Influencer Marketing 101: Top Takeaways from a PRSA Detroit Panel

By: Mel McNee

With influencer marketing becoming more prevalent every day, it can be a valuable part of any communications strategy. However, practitioners must know how to leverage it effectively to be successful. 

PRSA Detroit’s recent virtual panel on the topic gathered local marketing and PR experts:

  • Jake Hall, The Manufacturing Millennial
  • Antonice Strickland, Senior Director, Marketing & Public Relations at BGCSM
  • Lindsay Wyskowski, Brand Strategy Director at Identity

During this robust discussion, they shared their own influencer marketing experiences and some key best practices. In case you missed this in-depth conversation, check out the panel’s top dos and dont’s for influencer marketing.

“DO develop a clear budget.”—Antonice

Depending on client size, requests and scope of a particular campaign, budgets can vary widely. Knowing all of this information can help you define what types of influencers to approach. Small budget? Ask about bundling influencer services to get the most bang for your buck!

“DON’T pitch to an influencer who isn’t connected to your brand, product or values.”—Antonice

Make sure you clearly understand your goals and objectives before you research and pitch potential influencers. Protip: focus on reach and engagement over follower count—does their content actually generate engagement from their audience? If not, move on!

“DON’T be afraid to get crafty!”—Lindsay

There are a lot of great tools to find influencers, but they can be expensive, so sometimes the best strategy is to search the platform, tags, and popular hashtags or even look at other influencers your current influencers follow and engage with. 

Pro Tip:

“Search hashtags to find where your audience is living and what influencers use those tags.”—Jake

“DO make sure all messaging and expectations are communicated upfront!”—Lindsay

Understand that not all partners have worked with brands before or have gone through the content approval process, so be clear about what you need to see, how it will be approved and when it should be delivered. Be patient but firm, and continue to reinforce what deliverables are expected, including content and reporting data! 

“DON’T be a helicopter influencer manager! Let influencer partners have their own voice.”—Antonice

Once you’ve clearly communicated your expectations, it’s time to let the influencers have some fun. Influencers know what content and messaging perform best on their channels and how to speak to their individual audiences. You can request review and approval of content before it goes live but be sure it still has the influencer’s original tone, voice and feel.

“DO understand the metrics you can get from each platform, and be clear with partners what metrics you want to provide post-campaign.”—Jake

Knowing how to evaluate the success (or failure) of an influencer program is key to understanding its effect on your brand or campaign. Top metrics to look for can include reach, engagements or engagement rate, and specific actions taken on the content like downloads or purchases. Some influencers may be savvier in  knowing how to access these metrics, while others may need some coaching.

Love what you learned above but still want more info? We don’t blame you!

Watch the panel’s whole discussion below.