At a time of year when “traditions” can be found everywhere you turn, why not take an alternative approach to media relations? Given the constantly shifting landscape, PR professionals must understand how to connect beyond traditional media. How? Build relationships with bloggers and online influencers. These journalists in their own right enjoy tremendous followings across a variety of demographics. Engaging these digital influencers avails brands of access to captive and often highly loyal audience segments.
When considering online influencer engagement, begin by identifying a small cadre of bloggers that fit within your brand’s verticals. Quality over quantity is key as you want to identify bloggers that will authentically communicate the most relevant elements of the brand through their platforms. For example, the Key West inspired menswear brand, Madda Fella, has an adventurous image and “Live Life Now” mantra that aligns nicely with travel and men’s lifestyle bloggers.
A vital component of the partnership is to elicit the bloggers’ ideas and recommendations. They are the experts on what appeals to their audience, so it’s important to collaborate on creating a story that will reach their fans in an authentic manner.
Options for engagement can range from, but are not limited to, the following:
- Gifting – sending a seed package or samples from the latest collection is an easy way to start a dialogue with a blogger. If they love your product, they are likely to post about it and share on their social media channels. This will not only expose the brand to potential customers, but it can drive them to the brand’s website and boost its own social platforms.
- Teasers – Announcing the partnership or enticing followers to “stay tuned” for an exciting new project with the brand is another simple way to open the door to potential customers. Followers will be intrigued to learn more, which, again, can drive traffic to the brand’s site and lead to a greater brand following.
- Social Takeovers – The blogger will take over the brand’s Instagram or Twitter account for a period of time. Partnering for a social takeover is a valuable way to expand reach and directly increase the brand’s social following. The blogger will Tweet or post photos from the brand’s social handles to provide followers with unique content curated by the blogger. Take a look at these Instagram Takeovers and see for yourself this type of engagement.
- Event Hosting – The blogger will host an event held on behalf of the brand at its retail location or trade show, for example. It can even be part of a stand-alone event.
- Philanthropy – Partnering with a blogger to spread awareness for a particular cause or charity is beneficial in many ways. If the blogger has her own personal tie to the cause, it will provide followers with an authentic perspective. This positions the brand and the influencer both in a positive light.
Most importantly, be part of a story. Madda Fella was able to successfully reach audiences it typically would not have access to through partnerships with the lifestyle blog He Spoke Style and travel blog Expert Vagabond.
Check out the recent stories featuring our client Madda Fella here: He Spoke Style: A Castaway in Key West and Expert Vagabond: Exploring Mayan Ruins & Cenotes with Madda Fella.