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Title: Century 21
Location: Red Deer Public Library 
Breakfast: Town of Penhold

With influencer marketing becoming more and more mainstream, we thought it was important to revisit the topic again with some tips from Linda Hoang at Calder Bateman. Linda was a trooper travelling down from Edmonton while battling a cold but we appreciated her unique insight. What makes Linda unique is that while she is often putting together influencer campaigns through her day job, she doubles as an influencer herself so she’s familiar with both sides.

So what makes an influencer and why should you consider one as part of your marketing campaign?

An influencer is an individual who is influential on social media through an engaged audience or network. Influencer marketing is a great strategy because having a third party talking about and building up your brand is hugely powerful.

When sourcing someone to work with your brand, you want to make sure they have the 3 R’s of influence,

  1. Reach – how many followers do they have? Sometimes 1000+ followers are just as good as 100K followers.
  2. Relevance – if your business is family oriented, perhaps the young single millennial is not the right fit for you. Make sure that your influencer’s interests are relevant to your brand.
  3. Resonance – focused influencers with engaged followers are just as effective as influencers with a ton of followers.

Finding the right person involves digging in and doing some research. Dive into their social profiles, check out their posts and post engagement, find out who their followers are before deciding if they’re the right fit.

Remember that influencing is business too. Working with an influencer should be no different than investing in traditional advertising methods. Be sure to cut out a budget to pay your influencer. Some influencers are ok trading goods or services, for example a food blogger might be happy receiving a free meal at your restaurant, however, you should still side aside a budget to compensate as well.

When it comes to authenticity, the right influencer will choose to work with you because they are generally interest in your product or business and their posts as a result of your partnership will still come across as real. This is where your research comes in again to ensure you’re choosing the right person and not just someone who will take the pay cheque.

So, how exactly do you ask an influencer to work with you? With a cleverly crafted pitch, of course. Your pitch is the first step in building a relationship with your influencer so you want to ensure it’s a great experience. Be sure to include a reasonable timeline, deadline to respond, deliverables required, review date (if any) and event date (if any). Bonus points for ensuring names are correct. The more time you give your influencer for timing and execution, the less likely you are to run into scheduling conflicts.

Don’t forget to make sure your influencer is properly disclosing your relationship. If an influencer is found in violation of FTC/ASC endorsement guidelines, it will fall back on your business, not the influencer.

As an added bonus this month, we’ve put together a list of local influencers based on your feedback on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re looking to try some influencer marketing, check out the following locals:

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