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What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who shares content online with a group of people who strongly value their opinion. Consumers trust real people!
Traditionally this was a role fulfilled mainly by journalists, celebrities and reality TV stars. Recent years have seen the growth of bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars as influencers.
In this section:
- Why should I work with influencers?
- What content could an influencer create?
- What should influencer activity goals be?
- How you can identify the right influencer
- How do you work with an influencer?
- What free tools are available to you?
- ASA Guidelines & Disclosing partnerships
- Working with VisitScotland
1. Why should I work with influencers?
Although you can create and share your own content online, an influencer tends to have a larger following than your business channels. Their audience also tends to be highly engaged with what they talk about – so more likely to look up things they mention, or click through to find out more.
Content by an influencer ticks a lot of boxes:
Search Engine Optimisation
Improving search engine optimisation (SEO) to your website
From people talking about, researching or even booking your business offering
User generated content
Rather than you saying how great it is, this is a valued, authentic and respected opinion
Potential for longer-term benefits from having the content assets to use again in the future, to working together again
As a direct result of the work together, your business could see:
- More traffic to your website
- An increase in your social audience
- More positive engagement on social media – like, comments, shares
- An increase in product or ticket sales
- Brand recognition
Working with Chinese influencers
2. What content could an influencer create?
This would be SEO-friendly, include links to your website and social channels, and can tell your story in a longer format
Also SEO-friendly, this content is evergreen and could continue to deliver results long after the campaign is over. Video is a popular way of storytelling amongst influencers
Short form videos from 15 seconds to 1 minute
These disappear after 24 hours, but have high engagement. They have the option to include "swipe-up links" to drive traffic to a landing page
Short form content delivered in 280 characters or less
Good for sharing links to other content, or pictures and videos
High resolution stills and video footage to help build your asset library
- Publish content
- Reach existing and new audiences
- Rise brand awareness amongst audience
- Ensure conversations and engagement take place amongst the content creator and the audience
- Add positive sentiment in the form of likes, comments and shares
- Ensure the audience researches more about your business
- Ensure the audience books online with your business
- Ensure the audience generates their own user-generated content and feedback on their experience
- Create more advocates and brand ambassadors
Take a look at:
The age, market and interests of their audience – do they match your target audience?
The engagement they get from other social media posts – do people like, comment and share their work? Look for around a 3-5% rate for an average post.
The response they get when they do advertising on their channel – are the comments from their audience positive in response?
How they talk about other brands – do they seem authentic in their opinions and are they honest about their experiences?
The quality of their content – how good are the images, and the text with their social media posts?
When you make contact with an influencer, make sure you ask for a media kit or professional references of completed work.
Three steps to find an influencer
Where to start
Start by following certain influencers and hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to get an idea of the content out there. It’s also a good idea to do some research on the top influencers in your chosen market.
What to ask for
Be upfront about deliverables and expectations. If possible, draft a contract to set up the agreement of your collaboration. This can include:
- Number of posts published per day and on which platform
- Minimum engagement expected
- Use of pictures
- Content creation
Deliver a detailed brief on what you expect from them. Be clear on what you want them to do.
Make it personal
Create a bespoke proposal adapted to their audience and interests – but be flexible! An influencer might have a certain angle for a trip that you may not have thought of.
Remember: Organise activities their followers will also be able to do if they decide to come to Scotland.
This becomes important when a brand gives an influencer a payment. Once you make a payment, any posts promoting or endorsing the brand or its products or services become subject to consumer protection law.
- Any form of monetary payment
- A free (loan of a) product or service, whether requested or received out of the blue
- Any other incentive
At VisitScotland, we work with a variety of different influencers who make all kinds of inspiring content. You can check out some of the amazing partnerships we have organised as part of Scotland:Life.
Scotland: Life was a unique project, involving global vloggers and Instagrammers. They experienced the true Spirit of Scotland through the eyes of the people that have made the country their home.
From time to time, we will ask businesses to host an influencer, and in this case we have a campaign lead who will organise the negotiations.
Our campaign lead will:
- Creating a campaign / activity brief
- Researching relevant influencers and create shortlist
- Outreach by contacting the short list to outline the campaign and gauge their interest
- Negotiation stage – confirming deliverables, fee and dates
- Sending influencer contract to sign
- Booking travel, accommodation, activities and anything else as required
- Executing trip
- Amplify / engage content
- Reporting and feedback