Every brand has its own way of talking.
Certain words or phrases may be used while others are actively avoided. Statements could be simple and direct or full of imagery and emotion. Tone might be educational and helpful or sarcastic and humorous. A brand’s talking style differs greatly from one to the next, but on top of the style, every brand also has certain brand messages that emphasize its product or services, competitive advantages and experience. Altogether, there’s a lot that goes into how a brand presents itself.
When you work with influencers, it’s important that they understand your brand messages and style. Your instinct may be to approach this task the same way you would when educating marketing employees and agencies on your brand, but the two scenarios are very different. While it might make sense to provide your ad agency with a Brand Style Guide, doing so with influencers would probably be overkill, so much so that some may even question working with you.
Remember, influencers have their own unique voice, much like your brand. The value for you in working with them is derived from that voice they’ve already formed. It’s that voice that led them to become an influencer and accumulate followers who value their opinion. The worst thing you can do is try and force your brand on them so much that their voice is minimized. You want to tap into their network positively, not have it appear as if they’re simply a hired shill.
So how do you maximize the voice of your influencers? Prioritization.
It’s helpful to give a booklet or document to your influencers, but you can’t put everything in it as you would with a Brand Style Guide. You must prioritize what they need to know so you don’t overwhelm them with requirements. Decide what’s most important, which differs for every brand.
One component that is a needed inclusion for every brand is the brand’s message pillars. What does the organization stand for? What are they trying to do? In what areas are they stronger than competitors? The brand message pillars should be high level and not get too tactically into the weeds. Specific product features are generally not a part of a brand’s message pillars.
Sometimes these message pillars are all that influencers need, other times a brand needs to give them more. One other thing that needs to be included, and what’s just as important as giving influencers your message pillars, is making sure they understand how they can personalize them. Personalization is very important because like I said earlier, an influencer shouldn’t appear as if they’ve become a shill for your brand. The expectation on influencers shouldn’t be that they produce content that looks like all other corporate content. It should look original, authentic and along the lines of what they’ve done in the past. You could share examples of what this means, but I feel like that may even be too leading. A better approach is probably sharing this concept with the influencers and providing them with someone they can contact if they have questions. You want to utilize the creativity of the influencers and providing examples could potentially block some of that creativity.
The next installment in our Real Talk series will discuss how you monitor an ongoing campaign and the activities of your influencers. Come back next week to learn more!
Other posts in the Real Talk Influencer Marketing Series:
- Real Talk: How to Analyze and Choose Influencers with Mattr
- Real Talk Series: Creating Your Campaign & Finalizing the Influencer Relationships