Harnessing the power of influencers for charities

Last week, we hosted the second session in our Talk Less. Say More breakfast series where we delved into the world of influencers and how charities can really benefit from this type of activity.

We welcomed British Heart Foundation, Marie Curie, Ronald McDonald House Charities, RNLI, Nordoff Robbins and International Alert to join the discussion covering everything from best practice on search and selection, through to protecting your charity from risks and measuring ROI.

We’ve summarised the session with some guiding principles for success as key takeaways:

1. Purposeful Planning

Influencer marketing can be utilised at every part of the marketing funnel to deliver on different objectives – from awareness, knowledge and consideration through to intent, conversion and advocacy. Charities should consider where influencers can make the most impact and draw up a clear set of objectives. The group were unified in their perspective that the most successful influencer activity tends to be long-term relationships – something to bear in mind.

2. Sensible Selection

Understanding your charity’s key brand values and the kind of message you need to convey via influencer activity is critical in selecting the best influencers for the job. There are tools available to aid with the selection process but human brain power and due diligence is still required. Running checks on each influencer is an important part of the process to ensure there are no potential risks or opportunity for bad publicity off the back of the relationship. Whilst this can be time consuming, it’s really important to be as thorough as possible.

3. Authentic Relationships

The group agreed that the most effective influencers are ones that have a shared belief or passion for the cause, and where possible, those that have benefitted from the charity personally offer the greatest opportunity for authenticity. If these influencers can share a personal story, it’s much more powerful.

4. Positive Collaborations

Once the selection process has happened, it’s then about building and maintaining that relationship with influencers to keep your charity front of mind and to create a positive working relationship. Individuals within the group discussed the challenges around building relationships on a professional level versus on a more personal basis. For example, as a brand, it might not be appropriate for your charity to engage with other types of content that your influencers share, but doing this would clearly help build the relationships. Individuals in the session discussed overcoming this by connecting with influencers via their personal accounts which helps solidify the relationship on both a professional and personal level.

5. Results Driven Focus

This feeds back into the planning phase and having clear objectives. If you know what you’re setting out to achieve, measuring your influencer activity will be much easier. Some members of the group explained that this is still a challenge to get right especially as there tends not to be dedicated resource for this in most charity teams. Some guests spoke about measuring engagement, share of voice and sentiment via social listening which is enough for them at present. However, as investment in this activity grows, we predict that so too will the need for more rigorous ROI reporting.

For more information on how eight&four might help with your influencer marketing strategy, please get in touch.

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