You know the old story. Marketer meets influencer, marketer likes influencer, influencer relationship starts, but then, something goes tragically wrong leaving everyone bitter and disappointed.
Though it needn’t be that way at all. A true relationship is a two way street, with each partner supporting the other. To make it work, both the influencer and the marketer have to realise the importance of their partner.
2017 was the year that marketers realised the true potential of influencer marketing, with an average $6.50 ROI for every dollar spent. And rightly so, as influencers can build consumer trust that traditional advertising can only hope to reach, with more people willing to trust a peer review than an advert.
But then again, the supply is growing to meet demand, so there are even more influencers to compete against too.
It’s going to be a tough out there to even find a marketer/influencer relationship. So you’d best make sure to make it last as long as possible.
Here are our top 5 ways to ensure you have a relationship made in digital heaven.
Summary: Quick Jump Menu
1. In Influencer Relations, First Impressions Count
Marketers - Your first contact with an influencer will probably be by email, and you’ll have one chance to impress.
They are a business contact, so treat them as such. Act smart and professional. Demonstrate you have a real interest in them. Show them you have a connection with similar interests and likes. Give your influencer a chance to see the real benefits a relationship with you would have.
Influencers - A lot of hard work will have been done before a marketer contacts you. So prove to them it was worth their while.
They appreciate you for who you are. So acknowledge that. Don’t leave them waiting for days for a reply. Get back to them as soon as possible. If you’re busy with projects, just drop a brief note saying that you’ll respond in more detail soon.
And take the time to find out more about their company too. Make sure it’s a business you’d like to work with, so you don’t waste their time and yours.
2. Tell Them What you Want
Marketers - You know what you want from this relationship. And that usually boils down to sales. But you must also have some idea of what you want from your influencer to get there. And that comes down to your brief.
Ensure you provide your influencer with everything they need from you. We’re talking about brand guidelines, campaign ideas, key KPI’s you’re expecting, which social network you want a response from. Here’s a detailed brief I use when working with influencers.
Influencers - Now you know what is expected from you, what do you want in return. Your needs matter too. And that doesn’t just come down to money. Of course, payment is important, and there’s plenty of information out there on how much you should expect in return for your hard work.
But there are other things to consider too. Would you benefit more from receiving product from the client instead? And don’t forget about your exposure. Having them share your content across their social media networks could be more beneficial for you in the long run.
3. Learn to Communicate
Marketers - They say communication is the key to every relationship. And they’re right.
Make sure you keep your influencer up to date. Is the campaign going well? Let them know. Are some messages not engaging? Let them know. Going on holiday? Let them know, and make sure they have the details of someone else in the company they can talk to. The last thing you want to do is to leave an influencer stuck with a problem, whilst you’re bronzing on the beach.
Influencers - You need to speak up if there’s anything you don’t know. If there’s any feedback you receive from your audience, any product questions, or any issues that you don’t feel 100% certain about, ask. Don’t guess and end up giving the wrong information out.
And ask for feedback too if your contact isn’t providing it. Knowing what’s going well, and what needs to be promoted more, helps both you and the campaign.
4. Tackle Your Influencer Relation Issues
Marketers - Don’t bury your head in the sand over any issues that may crop up mid-campaign. And don’t leave your influencer to tackle them alone.
The biggest issue you could face is finding the campaign isn’t working, or worse, is having a detrimental effect on your business.
Counteract this is by monitoring the campaign right from the start. Use effective social media analysis to track all your social interaction, and see what is working and what isn’t. Keep an eye out for detractors adding negative spin, and try to resolve any criticism before it takes over.
Influencers - For you, don’t tackle any negativity without discussing it first. If the campaign is creating hostility, remember you’re not a PR professional. Escalate the problem back to the company and strategize a solution together.
And of course, you are now representing someone else’s brand as well as your own. Keep this in mind before you post anything, and try to see with an outside eye. The last thing you want to do is damage your relationship by saying something controversial online.
5. Make Them Feel Wanted
Marketers - Now the honeymoon period of the relationship is over, you certainly don’t want to give up on it. There’s still plenty of opportunities to grow, even if that’s in the distant future.
Have a look back at your campaign.
If it was a success, great. You’ll certainly want to repeat it again. So you need to keep your influencer happy.
What if it was a failure? Look at what went wrong. There are many factors that could have caused the campaign to fail, but that doesn't mean the relationship didn’t work. Remember, you chose your influencer for a reason in the first place. Those reasons will still be there once you’ve strategized a more effective campaign.
Make sure you give your influencer feedback at the end of the campaign. Don’t just drop your interaction with them. Keep an eye on their social networks, and comment or like when you can. They’ll appreciate it.
Influencers - Think about what you do next. You should continue making content as per usual, but if you focus on a major competitor immediately after your campaign, it won’t go down well. Also, take a breather before embarking on more sponsored content. You don’t want to seem easy to buy, or unfaithful to brands.
On the other hand, feel free to include your client’s business in future content whenever you like. You now know your audience is appreciative of their brand, so it’ll benefit you to continue some promotion.
Build a Better Influencer Relationship
There you have it. There is a relationship between the marketer and the influencer. But like every good relationship, it takes hard work and commitment to get right.
Just remember, listen, communicate and appreciate, and you could end up with something that lasts a very long time.
If you’d like to know more about how Talkwalker can help marketers identify influencers, and monitor their engagement during a campaign, click here.