Guest Post by Sarah Sunderbrink
In case you missed part one of L’Osteria’s guide for influencer marketing, you can read that here.
At L’Osteria, we concentrate on maintaining a continuous liaison of both parties by creating ongoing added values like special events, exclusive behind-the-scenes insights, special content campaigns, and any way to implement partners and our brand into each other’s daily business.
Our long-term influencer relations strategy gives us an immense advantage with influencer pricing and allows our loyal partners to build major credibility.
We first contact influencers at events or arrange a phone call to meet them. There we share how the L’Osteria team imagines working with them specifically and discuss possible collaborations.
If both parties decide to collaborate, we first test the collaboration with an Instagram post and five Instagram Story clips, which have to be confirmed (signed) by our social media team. After posting, the influencer submits the content and Story performance (reach, interactions, views etc.) to L’Osteria.
You can only ask others to spread your message if you know what you want to communicate. We define a clear message and brand values for every collaboration in our briefings, encouraging and inspiring our influencer partners to communicate their own stories based on the overarching stories we’ve developed.
It’s even more credible if the message is part of a campaign or works as a story itself – Marketing captions like “the best of all time” usually don’t work at the relevant target group.
Every collaboration partner receives a briefing that includes all relevant information on the campaign. If the first collaboration turns out to be successful, the influencers get the freedom to choose captions and images themselves without additional confirmation. This is very important for an influencer’s credibility, as they should communicate authentically and in a manner expected by the audience.
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For our long-term influencer relations strategy, we arrange a monthly campaign with at least ten micro- and macro-influencers, dependent on the budget.
L’Osteria and the collaboration partner clarify the collaboration conditions in a contract in order to guarantee that both parties follow the agreed cooperation.
Numbers and facts
In 2018 our social media team tested many different approaches, engaging several short-term cooperations without an in-house agency. As we integrated influencer relations further into our marketing mix, we now count 150 contacts to our IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) database. Additionally, we can proudly present the numbers of 2018:
- 207 collaborations (+314% compared to the previous year)
- 3.8 million people reached (+153% compared to the previous year)
- 154.1k media value (+603% compared to the previous year)
While we always keep our relationships professional, our social media team strives to maintain personal relationships with brand ambassadors, aiming to meet them for coffee as much as possible and encouraging them in their careers as content creators.
These personal touches have built authentic brand relationships and gave way to our most successful influencer campaign, #losterialove, which ran from mid-October through November 2018. We asked 25 influencers to share their best, funniest and craziest L’Osteria stories with the motto “Why do you have #losterialove in your life?”. These 25 brand ambassadors generated:
- 32 published feed postings
- 150 Instagram stories
- a reach of 756k people
- 112k interactions
- 18.596,65€ media value
This campaign emphasized that personal, approachable and authentic stories of influencers drive interactions. With high-reach-campaigns like this one we can achieve the biggest increase in reach and generate more fans for our L’Osteria Instagram account.
The most important learnings we could generate since the end of 2017 are:
- Communicate on the same level
Communicate with influencers on the same level, meet them regularly for a coffee, and actually listen. You can turn influencers to loyal fans of your brand if don’t just use them as a platform for advertising!
- Talk is cheap!
Instead of writing emails, organize regularly phone calls and take part in the influencer’s life!
- Keep your eyes open
Try to find the right partners: pay selective and critical attention to the brand fit and quality instead of just looking for quantity and follower counts.
- No bad briefings
Concretely say what you want and convey the message of your campaign/cooperation.
- They are looking for freedom
Instead of diving strict specifications about texts and images, leave creative freedom. Influencers know how to reach their audience!
- Network is key.
Build a database and work with your partners regularly – this pays off for the distribution of your message in the long run.
- Everything has to be pretty.
Easy, but very often underestimated: Use nice decoration to make your event Instagrammable.
- Personal is the way to go!
Only send personal invitations and show your own interest in the influencer. Our special recommendation for events: Create a guest list with account names, real names and photo – as it’s not @therubinrose who is going to attend, but Vivien. A personal, warm welcome support networking and creating collaborations.
- Recycle content
Use the influencers’ campaign content on your own channels, too!
Read more about L’Osteria’s influencer communications in the first part of this series.
Sarah Sunderbrink joined L’Osteria in 2016, where she is responsible for social media. She oversees the development and implementation of the social media strategy and the activities for the consumer brand, the development of influencer relations and the development of an internal social media knowledge center for franchise partners of FR L’Osteria SE. Sarah acquired the theoretical foundations for strategic communication while studying Media Management at IJK Hannover and International Public Relations at LMU Munich. Prior to joining L’Osteria, she gained a wealth of experience in the areas of corporate communications, public relations and social media on the agency and corporate side in Hanover, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, and London. Find Sarah on Xing and LinkedIn.