Do you have a PR campaign but haven’t worked with influencers before? We’re here to help you out. From setting correct rates to finding the right people to represent your brand, it can be daunting trying to find the right people to work with. We’ve rounded up the do’s and don’ts of working with influencers, so you can get ahead and start DM-ing.

Working with influencers can be a great asset to your branding and your business, if you do it right. Any brand can start engaging with influencers but picking the right one for your brand is a different story. By working with the right people, you can gain extra imagery or assets, help drive promotions or competitions, gain followers and engagement to your pages and increase awareness.

Check Their Engagement.

It’s great if someone has 500k followers, but how many of these are actively engaging (liking, commenting and sharing) in their content?

The higher this percentage is, the better it will be for your brand, so it is good to have a look at who you are wanting to work with before reaching out. The magic engagement number you’ll want to aim for 3% – 6% – but the higher the percentage, the better their active engagement is.

This number doesn’t sound like a big percentage, but it can make all the difference in your campaigns. Take Nike for example, which has 118m followers, but only has 0.27% engagement rate.

Someone smaller like a micro-influencer might have 10k and have 6% engagement. If you end up scoring a brand deal with an influencer that has a million followers, that’s fantastic, but also don’t forget about the smaller influencers who can have a high engagement rate too.

A great website to use for this is Phlanx – it gives you the engagement percentage and the average likes and comment numbers.

Align your brand values.

This might seem obvious, but make sure the audience of the influencer you are wanting to work with aligns with your brand.

For example, if you’re a chunky chocolate cookie company, you might not want to engage with fitness influencers, but opt for the food community as those are the people you want to reach. Likewise, if you are a vegan skincare brand, make sure you choose influencers that align with your own values, or follow a certain lifestyle.

Not only will this allow an authentic review, the audience of these influencers will also be interested in the products that they use and endorse, so it can increase your sales.

Be direct about their brief, but know the difference between advertising and PR.

If you’re not offering payment, there’s no obligation for the influencer to post about your brand – even if you are gifting product or an experience.  But if they love the meal you gifted them or couldn’t get enough of your skin care range, they’re more than likely going to post glowing things about you – and the best part? It’s waaaay more credible when an influencer wants to endorse you because they love the brand – not just because they’re getting paid! Just be clear about what you as a company are gifting them, so they know what to expect when receiving their delivery.

But what about ads?

If someone offers paid advertising as their form of engaging with your brand, talk through the options with them and find out whether this would be a viable option for your business. Paid advertising can be a great tool when used correctly – remember, this element of collaboration requires approval from both the influencer and the brand, including a full brief with shots, a mood-board and the agreed payment rates as well as a contract.

Don’t discount influencers because of pods.

If you haven’t heard of pods, they’re usually engagement groups consisting of smaller influencers who band together to help increase engagement on each other’s content. This can be done through likes, comments, or follows. While many PR agencies avoid working with influencers in pods, there can be some benefits for smaller brands, particularly If one the reasons for collaborating is so you can get a stack of amazing images to repurpose on your own feed! Don’t forget: influencers are your customers too. If you have access to a group of 20 influencers that all love food and eating out – then you may have just picked up a few extra diners.

And remember.

Influencer engagement can add tonnes of value to your campaigns by expanding your audience, giving you great content to repurpose and boosting your engagement, but each collaboration is different and sometimes you might not get the results you expect. With a bit of persistence and some trial and error, you’ll soon find the type of influencers you want to work with – or better still, a handful of influencers who want work with your brand on an ongoing basis.

Make sure you check out our blog post on the legal implications for working with influencers too.

Want us to take the stress out of your next influencer engagement campaign? Get in touch 🙂