What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who shares content online with a group of people who strongly value their opinion.
Traditionally this was a role fulfilled mainly by journalists, celebrities and reality TV stars, but recent years have seen the growth of bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars as influencers.
In this article you will learn:
- Why should I use influencers?
- What content could an influencer create?
- Influencer activity goals
- 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
Why should I use 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
What content could an influencer create?
Blog posts – this would be SEO-friendly, include links to your website and social channels, and can tell your story in a longer format.
Youtube videos – 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.
TikTok content – short form videos from 15 seconds to 1 minute.
Instagram stories – these disappear after 24 hours but have high engagement and include the option for ‘swipe up’ links to be included to drive traffic to a landing page.
Twitter posts – short form content delivered in 280 characters or less.
- Facebook posts – good for sharing links to other content, or pictures and videos.
- Assets – high resolution stills and video footage to help build your asset library.
Influencers in China are known as KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and they operate within a totally different social media landscape. Popular social media channels in China include Weibo, WeChat and Douyin etc, as there is no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Youtube available in China.
Consumers trust real people!
Influencer activity goals
Influencer content follows the same process and drives similar benefits to creating your own content.
Content is published
Existing and new audiences are reached
Brand awareness rises amongst audience
Conversations and engagement take place amongst the content creator and the audience
Positive sentiment in the form of likes, comments and shares is added
Audience researches more about your business
Audience books online with your business
Audience generates their own user-generated content and feedback on their experience
Additional advocates and brand ambassadors are created
How you can identify the right influencer
If you want to work with an influencer, there’s a few things to check when you pick who you would like to work with.
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
How do you work with 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. A good list for the UK is https://vickyflipfloptravels.com/top-uk-based-travel-bloggers/
What to ask for
Be upfront about deliverables & expectations, and if possible draft a contract to set up the agreement of your collaboration – number of posts published/day and on which platform, minimum engagement expected, use of pictures, content creation, fees etc. Deliver a detailed brief on what is expected 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.
What free tools are available to help you?
An essential tool in tracking where your web traffic is coming from.
A useful tool for SEO and content marketing campaigns. Allows users to identify what content is performing and who the major influencers are.
If you already know the username of the influencer you’re interested in working with, this tool will help you analyse their profile including growth (or decline) of their audience, top content and engagement rates.
ASA Guidelines & Disclosing partnerships
When a brand gives an influencer a payment, any posts then promoting or endorsing the brand or its products/services become subject to consumer protection law. Payment means any form of monetary payment; commission; a free loan of a product/ service; a free product/service (whether requested or received out of the blue); or any other incentive.
Learn how to add a blogger in Branded Content. This allows you to disclose the partnership to the audience AND gives you access to their statistics.
Working with VisitScotland
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 on our Scotland: Life page. This unique project has seen global vloggers and Instagrammers experience 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.
- 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
- Reporting and feedback