Influencer “Outreach” is Dead
June 5th, 2012 by Patrick Thoburn
The old, earned media model of just sending Influencers a press release, or simply inviting them to a media event alongside reporters, is dead. Why? It’s difficult to scale and expensive to execute, resulting in poor ROI.
Yet, Influencers have an increasingly important role to play in building a brand’s social footprint. There’s a new way to leverage the power of Influencers that brands have discovered, and it’s connected to another re-discovery we’ve recently made: content.
“Brand-Influencer co-creation” is collaboration between brands and Influencers that results in highly shareable content. The content may start out on the Influencer’s social platforms, and on the brand’s owned and social sites, but ultimately, content from co-creation is designed to be widely seen and shared by consumers:
The following are 3 inspirations for brands looking to get the most out of content co-creation with Influencers.
1. Freshen up a tired format – GAP & fashion Influencers
Brand objective: Reinvent the seasonal catalogue.
Leading fashion Influencers at fabSugar, Lookbook.nu, and Refinery29 were invited to style pieces of GAP clothing. The Influencers used the GAP items as a foundation for an overall look that was showcased on the sites with accompanying descriptions.
Easily shareable on the usual social media platforms, the content on Styld.by was also published on the sites of the Influencers, or “content partners” who created the looks, with links back to Styld.by.
2. Content for paid media – Cool Whip & mom bloggers
Brand objective: Credible spokespeople for a paid media campaign
Cool Whip features four high-reaching mom bloggers in a digital campaign on its Facebook page extending to print ads in Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, and Family Circle magazines.
A Facebook app features the moms’ recipes and videos from a photo shoot that took place in New York. The print campaign shows the bloggers’ URLs fairly prominently, which likely drove increased traffic to the blogs.
3. Kick-starter – Honda “Pintermission” on Pinterest
Brand objective: Acquire Influencer gold dust to kick-start your brand’s own social presence.
Influencers are often early adopters of new social platforms like Pinterest. To help establish its own Pinterest page, Honda identified top pinners and grabbed some of their gold dust by rewarding them each with a $500 “Pintermission”.
The “Pintermission” was a 24-hr break from the site to engage with content they had already pinned – e.g. by buying products or visiting places from their pinned images.
The custom designed Pintermission invitations Honda sent to Influencers were pinned and re-pinned and formed initial content for Honda’s Pinterest page. Influencers played along and content from their Pintermissions was also featured on the Honda page.
Brands have amped up the process of Influencer outreach by spinning shareable content out of partnerships between themselves and Influencers.
Understanding what influencer’s want, whether that be affiliation with a known brand, the opportunity for traffic and exposure, or great content – and aligning it with the interests of a brand: affiliation with a credible third party, access to an influencer’s audience and great content, allows for brand-Influencer Co-Creation. It is a necessary and positive evolution of the old practice of Influencer outreach.