Why is Influencer Relations Important?
Influencer content outperforms brand-related content, especially when 40% of laptops have some form of Adblock, which influencers can bypass. By developing a relationship with an influencer who is passionate about your business’s values and products, you can improve brand awareness and increase online sales. For example, a more personalized post from an influencer may resonate with their audience more than a generic, brand-written, generic post. If an influencer has a long-term partnership with a brand, they could film a video on Instagram or Facebook Live and talk about why they believe your brand stands out from competitors. This would extend the reach of brand-related content beyond a single sponsored post.
Influencer partnerships are a crucial digital marketing method for increasing brand advocacy, especially when you consider the global prevalence of online shopping and smartphone usage. Using influencer relations to promote your product or service can help you reach people through the right channels and increase engagement with your expanding audience.
Helpful Tips for Successful Influencer Relations
Treat Influencers Like Collaborators
Since this is a long-term marketing strategy, you will want to treat your influencers more like collaborators and less like an online billboard. While influencers can mean substantial return on investment (or ROI) and increased brand engagement, successful influencer relations go beyond data and statistics. This means recognizing influencers and their audiences as people who share the same values your brand does.
Identify Organic Influencers
Organic influencers are people who have used your product or service, or have used a similar version at some point. For example, if you’re selling sustainable skincare products, find influencers who are passionate about green living and zero waste, as well as beauty and health. This increases the likelihood that these influencers share the same values as your brand. Finding like-minded influencers to promote your brand is essential; 73% of influencers put more effort into the content of a brand they’re passionate about. In fact, the top criteria for influencers when choosing brands is that they love the brand and already post about them organically.
Personalize Your Requests
Rather than using generic emails or messages, personalize your requests so that you can show the influencer that their values line up with your brand. Rather than sending a greeting online, you could also attend an event they will be at and have a conversation in-person. If an influencer hosts an online event through their social media channels, you can still attend and send a personalized message detailing what you enjoyed during the event. This will start the relationship off on the right foot and show the influencer that your brand is a great match for them.
Understand the Influencer’s Audience
Since influencers promote products and services to their audience, you will need to understand the type of following they have. If the influencer’s audience is loyal and shares the influencer’s values, then there is a high chance that your product or service will resonate with them. This is why it is crucial to pick an influencer that matches with your brand’s values—their audience is more likely to pay attention and purchase what the influencer is promoting.
You must have clear, straightforward guidelines surrounding your brand values, expectations, and compensation. If an influencer is going to be promoting your brand, you want to make sure they are aware of what your brand is all about. This will help get the right message across to a bigger audience. If you are clear and direct about your expectations, influencers will know what to promote. However, having few restrictions can allow for more genuine and authentic content created by influencers, which has a greater audience appeal. It is also important to set some measurements for success so both parties can ensure a mutually beneficial relationship.
Work with the influencer to find the compensation that everyone is happy with. Although only 34% of influencers expect financial compensation, 65% expect some form of reward, which can be anything from free products to special, limited edition products. Setting clear guidelines around compensation can address any problems that might arise.
Provide Valuable Content
Visual content is one of the best ways to garner attention on social media—it’s more than 40 times more likely to get shared than other types of content. To ensure the best visual content is posted, provide influencers with some professional photos. If the influencer is doing an Instagram or Facebook Live showcasing your product, ensure the packaging on the product is top-notch.
When your influencer posts about your product, be sure to track data. This could include other influencers who interact with the post, followers who like, comment, and share the post, or the number of clicks on the product tag on an Instagram story.
Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate success is useful and can be set in the guidelines. Some KPIs you may choose to track can include conversions, cost-per-click (CPC), referral traffic, reach and awareness, audience growth, engagement, and mailing list growth. This data can help you set goals for your brand and bring to light any changes that may need to be made.
As with any other marketing strategy, there are challenges to using influencer relations. There may be a lack of immediate return on investment (ROI), or any other number of delays or challenges. However, it’s important to remember that influencer relations is a long-term marketing approach—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. As your relationship with the influencer progresses, your brand can become a part of their community. This means that influence extends beyond the social media realm and into daily living, so news of your brand can spread by word-of-mouth.
The indirect results of influencer relations may be hard to measure. This means that you may be unaware that the influencer has mentioned your brand at an event rather than posting about it. Your brand may also show up in others’ photos that your influencer appears in, or the influencer may mention your brand in a private message. All of this can contribute to a more positive public perception of your brand, and 71% of consumers who have had good social media experiences with a brand are more likely to recommend it to other people.
Nurturing the relationship with an influencer that shares your brand’s values can extend beyond just making a social media post—it can cover all aspects of their lives.