By: Sara Urquhart; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit
I’ve recently written about the important role of securing new clients and a number of basic services social media influencers can offer brands.
In this post, I’ll explore opportunities for brands and influencers to connect on a more substantial level. Once brands have established presence on social media, influencers can support and grow that presence in the following ways.
– Sponsored content: An influencer uses her platform and audience to talk about a brand or product. The brand pays for content that’s directly or indirectly related to the brand. This could include one blog post or a series of posts, a campaign on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, or a combination of platforms. Always be stretching to new platforms. It has been fun to see Alt alumni doing innovative work on Snapchat and Periscope.
– Brand Spokeperson: Brands may hire a social media influencer to represent them as an attendee at a conference, a local or regional event, or a social media meet-up. If a brand can’t take the time to be at an event or doesn’t have the budget to sponsor an event, having a representative (non-employee) at the event can be beneficial. Ideally, this is a partnership with a brand you use and you love. If you person who already have a good relationship with the brand’s services or products, the relationship can feel organic to all involved, including your audience. Together, create specific goals. As a brand spokesperson, you can pass out business cards, watch for opportunities for the brand to follow-up on, or be the mouthpiece at key conversations. In the case of a brand spokesperson, you’re being paid for your connections, your expertise, and your celebrity within the community.
– Event Planning and Hosting: It’s common for brands to utilize bloggers’ expertise to create a live event that supports the brand’s underlying purpose or creates brand awareness. In these cases, a brand is paying for a social media influencer’s creativity and time, connections, local contacts, and the audience who may come specifically to see or meet that particular person.
– Public Speaking: Brands may sponsor the keynote speaker at a conference or a panel presentation where the speaker shares her own content, or a brand may hire a social media influencer to share her expertise at their own event. In both cases, the brand hires someone to share her expertise, and the message is sponsored by the brand.
– Brand Ambassador: This is an ongoing relationship ranging from casual and intermittent to formal and long-term in which a social media influencer is hired to share her love for the brand. Lots more thoughts about brand ambassadors here [link to posts on brand ambassadors].
There are so many ways to use your expertise in this space. Being successful sometimes means exploring varied ways to grow your expertise and to experiment in the space. Offering a variety of services helps you become more well rounded and valuable.