Influencer Relations: The Art of Creating Invaluable Partnerships

Content creator and influencer campaigns have become an integral component of PR and marketing plans for brands. While traditional earned media strategies prioritize digital and print media efforts, content creators have provided an additional highly effective avenue for organic branding opportunities. By working influencer partnerships into PR plans, brands receive a measurable, real-time glimpse into their key audience through social media.

Content creators and influencers create a custom experience for potential consumers by providing personalized and strategized user-generated content (UGC). This process allows brand products or services to be captured and distributed by a third party, similar to a customer themselves, and displayed on a social media platform where established trust between the creator and their followers exists. While traditional earned media coverage is crucial to a brand’s identity as it often communicates reputability and widespread brand awareness, users viewing a brand or service through social media may feel more emotionally and personally connected to the messaging and products they see.

REED offers influencer relations as standard practice in its earned media deliverables, understanding that a campaign requires the support and reach of content creators and industry influencers to reach all potential demographics. The impact these partners have on a brand can help achieve a successful campaign through measurable data and audience interaction’s emotional investment.

The key to a successful influencer or content creator campaign is research. REED crafts each of its clients’ target influencer lists by hand, strategically selecting influencers based on their following, engagement, account aesthetic, voice and past brand partners. Every aspect of an account can affect the outcome of a campaign and must be thoughtfully considered to ensure it aligns with the client’s goals and brand image. REED also looks to see if influencer partners are responsive, reliable and relatable.

While some partnerships blossom from a cold email (because who doesn’t love those?), REED strives to create relationships with key content creators and influencers. An agency must understand the pulse of the influencer environment and the current trends across both industries and social platforms. It is crucial that the brand and the partner feel like they’ve received something from the partnership; this can be a product or service, monetary compensation or, at times, it can be the opportunity to be one of the first in an industry to highlight, experience or see a brand’s offerings. But, the relationship is more than transactional. Influencers who partner with brands should also be partners of the agency. REED strives to have all team members create a new experience for influencers beyond a written contract; the goal is always long-term relationships and a personable and exciting experience. When it comes to influencers and content creators, you receive what you give!

Finally, it’s the agency’s responsibility to follow social media trends and platform changes that may affect algorithm and reach and keep client expectations in mind. There is no standard code of ethics for influencers as in traditional journalism, so REED commits to ongoing conversations with content creators to align on standards.

While the world of social content creators is ever-changing, we are sure of one thing – content partners have become a natural and mandatory step in the PR life cycle.