April 04, 2016
/ by Katie Gaab
With audiences having so many options for content these days, brands struggle to stand out. Sound familiar to your day-to-day content challenge?
To outmaneuver competitors and reach your audience, you must work with third-party advocates.
But it’s not a magic bullet. Even brands that launch influencer programs don’t always find immediate success in reaching new audiences and leading real-time conversations.
What prevents influencer programs from taking off? Here are three mistakes you might be making and tips for what to do instead.
Follower count should not be the sole determining factor when adding potential influencers to your target list. While celebrities, sports stars and musicians often have thousands if not millions of followers, don’t limit yourself to this type of influencer.
Partnering with celebrities will cost your brand a pretty penny and won’t necessarily provide the results you want. Instead, turn to lesser known influencers.
“If you can find the up-and-comers who are just starting to gain traction, it will be easier to cultivate a relationship with them because fewer brands are vying for their attention,” says Stacey Miller, Cision’s senior manager of communications.
With a media database, you’ll get an in-depth look at the influencers in your industry, an understanding of what they’re interested in and currently speaking about, and their insights into pitching preferences to guide your outreach efforts.
Once you’ve identified your brand’s best influencers, don’t assume your work is done. If you fail to continuously update your list, your brand will scramble to find the right influencer when the perfect opportunity comes.
Learn everything you can about your top influencers and use your research to segment your list. Organize subsections based on location, audience demographics, topic, preferred communication channel and more.
Influencers, like journalists, can change their focus. By keeping your list up to date, you’ll know exactly who to reach out to and how to pitch them.
Want more insight on real-time influence? Get our 6-step plan!
If you believe engagement is a one-and-done deal, you’re probably not getting anywhere with your relationships. Furthermore, once you get an influencer on board with your brand, don’t expect the relationship to continue without keeping in contact.
Stay in touch by adding insights to influencers’ social posts, sharing their work with your audience or even sending some snail mail. When you reach out, act genuinely and show your brand’s personality.
If your brand shows interest and dedication to developing these relationships, you’ll notice more influencers willing and wanting to collaborate with your brand when a major real-time event occurs.
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