Working with influencers is a great and relatively easy way to gain more exposure and traffic for your brand. We've spoken a lot about why brands should work with influencers, what you need to know about working with influencers and how to approach influencer collaboration, but we don't talk about what you definitely shouldn't do.
To make the relationship stronger and help them produce great content about your brand, avoid everything on this list in all communications with an influencer.
Don't Be Pushy
Being rude or pushy to an influencer will not make them want to support your brand, no matter the monetary benefits you are offering. Influencers do what they do because they love it, so getting pushed or generally not listening to their concerns is a quick way to end any potential working relationships on a bad note. Realise that for them to review a product, photograph a product and post about a product takes a lot of time, so continually harassing them could negatively impact their review of your brand! Be courteous when following up and offer them as much support and resources as possible.
Don't Assume It Is Just A Hobby
Most influencers no longer work a 9-5 job - they create content as their primary source of income and being an influencer is their job. Therefore, many influencers (particularly the top tier ones) will charge a fee for their time and effort if you want a dedicated post exclusively about your brand. Be understanding if/when they decline your collaboration opportunity if there is no exchange of payment or other form of compensation. Time is money, and influencers often have a lot of collaborations on the go at any one time, so keep this in mind when you approach them with a collaborative opportunity and don't assume that running their platforms is just a hobby.
Don't Provide A One-Sided Benefit
As with the above point, the collaborative opportunity you offer needs to be mutually beneficial for your brand as well as for the influencers growth, portfolio and income. If you are requesting them to post a photo for your brand on social media without any monetary compensation and sometimes not even a complimentary product, there is absolutely no benefit for them. Likewise, when you provide a press release and expect coverage that goes above and beyond, where is the benefit for the influencer?
Don't Send Generic Emails Without Research
Make sure you’ve done your research on the influencer and their platforms before you reach out to them. Ensure you know what they post about, their name (their real one!) and ensure that your brand, product or service is a good fit with their regular content and lifestyle. When contacting them, adding a personal touch helps you stand out, appear more approachable and genuine, and they can see that you've made the effort to really consider the opportunity and whether they would be a good fit.
Don't Spam Them
When working with influencers avoid sending spammy emails on a daily basis. It's much better, and more beneficial to your relationship, to send influencers relevant, informative and interesting emails that contain a real opportunity. Everyone loves to feel special and have a real conversation, so always work with a quality over quantity mantra.
Don't Be Vague and Confusing
Be clear with what you want and expect from the influencer and make sure they understand exactly what you are offering. Whether it is gifting for social media exposure or payment for a blog post, make sure you are clear with your intentions and expectations, rather than vague and confusing.
Don't Try To Control Their Creativity
If you are too restricting and enforce control over the content an influencer is set to create, you can have a very negative effect on your relationship and on the campaign as a whole. Influencers are popular among their followers because of their personal style, content aesthetic and tone of voice, so they know what works best to communicate a message with their audience. If the content they produce about your brand is dictated rather than their creativity, their audience will notice, engagement will drop and their credibility and authenticity suffers, which ultimately has an impact on your brand as content appears as blatant advertorial rather than editorial. Influencers are popular because they are great at creating content that interests and excites their particular audience, so let their creativity run wild with limited restrictions.
Don't Be Rude
It might be common sense, but don't be rude when you are communicating with an influencer. Speak to them as you would any other media partner and uphold professionalism at all times. Being polite can take you much further than being rude, so be polite even if you are having a bad day.
While working with an influencer is a fantastic marketing decision for your brand, be wary of these 8 common mistakes marketers make when outreaching and managing their influencer marketing campaigns and relationships.