How to evolve your influencer relations program

by | Mar 13, 2018 | Analysis, Public Relations

Today, influencer campaigns are used to increase sales, promote events or fundraising opportunities, create buzz around new product launches, or even highlight positive brand reputation. In other words, these campaigns are primarily used to meet short-term goals rather than develop long-term, consistent value.

A great deal of time and resources goes into selecting the right influencers and building a strong influencer relations program. Therefore, it’s important that your influencer relations program evolves as the needs of your organization changes. In your initial research on the influencer, you likely followed their interests and updates frequently so now you can use this background knowledge to inform your ongoing relationship.

Here are some ways to evolve your influencer relations program to create ongoing value to both your organization and the influencer, as well.

Content development

Influencers are clued into numerous sectors of the industry and possess a wealth of knowledge to bring new ideas to fuel PR and marketing content. Engaging an influencer in content development is a terrific way to promote their expertise and your organization’s value proposition. An influencer can contribute to your organization’s blog and highlight new industry trends while also stressing how your organization is remaining forward-thinking. Influencers can also co-author whitepapers or eBooks with your organization on timely topics that are relevant to your key stakeholders and new customers. With this third-party expertise from influencers, potential customers may also view this content as more credible.

Podcasts and webinars

Perhaps video and photo content were part of your organization’s short-term influencer campaign. Podcasts are ideal to allow influencers to share their proficiency in the industry while also discussing what the value add is that your organization is delivering to customers. When conducting outreach for podcasts, ensure the host understands that the influencer will likely say a few words about your organization – this shouldn’t be an issue.

On the other hand, webinars allow your organization to showcase its industry expertise and speak directly to potential new and existing customers. An influencer can share the virtual stage with a notable executive, to highlight key challenges customers in your industry may face and how your organization addresses them. While webinars hosted by your organization can be promotional, webinars from outside industry organizations and groups may not allow an influencer to talk about your organization unless you’re paying for a sponsorship. Always be sure to clarify this before engaging with the influencer on an external webinar opportunity.

Speaking opportunities

Depending on the level of expertise your influencer has, he/she can be an incredible resource to utilize for speaking opportunities at conferences – especially if they use your product or service personally and can speak from a customer perspective. An influencer can co-present with a representative at your organization and share their experience. At trade shows, a notable influencer can also draw attention to your organization’s booth or table and bolster your profile at the show.

An influencer is an evangelist for your organization. By creating long-term value for them through ongoing promotion with the right audience, they can be a treasured asset.

This article originally appeared on the PAN Communications blog; reprinted with permission.