As Finns we tend to be very bad at being proud, but at Visit Finland here is what we are proud of; we know the ins and outs of working with social media influencers.
We can spot the good ones, we know how to collaborate with them and we know how to use their content afterwards. Regardless of why you’re choosing (remember, it’s a conscious choice!) to work with influencers, there is a set of terms and conditions you have to accept before getting into this. These principles are not the universal truth, but are something that we at Visit Finland have learned in the past. Here is some tough, but kind, love.
It’s not about you and you need to learn to let go
One of our first lessons in working with influencers was to realize that it’s not about us, our brand or even our channels. Influencer relations are about the influencer and his/her relationship with his/her audience, and you have to accept that. To let an influencer talk about your brand in a way that is suitable for his/her audience and channels is scary, since essentially you’re handing your baby to someone else’s hands.
In order to successfully work with influencers and build a relationship with them (and their audiences), you have to trust them and give them the freedom to work their way. Dictating when and what they will say, is called creating your own content and you’re not here for that. Get over yourself and remind yourself why you’re doing this.
For us it’s because the influencers’ channels reach audience we otherwise wouldn’t reach. When it comes to influencer relations, our future audience is not on your own channels, but on the influencers’ channels.
All vehicles need a driver and in this case, it needs to be you
Trusting the influencer doesn’t mean you should close your eyes and hope for the best. If you don’t take the responsibility of the collaboration, no one will. Us people tend to be lazy like that. You as a marketer are in charge, of how high the bar of the collaboration is, and that’s why discussing the contents of the collaboration in detail, is essential.
Know what you want out of working with influencers and what you plan to do with the content afterwards. Do your homework. You wouldn’t give your baby to a stranger, so stop giving your brand away to influencers whose work you can’t trust. Get to know the people first.
Mistakes are your future learnings
Part of working with influencers is that the field changes every day with new channels and new methods. More and more influencers have fake numbers or questionable engagement. Sometimes you collaborate with an influencer and it’s just a disaster from the beginning. But as with everything in marketing, experimenting is the key, and learning from your own mistakes is the master key.
Sometimes the flashiest numbers and prettiest pictures don’t guarantee a great fit and if you feel something is off, it’s time to politely say goodbye and keep walking. We know when something is off when an influencer spells Finland in five different ways in their pitch. That to us tells that they have no business in touching our brand. There’s only so much freedom and trust you can shove toward an influencer.
Visit Finland is a partner of PING Helsinki Business Festival, leading content and influencer marketing event in Northern Europe. Festival is uniting marketers and online influencers for better content on April 28th. See more and buy your tickets: www.pingfestival.fi.