I’m sure this scenario sounds familiar: the journalist isn’t interested, the blogger won’t respond, the client is getting anxious. You’re convinced it was a really good story but all that effort has fallen flat.
Why? It may well be the pitch.
Trust is a defining factor in influencer relations. Journalists and bloggers will hone in on the people they’ve met personally, that only contact them when they really have something special.
Without trust, we’re lost. So how do we earn that trust? How can we influence the influencers?
Just type #influencermarketing into your Twitter search field and you will see a whole raft of tweets about the importance of influencer relations, as if it’s something new.
Influencer relations is not new; brands have always sought access to popular people to channel desire among the audience that listens to those celebrities. But was has changed in recent years is the influencers and the channels. Not only is influencer marketing great for brand awareness and advocacy, but it also provides SEO benefits in the form of diverse and authoritative inbound links.
PRs used to deal with journalists and analysts. Now we add bloggers/vloggers to the mix. But they’re different from journalists, with different drives and very different working practices, so require a different approach.
Media from both sides of the fence
I am running a webinar on Influencer Relations, drawing on my experience as a former technology journalist, PR and digital strategist and travel football blogger. I have been on the receiving end of some truly awful pitches, managed an inbox with 200+ pitches per day - of which I might have used just one – and been spammed with irrelevant and impersonal rubbish.
This wastes clients’ money and annoys journalists and bloggers alike. And yet the same complaints journalists had about PRs when I first started way back in 1998 still resurface.
Therefore PR agencies that listen to journalists’ and bloggers’ gripes will learn, coach their clients, and therefore perform better.
What motivates influencers?
It’s key to understand that journalists and bloggers are very different. Journalists are either full-time professionals with an editorial line to follow, or are freelancers who create copy following the style of whomever they supply.
Bloggers, on the other hand, are independent, may be full-time and doing well out of their blog, most likely part-time, so the approach needs to be different. There is an increasing professionalism among bloggers, and financial reward does seem to be a motivator for many bloggers. Many will have agents.
In the webinar we will cover how both parties work, what they want, how to identify and qualify influencers so that they – and their audience - are genuinely relevant to the organisation you represent.
We will look at how to build SEO metrics into your activity so that your organisation can benefit from the authority that comes with a link to your site from an influencer.
Plus we will talk about the oft-overlooked matter of transparency and disclosure.
Building trust with influencers is a long-term project so by the end of the webinar I hope you will feel more confident in approaching influencers in a way that is productive for both parties.