For any brand, working with social influencers is extremely valuable. It can generate new audiences, build brand loyalty among your already-dedicated following, and create authentic social content that gives context to the brand as readers can see it in the hands of a source they trust and relate to.

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Bottom-line, social influencers influence more purchase decisions than any other form of marketing, and here are a few quick stats from The Shelf to prove it:

  • 200 million people use ad blockers
  • User generated content (UGC) accounts for 25% of search engine results
  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations
  • 81% of moms read 5 blogs weekly
  • Blogs are the third most influential digital resource behind purchase decisions
  • 79% of consumers say brand should be less intrusive

 

As an agency with much experience in working with influencers, we’ve pulled a few tips that can help foster that relationships while still reaching brand objectives:

 

  1. Seeding

Often times, finding the right social influencer seems like searching for a needle in a haystack. First, you want to decide what type of influencer you are looking for.

  • What platform do they work on? Instagram, YouTube, blog, etc.
  • What audience are they speaking to? Lifestyle blogger, adventure photographer, Fashion icon, etc.
  • How influential do they need to be?

From there you can kick off the search by browsing through hashtags and surfing the web for impressive influencers. Usually, it’s once you’ve reached the deep, dark (and sometimes scary) hole of your searching is when you come across some of the most valuable influencers, depending upon your requirements and stipend.

 

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  1. Resourcing

Maybe your searching isn’t getting you the exact candidates you are looking for. There is the option to connect with a third party software that specializes in discovering influencers for your brand. Otherwise, you can always turn to the people you have access to. Host a brainstorm with coworkers, family/friends or other influencers that you already have an established relationship with who may already have a good grasp on what you’re looking for and your campaign’s core values. You might be surprised what options come up and what new influencers you are introduced to.

For example, for the FLIR FX Adventure Blogger Program, we found one of our most valuable partners, LadySlider.com through a referral from a previous established blogger relationship.

 

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  1. Values

While on the “manhunt” for influencers, your list will become overwhelming. A great way to narrow things down is to take a look at each influencer and see if their values align with your campaign. If you feel products would interrupt the aesthetic and flow, or if they simply don’t post any at all, move on to the next!

 

  1. Audiences

Sometimes influencers that have an enormous following will be less likely to work with your brand. This Huffington Post article talks about avoiding measuring a person’s influence and popularity by the number of fans or followers, but rather focusing on if it’s the right audience that aligns with the values of your brand or campaign.

 

  1. Authenticity

In this day in age, authenticity is key. Rather than giving your influencers a script or story to drive their posts, grant them creative freedom to explore, and use and review the product in an organic way.

This authentic approach is beneficial to both parties. The influencer is staying true to their own brand and values, while placing the product/brand in front of new audiences, aligning with all efforts to create a stronger relationship between brand, influencer and target audience.

 

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Whether it’s for a fashion-forward shoe brand, sporting goods company, or music venue, these 5 tips for working with social influencers can be extremely valuable in your next social driven campaign.

 

Written by: Jordan McDonnell, Social Media Account Coordinator