In Conversation With… Danielle Peazer
We recently caught up with one of the original Instagram influencers and fitness guru, Danielle Peazer, to hear her thoughts on working with influencers, dos and don’ts for PRs and how to ensure the best possible social media collaboration between brands and influencers.
1. How do you decide which brands to work with?
Firstly, it must be a brand I’m interested in and something I feel my audience will be genuinely interested in too. I’m a fitness blogger mainly, so there needs to be an element of this brand-wise. My first questions regarding any opportunity are: do I want to do it, can I dedicate myself to it, and does it conflict with any current brands or campaigns I am working on?
Dos and don’ts for PRs and brands when working with influencers
- Do take the time to research an influencer, get to know their likes/dislikes and only reach out if your brand genuinely fits their content
- Do outline if there is any budget available or not and be honest about this
- Be open to ideas that an influencer can bring. They know their audience and which content works best, so don’t dismiss additional ideas
- Do give as much detail as possible in the first email
- Do be specific with deliverables and what is expected outcome-wise
- Do mention any other influencers the campaign will involve
- Do be open to proactive emails from influencers who want to collaborate with you
- Do mix it up in terms of the influencers you work with. Branch out, look at micro-influencers, and look at new influencers too
- Do be open to long-term relationships and collaborations. A single post may not result in much, but a prolonged campaign likely will
- Don’t blanket email, it’s so obvious! Simple things like ensuring all font is the same and you haven’t just inserted a name
- Don’t choose someone based on follower numbers alone. Someone can have millions of followers but little engagement
- Don’t be afraid to ask for media packs or latest follower numbers. Most influencers should be happy to provide further information
- Don’t dismiss payment queries, for many influencers this is their full-time job and they do need to make money
2. What do you think on the area of #gifted #AD #sponsored and should this be audited/checked?
It’s a grey area in terms of the ASA cracking down on influencers not declaring posts ‘sponsored’ or ‘gifted’ when this is the case, however this should be laid out clearly by a PR or brand initially. If money has been paid #ad should be included. For paid partnerships, the brand needs to verify the account of the person they’re working with and approve posts for the ‘Paid partnership with’ tag to come up on Instagram posts. People have been caught out for not declaring paid-for posts in the past, so it’s better to have this confirmed from the outset to avoid any trouble later.
3. What do you think of Instagram’s proposed ‘like’ rollback? Will this affect brand collaborations?
This is being trialled in several countries and I’m interested to see how this pans out in terms of working with brands. I don’t think it will negatively impact brand collaborations, but it will mean that brands will need to look at other ways of measuring a post or a campaign’s success. Likes are a helpful tool for us as influencers to be able to see what content our followers enjoy, so if these are removed, we will have to base it on other engagement actions, such as comments.
Speaking solely as a user of Instagram, I do believe that this ‘like’ rollback will have a positive impact on the wider population. Young Instagram users will feel less pressure to receive a certain number of likes and this should lead to a reduction in cyber bullying.
4. Where do you see working with influencers going? Does it work for brands?
I think if influencers remain authentic in their voice and posts, then it can be a success for brands. The issues arise when posts are overtly branded or appear as adverts.
We all engage with influencers daily and value their opinions, so if a brand can respect and work with that, then there’s no reason why a collaboration should be anything other than successful. However, that’s not to say that all brands should invest in influencer marketing; not everything lends itself to being promoted via a personality.
5. What’s the line between pushing a brand’s key messages and keeping authenticity in content?
This really depends on the brand and the outcome they are looking for. Some brands are happy to give influencers a free rein on posting, others will have specific hashtags and key messages to incorporate. Its important that PRs are clear about what the key messages and client requirements are from the outset, so that the influencer can deliver what is expected successfully. If the requirements are too rigid or unnatural, or don’t fit with the influencer’s personal brand, then the collaboration is going to look staged and forced.
Discount codes are an interesting concept and can work in some instances, when pushing fashion for instance, but for some influencers this simply won’t work, as it’s not how their followers use Instagram. If their audience isn’t interested in saving money or fast-fashion, they’re unlikely to utilise a discount code.
6. Instagram is the most popular platform; do you think other channels are redundant?
Instagram is certainly not going anywhere, but IGTV is a growing channel and IG stories are also gaining in popularity. When IG stories first launched, everyone said it wouldn’t overtake Snapchat – which we now know hasn’t been the case.
In my opinion, YouTube is an untapped resource; it’s incredibly popular but brands tend to favour Instagram and Twitter because of the follower numbers. I’d encourage PRs and brands to be more open to the power of YouTube as videos can rack up thousands of views to a niche, engaged audience.
I also share all my Instagram content on Twitter. While 95% of my followers use Instagram to keep updated on my activities, I find it useful to share my posts on Twitter too, as some of my followers do use this platform solely to view my content.
7. What are your thoughts on social media overall? Is it harmful or positive? How do you contend with online hate?
Instagram has a ‘report’ and ‘block’ button which immediately stops any online hate, which I believe is incredibly important in the age of instant messaging. Social media is great at connecting people based on common interests, but people shouldn’t be afraid to curate those they follow and cut-out anyone that makes you feel unhappy. For young people that are struggling with social media, I’d urge them to remember that it’s the highlights of someone’s life, not necessarily the day-to-day.