During our time on Instagram we have worked with a number of different businesses, both large and small. Particularly so over the last couple of months where we have collaborated with a number of different businesses on upcoming events, new product ranges and general brand awareness.
Because we have worked with a number of different businesses we have come to learn what works and what doesn’t. To help businesses that are looking to engage in influencer marketing we’ve put together this post to tell you what works and what doesn’t when it comes to working with influencers.
1. Be Upfront With What You Want and What You’re Offering
I can’t even count the number of times we’ve received a message along the lines of ‘Hey, you should come to our restaurant’. Majority of the time those messages never end up going anywhere. The thing is those messages are WAY too broad. Are you just telling us to come to your restaurant? Are you offering a free meal in exchange for an Instagram mention? Do you want us to take photos for your restaurant? Are you interested in paying us for a mention on our blog? We don’t know unless you tell us.
When reaching out to an influencer be clear in what you’re offering and what you want in exchange. Send a message along the lines of:
Greeting – say hello!
Introductions – tell us who you are and what business you are from. In addition to this tell us about the business you’re representing, what is it’s name (and social media handles), what product/service does it offer, how did the business start and what is it’s mission statement.
The Offering – what would you like to offer us. Is it a free meal, free products, an invite to an event or payment. Let us know and be as clear as possible.
The Request – what do you want from us in exchange for your offering. Is it a post on our Instagram stories or our Instagram feed, a post on our Facebook account or a full length blog. Again, be as clear as possible.
Farewell – that’s it. Say your farewells and let us know where you’d like us to contact you (email, phone, Instagram direct message, etc).
^^ Yep, it’s really that easy.
2. Give Us As Much Notice As Possible
This one might seem a little obvious but please give us as much notice as possible. We both work, we both have other commitments, and we book out for events weeks in advance.
Some businesses give us weeks/months notice prior to an event while others have literally told us hours before an event. The more notice you give us the more likely we are to come.
The same goes for if you’re gifting us a product with a specific upload date in mind. Give us enough notice to take the pictures, edit the pictures and write a caption.
3. Think About The Lighting
If you want us to come and take pictures at your store/restaurant/cafe you want those pictures to be the best they can be right? Well, think about the lighting. Photo quality goes hand in hand with lighting.
Provide as much natural light as possible. If given a choice we always visit a business during the day as this is when we have the best lighting for photos. If the influencer is not visiting during the day make sure to provide them with sufficient lighting in a well lit section of your premise.
4. Think About The Decor
Similarly to how you want to think about lighting and how it will impact on any photos taken you also want to think about decor. Do you have any features/items that could enhance any photos taken? For example, flowers, a feature wall, your business card, patterned place mats. If so, feel free to put them around your business or just ask the influencer on the day if they would like you to put these out.
5. Let Us Know If You Would Like Us To Use Specific Hashtags/Tags
Prewarn us of any hashtags or tags that you would like us to include in our posts. I don’t know about other influencers but we typically tend to do the following: hashtags that show our followers that we are collaborating with you (#spons #sponsored #ad #gifted #invited – depending on the scenario), our hashtag (#foodiecoupleadventures), your hashtags (#businessname) and what will give the post the greatest reach and is relevant (#food #perthfood).
If you want us to use any specific business hashtags or campaign hashtags let us know.
6. Let Us Know The Goals Of Your Campaign
What is the goal of this campaign? Do you want us to push online sales, instore sales, likes, followers or brand awareness? Let us know what your goals are, we will align our caption and messaging with your goals. In the end we want to work with you. This is not a one sided relationship. The relationship we want to form with the businesses we work with is a collaborative one where we both help each other. We want any campaign we work on to succeed.
7. Give The Influencer Creative Reign
This one can be quite hard to do as we recognise that often you have a particular vision for how you want your product/service/brand to be represented. However we want our posts to come across as natural. Posts that appear too staged can be off putting to our followers, particularly if they don’t match our ‘particular style’. We know what works and we know what our audience connects with. That doesn’t mean you can’t provide us some guidelines. Provide us with guidelines and we’ll get creative within them!
And that’s it! We hope we have provided something of value to any businesses that are interested in working with influencers. By no means are we professionals but we have a lot of experience in working with brands and everything we have mentioned comes from our own experiences. If you have any questions (or would like to work us with us!) don’t hesitate to get in touch.