up in Verge’s history. Good thing PERQ’s spacious office could house us all. Resembling an office space that you might see on the West Coast or featured on a interior design blog, the unique space proved to be a great conversation starter in and of itself with scooters lined up at the front of the building, a basketball hoop with complimentary IU Big Head wall décor in the game room, custom bar serving up local favorite Sun King Beer and other eye-catching décor throughout the building.

PERQ PartyAfter a little networking and sitting in on the Fireside Chat with the Verge and PERQ founders, I got to experience firsthand PERQ’s incentive-based technology, FATWIN. After entering my information into a kiosk, I played a casino-inspired slot machine game and won a nice PERQ-branded water bottle — some of my colleagues won sizable gift cards to PERQ’s client h.h. gregg, but I’m not jealous — I swear. 🙂

Here at Dittoe PR, we work with some of Indianapolis’ most innovative marketing tech companies and that makes me so proud to be a part of this firm. While talking with guests on Wednesday’s event, our Founding Principal Liza Dittoe said something compelling that really defines Indy’s marketing tech community: “Even though I may not personally know everyone in the room tonight, none of us are strangers.”

That thought really summed up the evening for me and my very first Verge event. Congratulations, PERQ!

Does Your Startup Have a Story?

“Startups that are failing tend to be struggling to tell a compelling story.”

Last week, the Dittoe Public Relations team was given the opportunity to take a front row seat as hundreds of entrepreneurs, founders and creative technologists from across the country converged on Indianapolis for the city’s first startup conference, The Powder Keg.

The Powder Keg introduced something brand new to Indianapolis by creating a series of events that exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship: sharing and leveraging the power of perspective shifting ideas so they can spread as widely and effectively as possible.

The entrepreneur community in Indianapolis (and across the Midwest) is itself an early-stage startup, but The Powder Keg proved without a shadow of a doubt that entrepreneurial energy and momentum are no longer limited to coastal tech hubs.














So, how can Indianapolis and other cities throughout the Midwest join the ranks of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston as centers of creation and innovation?

Tell better stories.

Throughout The Powder Keg, an interesting theme emerged as presenter after presenter took the stage and stressed the importance of telling your company’s story.

Nobody articulated the importance of storytelling better than Scott Case, founding CTO of Priceline and CEO of Startup America Partnership: “Startups that are failing tend to be struggling to tell a compelling story.”

In the startup world, the creation of a story can seem trivial when compared to the creation of a product or service, and the notion of storytelling can seem intimidating as it often conveys a very complicated process. As a result, startups often forgo the storytelling process so they can continue focusing on building and improving their product or service.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having a finished, easy-to-use product that delivers what it promises is critical. But a well-made product or useful service is not a story, and there is no shortage of great products and services that nobody has ever heard of.

A story is something that conveys information, ideas, emotion and context in an original and engaging manner. By itself, a startup does not provide context or convey emotion; it is merely a provider of a product, service or idea.

Sometimes, founders and entrepreneurs can be so invested in ensuring their startup’s success that they forget to consider the big picture: “What does this mean to those who aren’t invested (financially or emotionally) in our company?” “How does this new product change or improve upon something that has already been done?”

The amazing thing about early-stage startups is that every one of them has a story. And, having worked with more than a few, I can tell you that startup stories are some of the most entertaining ones you’ll ever hear.

Never underestimate the importance of just telling a good story. To make others care about your company or idea—whether you’re pitching your startup to potential investors, clients, partners and journalists, or just conversing with friends and family— you need to engage them with a story that conveys information, ideas, emotion and context.

What’s your startup’s story?


A big thanks to Matt Hunckler and the Verge community for hosting The Powder Keg and Startup Bowl!

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