6 Ways to Rock (and Ruin) Influencer Collaborations

Whether you’re coming from the brand perspective, you’re a blogger, or you’re a working publicist, it’s imperative to understand the basic principles of influencer collaborations. Brands are dedicating budget towards influencer marketing and as a PR professional, guiding the strategy can become your responsibility.

Case in point: nail polish company Formula X created a #ColorCurators campaign. They launched the series with Song of Style; specifically tapping into influencers to create their own colors. Something Navy was featured in TRESemmé’s NYFW TV commercials, and Chiara is Pantene’s newest ambassador. Welcome today’s celebrity: the blogger.

Trend reports show that brands are dedicating budget to influencer marketing and for the right reasons. Bloggers can move the needle. From sales, web traffic, or growing social following, bloggers can be a catalyst for brand recognition and buzz.

Welcome to today’s celebrity: the blogger.

Be Social assists with bloggers in three ways: publicity, collaboration, and content creation. Through work in the collaboration space we’ve honed in on the dos and don’ts of influencer marketing.

Tips for working with Fashion Bloggers

6 Elements of Successful Influencer Outreach Campaigns

  • Curate a thoughtful list of bloggers. First up, whose audience would find your brand interesting? Look for people that naturally fit with your brand. Choose influencers that can seamlessly speak to your company, products.
  • Obtain media kits from the bloggers you are looking to work with. Look at their unique monthly visitors (UMV), but also look at their engagement rate. How many comments are on their blog posts or Instagram photos? These are indicators that their audience is not only real, but engaged!
  • Provide the blogger a detailed creative brief on what you are looking for, including inspiration on the photo content, verbiage and visual aspects of the collaboration. The blogger can use this guide as a framework for their post and will assist with managing expectations and eliminate the back and forth.
  • Based on figures from your list, determine your budget, expected reach and outcome prior to reaching out with your campaign idea.
  • Have your lawyer craft an agreement with the blogger that includes details on FTC guidelines. We also suggest having a clause on how long the content needs to stay live on their properties. It’s often that you will find bloggers take down the content after being live for a 30 days. Ideally you want to the content to stay published indefinitely.
  • Provide trackable links to be embedded in the blog post to be able to track clicks and traffic generated from the content. This will help you gauge whether this blogger was a good fit for your brand.

6 Ways to Ruin an Influencer Collaboration

  • Expect that working with one blogger will put your brand on the map. Have a plan to work with a handful of bloggers to ensure a guaranteed number of impressions.
  • Be over-demanding. A blog is a business and a blogger has rates for a specific reason. Creating content takes work, time and dedication so be respectful and stick to the plan.
  • Work the pricing down to nothing and include additional lists of demands. The more you whittle down what you are willing to invest in the blogger, the more you whittle down the value of the relationship
  • Forget to require FTC disclosure when paying for sponsored content.
  • Delay handing over important creative assets and information so that the influencer has time to creatively put her own stamp on the campaign. No one likes being given the details at the 11th hour.
  • Expect an amazing post without clear guidelines, direction and positive communication. The best blogger collaborations take work from the PR/brand side, as you collectively come up with the program.

Bottom line, communication is key for a successful influencer program. It’s important to understand that a single blogger campaign is not going to provide overnight success. For most brands, influencer outreach goals should go beyond solely web traffic and sales. A successful campaign can provide alignment with a tastemaker and credibility among your target audience.

Blogger outreach campaigns can be extremely time consuming and it’s key that an expert is handling the relationship, seeding and program management. If you’re on the marketing side of the spectrum, be sure to check out the PR Couture/Fashion PR Girl on-demand course, Instappable, which will give you all the tools to make you an expert collaborator (I’m one of the guest experts!).

About Ali Grant

Ali Grant is the founder of Be Social, a premium lifestyle communications agency. She started her career at the beginning of the blogger boom facilitating blogger seeding for fashion labels and has since merged her digital expertise with traditional public relations to form Be Social. Through strategic public relations and social media campaign management, Ali has earned recognition for Be Social in leading industry publications, including being named by PRWeek as the Top 50 Innovators in digital publicity. Further accolades include features in Huffington Post, PRWeek, Fashion Monitor, The PR Closet, PR Couture, Daily Front Row, BW Confidential, The Holmes Report, O’Dwyer PR, and has held educational courses at America’s Beauty Show and Bloguettes.