With the rise of digital content and social media, there are more ways than ever to promote your brand. While scrolling through Instagram, you may have spotted one of the trendiest forms of marketing – influencer campaigns. Influencers are social media personalities who provide their thousands of followers with information on lifestyle topics such as the hottest place to eat, trendiest clothes to wear, best skincare products, etc. Many companies partner with these influencers (sometimes with a payment or complimentary products) to promote their own products. We have worked with local food and dining influencers, who have written about our clients in exchange for lunch, dinner or cocktails. What we’ve learned is influencer marketing can give you a high return-on-investment if done right, but it can be intimidating to the novice. So we’ve compiled these handy tips to help you with your first influencer campaign:
1. Don’t Break Out That Checkbook
We often hear the shocking price tag that comes with influencer marketing, but you don’t have to open your purse to collaborate with Instagram influencers. Sure, some may hit you back with their pricing sheet, but there are plenty of other passionate Instagrammers who do this as a hobby, not a side-hustle. You may find, however, that there’s no guarantee that foodies will post about your establishment simply because you offered them a free meal. Review these Instagrammers’ posts and you’ll find the best Instagram collaborators.
2. Stories vs Posts
There are two ways to share your delicious plates or product launch on Instagram – an Instagram story (which expires after 24 hours) and an Instagram post. Instagram stories are a fun and easy way to capture an event, meal, party, etc with multiple posts to your temporary story (so you don’t spam your followers’ feeds!). This allows for a multi-dimensional view of your event to be captured separately and create a steady stream of buzz. While you can’t comment publicly on a story, you can repost an influencer’s stories on your own, or capture them in your saved stories, which will host them permanently in a collection on your page.
An Instagram post does not expire, can be liked and commented on, and is shown on a person’s profile feed. In a post, an Instagrammer can provide a robust caption with all of your campaign info. It is important to note that some influencers may only post to their story from your event, but don’t feel short-changed by that – both methods of posting your content are valuable to you and your potential customers.
3. Make the Influencer’s Life Easy With Helpful Content
Make it easy for the influencers you collaborate with to post about your campaign. Provide details and background about the event, restaurant, menu items, and brand. Supply props they might use and think of the lighting and the decor. They love selfies, so create an influencer funhouse of items to pose with – signs, balloons, activities, music, cocktails, food. Go big. In addition to providing them with Kodak moments, make sure you provide them with content they can use for their posts, and make sure it’s easily accessible. Consider offering a branded flash drive to take home or a dropbox link with your campaign hashtag, your social handles, press release, and campaign messaging. If you’re promoting a new menu, give them a printed menu. Always think about content; think of what exactly you need their followers to see in order to get accurately reflect your message and entice their followers to act — whether it’s making reservations, purchasing tickets or sharing.
4. Consider Their Schedules
You’re not the only one knocking on these Instagrammers’ DMs for partnerships. Consider these influencers’ busy schedules promoting other campaigns, and remember many of these people have separate, full-time jobs. Avoid planning your event during traditional work hours. Also, know you may hear crickets when inviting influencers to a Friday night campaign event. You’ll find the sweet spot to be after-work nights or weekend afternoons. Give plenty of notice, but prepared for plans to change.
Influencer marketing is a new landscape for many in the marketing world, but when done right it can be effective for driving web and foot traffic to an establishment. And most of all, it can turn out to be a lot of fun.
Want to learn how you can host an Instagram event, a meet-up or other gathers to generate buzz about your business? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and hey, while you’re at it subscribe to our email list here.