Navigating Influencer Marketing in New Orleans
The world of marketing and public relations is more dynamic than ever before. As an agency specializing in digital-first marketing and PR, we have embraced influencer marketing with open arms.
The relatively new (but growing rapidly) tactic is not concretely defined. Running an influencer campaign largely depends on the product or business you are trying to promote, and the audience (s) you are trying to reach.
Here’s a few of the most common questions people are asking us about influencer marketing:
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is working with individuals who have trusted followings, and are seen as having a specific expertise to promote your product or business.
Why use influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing can be great for growing your brand’s social media profiles, to promote your business or product, boost event ticket sales, and more through voices your consumers already know and trust.
What makes an influencer?
I hate to give the obvious answer, but an influencer is anyone who has influence over your target audience’s opinions and choices. This is typically judged by the number of readers a blogger has, views a vlogger receives, the number of followers a person has on Instagram or Twitter, or the number of likes on a Facebook page. Be sure to check social media engagements too. Influencers should not only have large followings, but produce content that their followers want to interact with.
How do I choose the correct influencers?
While there are search tools out there, and influencer talent agencies are even becoming a thing, the best place to find the right influencers is by trolling social media and Google yourself. Search for hashtags that relate to what you want to promote, or search by location. If you’re trying to get people to you business, search by check-in’s on Facebook or location tags on Instagram of other places your audience may also be interested in. Googling long-tail keywords may also often bring up highly-engaged with posts from social media. You can also comb through articles like this one from Thrillist if you’re looking for influencers in a specific geographical region.
Be sure to take a close look at who the influencer’s audience is. You should be working with influencers whose audience match yours, which could even change for you dependent on the product or event you are currently promoting.
Do I have to pay for influencer marketing?
It depends. Like most things, influencer marketing is something that takes time to get the hang of. Start by reaching out to the influencers you are interested in working with, and over time you will get an idea as to what you should be offering. It will differ from influencer to influencer.
It’s essential that you offer them some sort of value for their time and effort even if it can’t be monetary. Many up and coming influencers, will take trades for event tickets, free workout classes, food, drinks, products or pretty much anything else! Who doesn’t love free stuff?
If you can’t offer that, let them know your budget is limited, and at least offer to tag them on your social media to cross-promote.
If the influencer is interested only in monetary compensation, they’ll let you know. Again, because this is a newer form of marketing, it’s hard to know if your compensation is worth what they are asking. Compare the rates to advertising rates to get an idea. The money is very often worth it!
Who handles influencer marketing within an agency?
Agencies each handle influencer marketing in their own way, and many business owners take it on themselves. In a full-service marketing agency, influencer marketing should be split between the PR and social media team with the PR team taking the lead.
Influencer outreach should be treated like media relations which your PR team already has the know-how on. Have your social team help with research to identify the correct influencers to reach out to, the outreach and coordination reside with your PR team, and the social team can assist with any post writing that needs to be done. Of course, these departments often overlap dependent upon agency so it really depends on the makeup of your company.
Be sure to respect the influencers you are working with. Similarly to working with media, understanding influencers’ style and interests before reaching out is key. You shouldn’t reach out to a food & beverage influencer with a new clothing line, or a mommy blogger to promote a frat party.
If you’re working on an all encompassing marketing campaign for a client, or your own business, you don’t want to leave influencer marketing behind.
Influencer marketing can even be done relatively inexpensively at a local level. If you’re a new restaurant hitting the competitive New Orleans scene, invite influencers in to taste what you are serving up, or host an influencer event. You can even reach out to ask if they’d be willing to partner for a giveaway or have your chef do a takeover on their account – engaging for both your followers and theirs. You won’t regret it!