With the ever-expanding network of blog and social media influencers and the brands that want to work with them, many PR and marketing professionals may be wondering: exactly what does it take to turn a rockstar influencer into an ambassador for your brand? While there are a number of different factors that go into building a network of brand ambassadors, we’ve outlined these four key steps to help you develop a lasting relationship with influencers that reach your target demographic:
Make a connection
The first step in building a great relationship with an influencer is establishing a personal rapport. When you come across someone that you think would be a great fit for your brand, reach out to them to make a human connection – compliment their photography or a recent blog post they wrote that resonated with you. They will appreciate that you took the time to learn a little about them and send them a personalized message, rather than a blanketed pitch. From there, you can introduce the brand you represent and ask them to try out your product or service, invite them to an upcoming event, etc.
Provide them with sneak peeks and fun perks
An important way to show influencers that you want to work with them on an ongoing basis is to clue them into upcoming news. Give them sneak peeks into new product launches and major announcements, invite them to try a new offering before it hits shelves, host them for a private tasting of new menu items. Any way that you’re able to include them in important milestones for your brand will make them feel as though they are part of an exclusive group of insiders.
Value their opinions
Another key way to turn influencers into brand ambassadors is to ask for their personal feedback on your brand. Encouraging them to share their honest opinions on the products or services they try will make them feel invested in the brand. In addition, it will not only show them that you value their input, but hearing direct feedback from bloggers and influencers that reach your target audience is really beneficial for your brand and can inform your future plans and business developments.
Understand that all relationships, even those with influencers, are a two way street.
Of course, a large focus of influencer relationships is sharing your latest brand news or products to inspire great content for them to share with their readers, but there will also be times when ambassadors come to you with requests or ideas. Maybe they’re planning a birthday party for their daughter and they would love to include your product in the party favors, or they’re hosting an event with other bloggers and they invite you to sponsor. In addition to asking them to highlight specific topics or products on their blogs and social media channels, it’s important to also support them in their endeavors and be open to them personalizing their content. When influencers feel that you are invested in them and their personal business, they will develop a deep connection to your brand and advocate for you organically, which is the definition of a true brand ambassador.
With all this said, the most important takeaway is that in order to turn an influencer into an ambassador for your brand, it’s essential to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. If you take the four steps we outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to developing these valuable relationships for your brand.