Updated: Apr 29, 2018
A good relationship with an influencer is an essential part of our approach as it has proven to deliver long-term partnerships and increased performance.
In our experience, managing influencers with awareness, consistency and kindness is how you will deliver a successful campaign. However marketers can sometimes overlook how labour intensive and delicate the process can be; some influencers are professional but may ask you for more than what they're worth, while other influencers can be creative and brilliant but in communications they are inconsistent - they'll respond to you one day and completely ignore you on another.
We've created efficient processes and contracts to help you get the most from influencers and establish a mutually beneficial relationship. This is the most challenging and time-consuming part of influencer marketing, however we believe successful influencer relations is the future of the industry. We've outlined four key ways brands and agencies can manage their relations with influencers for successful campaigns and long-term partnerships.
Influencers are people first
As the initial contact with an influencer exists virtually we tend to forget that they are people too. We consider each influencer as a freelancer who needs time, resource and the appropriate information to do their job right.
The brief you send to the influencer needs to be clear, concise and personal - do not send a generic brief to all of your influencers! At the initial stage it is of course okay to send out a generic brief to gauge interest, then during the second stage you'll need to be more personal with how you communicate with the influencer. They each have their own brand and unique USP so it's important to communicate this back to them during the process.
Dedicate a main point of contact for each influencer
Building trust with each influencer is essential for success so we dedicate one key person to manage the relationship from start to finish. From the influencer's perspective, speaking to multiple people on various occasions can make it feel like they're not important to you and therefore are less likely to want to create content for you, respond to your messages or work with you in the future. Treat them like a client - influencers respond best when they feel like you are taking them seriously.
Specifically with micro-influencers, brands and agencies need to remember they are still growing their audience, so while they may not seem as important to you now they will be in the future. The ultimate goal should be to develop a relationship that turns an influencer into a brand ambassador.
This is a key benefit of hiring an influencer agency, we have spent time and focused energy on establishing strong relationships with influencers, and have created processes and contracts to set the standard for the relationship.
Develop an on-boarding process
The on-boarding process is similar to a new starter client or employee. Once the mutually beneficial relationship has been established, the influencer is keen to get stuck in. The initial stages of the on-boarding process sets the tone for your relationship.
We've highlighted three key components of our process:
1. We create excitement about the brand - the influencer is going to sell the brand message as much as we sell the brand message to them
2. We set the standard of the relationship - we establish a contract and guidelines at the start of the process
3. We ensure the influencer has a steady flow of communication with one key person - not responding to an influencer for two weeks is bad form, so we make sure to give them regular updates throughout the process
Do your research
Influencers by default share their lives online. The information is all there, research their hashtags, keywords, photographs, blogs, videos, and really understand their brand so you can have positive alignment with your brand. The most successful campaigns are when a brand naturally fits with an influencer's brand because their audience engages positively towards the content and in turn, drives strong performance.
There are lots of tools you can use to do this kind of research, specifically Hashtagify and Tint Up have free services you can trial. We have a proprietary tool which enables us to find highly relevant influencers for you, so when we establish that first line of communication they feel like it's a perfect match and therefore are excited to work for you. Our tool uses audience insights from your social channels, relevant hashtags and keyword searches, and insights from your extended network. The tool also weeds out influencers who have fake followers as we know this completely shifts bias in engagement metrics and overall influence.
This is not an extensive list however this gives you a basic understanding of how you can successfully manage influencer relations for your brand.
If you have any questions or need help with your influencer strategy, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.