Influencer marketing is all about relationships and authenticity. It’s no wonder that 40% of consumers surveyed claimed that they purchased an item after seeing their favorite influencer use it. That’s why brands need to establish a great relationship with influencers, especially in 2021 when authenticity can feel scarce.
Building relationships with influencers can be as simple as being responsive, polite, and respectful of the influencer’s time – but when managing an influencer program at scale, giving every influencer the right amount of attention can be trickier to manage. These four tips will help take your influencer program from entry-level to advanced.
1. Use an Influencer CRM to Manage Relationships
Building and maintaining a relationship with a single influencer isn’t such a daunting task, but when you collaborate with a lot of micro-influencers, things can easily fall out of tracks. That’s why you should consider an influencer relationship management software. But remember, these influencers aren’t your employees and you should treat them as a strategic partner. Some of them should be treated similarly to a passionate customer, for the relationship to grow.
With the right influencer marketing platform, you can easily find, manage and publish your influencer content. From finding new influencers to grow with to measuring the success of the campaign in terms of direct sales, all the way to maintaining the relationship – influencer management tools like Pixlee can save a lot of hassle in the long run.
Trupanion, the pet insurance company, needed a way to manage all of their unique influencers in one place (in a more sophisticated fashion than a simple spreadsheet). Luckily, with Pixlee, they were able to manage all influencers and collect over 2,000 unique pieces of content from their influencers to use in campaigns. With the right tools, influencer management can become an integrated source of content for all campaigns.
2. Go Beyond Social
While a few years ago most brands were skeptical of including influencers in their marketing campaigns, now they’ve become an integral part. Influencers are dominating social networks because they’re able to build strong bonds with their audience. That strong bond can translate to other channels as well. In fact, many influencers choose to grow their reach with the help of the brands they partner with. Influencer content can live on product pages, social ads, blog posts, and even in-store displays.
Milani Cosmetics partners with their influencers to not only help the influencers grow but to also make sure the content is being used effectively across more channels such as their website, product pages, and even syndicated sites such as Walmart. This helps build a consistent relationship with the influencers’ community across all channels, all while growing the influencer’s brand.
Creating a multichannel partnership like this requires time and strategic planning. But if successful, your relationship with influencers will grow strong.
3. Show Appreciation and Respect
Becoming a successful influencer is a challenge, and it’s also a very niche skill. When you find an influencer that fits like a glove to your brand identity, you should cherish them and show them, love!
Showing respect is almost always welcome and can have significant positive effects on your relationship. Whether that is ensuring the influencer is being compensated appropriately for their time, or ensuring they have creative freedom to promote your brand in a way that feels authentic to them, it’s critical to find a balance that appeals to your influencers to maintain a long-term relationship.
One creative way to give influencers equity in your brand is to encourage them to have their own product line within the brand. Adding their name next to yours on your products is a great sign of respect. Morphe is well-known for creating joint product lines with influencers to showcase an influencer’s specific style and appeal more to the community.
4. Create a Charity Campaign Together
Creating a community based on shared passions can be a compelling way to show influencers you are interested in supporting them beyond the primary business partnership. Rallying behind a shared mission that resonates with your community can inspire your customers to get involved as well.
Brands like Yakima work alongside their ambassadors to co-create content but also work together to support causes that are important to the influencers.
Ultimately, charity can show how your brand and the influencer are working to better the community and causes that your audience cares about – but they don’t have to be the only way to maintain the relationship. Simply amplifying causes that are important to an influencer or giving them a platform to spread information for a cause can go a long way as well.
Influencers & Relationships for the Win
People want to follow real humans, not brands. They don’t believe in your ads anymore but will believe an actual person reviewing your product or service. Influencers are expert marketers, content brands, and people; all-in-one.
By focusing on building strong influencer relationships and championing your influencers as strategic partners, your influencer program will grow from basic to bold!
David Wachs is a serial entrepreneur, David’s latest venture, Handwrytten, is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write your notes in pen. Developed as a platform, Handwrytten lets you send notes from your CRM system, such as Salesforce, the website, apps, or through custom integration. Used by major meal boxes, eCommerce giants, nonprofits, and professionals, Handwrytten is changing the way brands and people connect.