Influencer marketing is more than just the latest social media fad says Kayleigh Töyrä. Here are her top tips for getting started.
You might be tempted to discount influencer marketing as the latest in a series of social media fads. But you’d be wrong to do so. The world of advertising is changing, and in an era of unprecedented ad fatigue, it is people that hold the power to sway consumers’ hearts and minds. This is a good thing for those in the arts, since influencer marketing is – for the most part – cheaper than working with an ad agency.
So just who are these influencers, and how far does their influence reach? Further, which is the best channel to pursue? Influencers are present on a wide range of platforms – so here’s what to consider when finding the right person to represent your creative interests.
Why work with influencers?
The secret of influencer marketing success is that rather than throwing your message out there for anyone to hear, you instead deliver your message to a smaller, more targeted group of people with a genuine interest in what the messenger has to say. So it’s more likely to stick. If you’ve chosen the right person, they will be someone who already holds sway in the world of art and culture, and as such they will already have a good amount of knowledge on the subject.
So you’re looking for influencers who are considered ‘trustworthy’ voices within your industry, and perhaps to some extent, your local area. A quick search through some niche relevant online publications should start to give you an idea of the names that keep popping up. They may be bloggers, speakers, media personalities – even artists themselves. Check out the regular contributors in the arts sections for things like The Guardian, WIRED UK and ArtsHub.
Finding influencers in the arts
As you start your influencer marketing journey, you will first need to seek out the most relevant influencers to approach. Digital PR software like BuzzStream is ideal for this purpose, allowing you to essentially build your own database based on topic, relevance and power. Remember, you shouldn’t always discount an influencer because they have fewer followers than someone else. Their audience may be smaller, but if it’s more relevant to your project, then it’s still worth pursuing.
Working with an influencer is not like hiring the services of an ad agency. With this kind of ‘relationship marketing’, it’s all about trust and reputation. Cultural influencers have spent time personally cultivating their sizeable followings by creating content that matters to them. So when it comes to taking on promotions, they can be picky – and rightly so. They will collaborate with brands on their own terms, and only if they have a genuine interest in the project.
To give you some ideas, here are 10 Art Influencers and Artists to Follow on Instagram.
Tips for approaching influencers
Once you’ve narrowed down the influencers that you’re interested in approaching, the trick is to do so in the right way. As an influencer, many of these people get bombarded with email requests every day, and several of them will be junk. So you need to get past their personal spam filter. Here are some tips for success when approaching arts influencers:
- Keep your email short and to the point
- Explain clearly what it is you do and you’re trying to achieve
- Tell them why you chose them – add some personalisation
- Offer some content ideas, but don’t get too prescriptive – give them the freedom to decide what will work best for their audience
- Write like a person, not a PR humanoid
- Find an angle that will make them look good, or offer them something of value
If you succeed in working with an influencer, remember to keep in touch with them. They are good people to know, and you might want to work with them again in future. Treat the arrangement like an ongoing relationship, not a one-off transaction.
Download the full guide to read on:
How to do influencer marketing for the arts (PDF)