This article is part of the Influencer Marketing Series, written and sponsored by Shopping Links, an online marketplace designed to make it easier for Bloggers and Brands to connect and collaborate. For $100 off your first collaboration, use code PROFF100.
As influencer collaborations become an increasingly common part of the job for publicists, so too has finding ways to maximize the return for clients. Leveraging influencer content beyond a collaboration is one of the most impactful, yet under-utilized ways that PR pros can boost the value to a client’s bottom line. And comes with the added benefit of bolstering agency case studies and program extension services. Likewise, if you’re a marketing manager or creative director, influencer content can help ease the burden of original content creation with imagery that remains on-brand and can be an effective selling tool.
Here are four ways to get the most out of influencer content for clients or your own brand:
1. Secure Image Rights for Ongoing Marketing Use
In order to be able to use images or video from an influencer collaboration, you need to secure appropriate image rights.
Ideally this takes place at the beginning stages of the partnership. If you manage influencer contracts, being mindful of securing the right image rights can go a long way toward adding long-term value to future marketing projects. Our experiences have shown that utilizing influencer content rather than in-house imagery or stock can increase engagement, order values and even sales. Through A/B tests of two recent email campaigns, for example, our client MARKS & SPENCER found influencer content to increase click-through rates, click-to-order rates and revenues, suggesting that the value of influencer imagery doesn’t stop at the aesthetic; it has the power to convert. Securing the rights to use imagery in digital ads can also add more value to your Instagram and Facebook ads by adding a familiar face to this content, something psychology tells us makes imagery more persuasive.
2. Post influencer content multiple times across owned social media channels
A more immediate way to leverage influencer content, particularly if you manage social media for a client, is using collaboration imagery to increase followers. It sounds simple, but posting campaign content and tagging the influencer in your post has many benefits. Basically, the tag attracts new followers searching for that influencer, which introduces new potential customers to the brand (or simply reinforces the brand’s ‘cool factor’), while creating increased interest and familiarity in the campaign itself. Keeping influencer content in your library for future “tbt” posts can help you get even more mileage – don’t be afraid to reuse previously published photos multiple times (or crop the hi-res at a different angle for a different visual emphasis).
If you manage influencer contracts, being mindful of securing the right image rights can go a long way toward adding long-term value to future marketing projects.
If you don’t manage the social media for clients, provide these recommendations in your post-campaign report. A recent study by L2 found that 70% of brands are using influencers to promote their products, but only 10% are leveraging the content created. Creating a seamless visual experience from an influencer’s blog to a brand’s eCommerce site can help take viewers through to the shopping cart.
3. Build your own content library
Although in many cases you’ll be able to leverage existing content from traditional influencer collaborations, where your primary goal is reach, sometimes, it’s valuable to collaborate with the primary purpose of creating content that positions a brand as a helpful resource. Influencers are particularly valuable for creating content that might otherwise be expensive to produce in-house, like video, while establishing a real relationship between the influencer and brand.
A recent study by L2 found that 70% of brands are using influencers to promote their products, but only 10% are leveraging the content created.
A hotel, for example, might commission a series of influencer-led packing tips or destination guides. A beauty brand might commission a series of tutorials for their own YouTube channel featuring high-influence vloggers. A fashion brand might use an influencer to take viewers behind the scenes during Fashion Week, as MARKS & SPENCER did recently in London with influencers like Emily Johnston of Fashion Fois Gras. You can repackage this content across different channels by including snippets on your client’s Instagram channel, or pitching to editors as ready-to-use content.
Meanwhile, imagery can prove just as valuable. Brands can boost their own blog and eCommerce content, from product pages to living and stye sections, by commissioning influencer imagery for that exact purpose.
4. Complement your press outreach
Whether you’re promoting a new fashion line or a creative travel package for a hotel, incorporating influencer content into your press outreach can help capture editor interest to land top-tier coverage. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Air Canada demonstrated the value of influencer content last year with a video featuring Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. Promoting a package called Après in the Air, the brands shared a 30-second video starring Bristowe within their press release, helping them land mentions in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Maxim.
Influencer content can be a powerful tool for publicists looking to create more engaging pitches, bolster a client’s social media presence, or increase customer engagement. Becoming mindful of this value can help you negotiate more effective influencer collaboration contracts and make recommendations that directly impact a brand’s bottom line, adding even more to your value as an agency or manager.