The Five Deadly Sins of Influencer Engagement


Building positive relationships with online influencers is one of the biggest challenges in social media, and trying getting your message in front of millions of engaged, passionate audiences is full of pitfalls. Martin Carter shares his five deadly sins of influencer engagement.

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As featured on Marketing


Brands are now putting huge efforts into their influencer engagement campaigns and, whilst some are getting it right, some are getting it spectacularly wrong. But where exactly are brands letting themselves down? Well, they’re usually committing at least one of these deadly sins.

Martin Carter, Creative Manager, Stickyeyes

1. Failing to give bloggers a reason to care about you

Just like many of the top journalists, the top influences are inundated with offers to work with major brands. So why should they work with yours?

You have to offer them something to really get them excited about your brand and your product. If you don’t, you’ll just end up in that ‘other’ pile with the rest of the bland press releases and impersonal emails.

Offering something of value doesn’t mean breaking the bank with limo rides to fancy West End parties – it can just be something simple that stands out as something that the blogger and their audience can care about. Be personable, get to know what matters to them and show why you want to work with them.

2. Not being clear on what you actually want

Let’s say, for example, that you want your bloggers to take six pictures of themselves performing a handstand whilst wearing a gypsy belt. It might sound obvious, but it is a good idea to mention that from the outset. If not, you’re going to be having a very awkward discussion with that blogger when the pictures eventually come through.

That example might be a touch extreme, but it highlights the importance of explaining exactly what you do (and don’t) expect from the outset.

Be clear, be up front and let the blogger decide if they want to get involved before you start working together. It will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

3. Overpromising what you can deliver

Getting access to the top bloggers can be difficult, but don’t try to over-sell what you can offer in an attempt to seal the deal.

Don’t try and tell the UK’s biggest vlogger that you can get their latest video on your brand’s Facebook page three times a week if you don’t have any access to your brand’s Facebook profile. Similarly, don’t tell them that you can put in a good word for them with your contact at Grazia if your contact is an intern that you happened to bump into on the Tube a few months back.

Being realistic and honest, especially if you are a small brand, might not get you the spot this time, but promising the world and failing to deliver will be much more harmful in the long term.

4. Inconsistency

When you talk to bloggers as much as we do, you get to know a lot about what really frustrates them. One of the biggest banes of a blogger’s life is consistency – or a lack of it.

Bloggers often tell us that PR people want to be their best friend one minute but when the post goes live, they’re lucky to get a thank-you.

Yes PR people, we know that you’re busy, but it really isn’t that difficult or time consuming to keep bloggers up to date. Even if it is a simple catch-up email to say you’ve shipped the product to them, it means a lot.

5. Not researching

Every now and then, a brand ends up becoming the latest example of how not to do blogger engagement. More often than not, this stems from a lack of research.

Like many things, this sounds very obvious, but so many brands get it wrong. For example, make sure that you know which team your Manchester-based football blogger supports before you order the tickets. Sending a City fan to Old Trafford isn’t going to enhance your relationship.

And please, don’t put all of your faith in mail merge and copy and paste.

Do your research and avoid being the brand that gets talked about at the next social media conference.

Want to know more about our approach to influencer engagement? Get in touch and see how we can help you.

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