What you need to know about working with influencers

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We Are Social
At We Are Social we host a variety of events at our London HQ to inspire curious minds. To find out more about our forthcoming events, including our next Social Media Smackdown, taking place on Wednesday 20th April, visit our Eventbrite page.

We recently had a full house at our latest event, Influencer 101. The session was part of our regular 101 series, designed to inspire and inform an audience of brands and agencies on how to take advantage of outlying marketing disciplines and opportunities.

Run in partnership with leading social media analytics company Crimson Hexagon, we welcomed guest speakers Phil Mitchelson from Big Balls Media, representing influencers Copa90, LEGO’s Emily Mukalazi, Niche’s Luke Townsin and real-life influencer Poppy Dinsey. They joined We Are Social Editor Rhiain Temple, Dan Wheeldon and Dan Moseley from our Audi and adidas teams respectively to complete the lineup.

If you missed the night, don’t worry – here are some of the highlights.

Do your research
A large community isn’t the only criteria you should look for when looking for an influencer to partner with. Do they share brand values? Look for synergy with your brand across the influencer’s general views and opinions – and if they’ve already expressed an interest in / love for your brand on their channels, then even better. You should also make sure their community is the right fit for you – there’s no point building a relationship with someone with huge reach amongst the wrong demographic.

Know what matters to them
Today, a high value exchange is what matters most to influencers, whether this is access to experts, behind the scenes content or a genuine opportunity to co-create. Product reviews aren’t the main driver influencer partnerships – especially if it’s a product that’s been offered out to multiple other partners. What influencers want is the opportunity to create something new and unique, and brands need to give them the resources and opportunity to do so.

Influencers are professionals – treat them like it
When working with influencers it’s important to have clear communication from the get-go – be up front about your expectations, in writing. And don’t be afraid to bring up the money conversation, it’s not awkward, influencers are used to it and expect it. These days, you may find yourself talking to agents about that side of things anyway, especially for the bigger names in influencer marketing.

Trust them to know what their community responds to
When looking to work with an influencer, the best work isn’t created by arriving with an inflexible brief that’s set in stone. Every influencer will prefer brands to ask them to get involved from the very beginning of a campaign so that they can shape the creative output to fit their preferences, and importantly, what they know their community will respond to.

For more insights and brand case studies from Audi and LEGO, take a look at our video highlights from the evening, and remember to check out our forthcoming events in London. Look forward to seeing you at We Are Social soon!