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How to Get Instagram Influencers to Endorse Your Brand for Free

Creating partnerships between a client’s brand and social media influencers is a win for both teams

There’s no doubt that Instagram influencers and social media have changed Public Relations. Publicists who earned their degrees a decade ago were taught that it’s all about press releases, pitching and following up. But today, some of the most applauded placements for clients don’t come in the form of a magazine article—they’re posts from social media influencers. And that’s where the lines between marketing and PR blur and challenges start. But it’s all for the good of the brand, so read on about how tradigital public relations can be even more effective!

Social media influencers and even established thought-leaders now have the power to charge fees for posts. However, not every brand can afford pay-to-play campaigns. For publicists, this new landscape can be frustrating. Account leaders want to deliver hard-hitting results but this can’t always be achieved if they don’t have a feasible budget. When every response back from a pitch is something along the lines of “I’d love to share this with my audience! Attached is my media kit with rates,” the publicist groans, checks that contact off their list, and wallows in the loss of a potential placement.

The old adage, “In advertising you pay, in PR you pray,” is true.  It’s up to PR pros to create their own luck.

One way to get influencers and experts to endorse a client’s brand is to offer them something no one else is… Something like free PR!  Don’t worry. This doesn’t suggest that publicists should now give away their valuable services. It simply points to a little creativity.

Here’s our tip: If your client hasn’t provided a budget and the success of a campaign depends on placements from influencers, offer to team up. Include the influencer/expert in your pitch and propose them as the source for your story. In return, the influencer will be acting as the unofficial brand spokesperson. Each interview they do or byline they write will be on behalf of the brand and weave in brand messaging. It’s a win/win situation. Both the influencer and the brand are getting press. This can generate sales for the client and an increased following and awareness for the influencer. But, the best part? It doesn’t cost anything more than time!

A big component of public relations is forming relationships and networking. The methods may change with the years, but the overall mission remains the same: secure the best coverage for your client. If the necessary tools (like a big budget) aren’t available, this can make things more difficult to achieve. Difficult, but not impossible when you stretch your thinking. Proposing partnerships to influencers and experts is just another pitch!


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