Influencers are crucial to brands, so it’s important to have strong, long-lasting influencer relationships. As brand ambassadors, they promote the products and services, increase brand visibility, and encourage online engagement. In the current times where social media is reigning supreme in marketing plans and efforts, influencers help establish and expand a brand’s presence. Without them, many brands would remain voiceless and faceless.
Since you’re focused on finding the right influencers, your brand will be represented by people who truly believe in your product or service. If it’s a great influencer relationship, then the influencer will become a lifelong fan and ambassador, continuously sharing how much they love your product and/or service. Not only will the influencer promote your product online, but in real life as well. For these reasons and more, brands should maintain good relations with influencers. Read on to discover 10 ways brands can improve influencer relationships.
10 Tips for Building Strong Influencer Relationships
To many consumers, influencers are like trusted friends who offer valuable advice regarding brands, products, and services. For brands, it is crucial to get close to said “friends” so that they can indirectly influence consumers’ behavior. Building lasting relationships with influencers can be quite a challenge. If you need tips regarding this matter, we have ten!
1. Treat Every Influencer With Respect
Influencers, despite their fame and money, are human beings. They have feelings that deserve to be respected. Brands should always treat influencers with dignity because this will encourage the influencers to reciprocate the same. One good way to show respect is by allowing influencers to have their creative direction. Influencers have unique personalities, and they produce content that is representative of said personality. By respecting an influencer’s vision, the brand expresses trust in the quality of work being produced.
2. Know Your Influencers
Marketers opt for influencers as ambassadors because they can exponentially increase brand visibility. That’s why it is imperative that brands know their influencers at a deeper level. By putting more effort into understanding influencers, the brand extends a special connection. This way, influencers may feel more comfortable working with the brand and know its dynamics. Should they work together again in the future, both parties would act in better cohesion.
3. Allow Creative Freedom
Partnering with influencers is different from controlling them. According to a Forbes article, an Influencer Marketing campaign should be a collaboration and not a one-sided contract. While brands typically lay down the campaign framework, influencers feel more comfortable when they are granted the ability to express their creative freedom. If brands become too rigid in dealing with the influencers, the campaign may come out forced and inauthentic. More so, campaigns that are too controlled and have too many guidelines do not last long and may even result in misunderstandings in the future.
4. Keep Things Professional
Keeping things formal does not mean being strict or traditional. Instead, it is about proper documentation and the observance of commonly practiced niceties. The brand and influencers must issue receipts and sign documents as much as needed to avoid conflicts and discrepancies in the future. Keeping things formal means putting together an influencer contract that clearly outlines the following:
- Brand name
- Campaign requirements
- Brand messages
- Do’s and don’ts
- Writing prompts
- FTC guidelines
- Social media accounts
- Tagging requirements
- Requirements for payment
- Payment process
- Payment rate
- Additional legal language based on brand guidelines
Moreover, brands and influencers should agree to deadlines and comply with agreed quality standards. Being formal does not imply that brands and influencers cannot interact informally. However, be sure to keep everything documented.
5. Keep Communication Consistent and Streamlined
Communication is key to influencer relationships. Without it, Influencer Marketing campaigns would fall apart. Frequent communication can help reduce the risk of miscommunication and other forms of misunderstanding. Furthermore, consistent communication will keep brands updated on the influencer’s progress. Should problems arise, any party would contact the other to come up with a solution immediately.
Also, it’s important to keep communication streamlined. At Forward, we’ve found that it’s best to keep emails to a minimum, especially when sharing campaign details. Influencers are being sent so many emails every day. Your campaign message emails could slip through the cracks. So, make sure your emails are kept to a minimum. We usually provide all of the campaign information (e.g., campaign details, rates, influencer contract, and deadlines) in one email so that it’s a one-stop-shop when they sit down to work on their content. That way, all that they need to do is open that one email. Yes, that email might be jam-packed full of information, but at least that information isn’t buried in tons of emails that need to be sifted through to get the necessary information.
6. Personalize Your Communications
Do not treat influencers like mere figures. This tip goes back to the point that influencers must be treated like humans. In a Harvard Business Review article, an Instagram influencer disclosed that he does not work with brands that do not address him like a person. While he knows that he is not the only influencer out there, he prefers to work with brands who treat him as a person. He also feels comfortable when he works with brands he knows personally.
7. Offer Warm Hospitality
Brands grant a few perks and freebies to their influencers for a good reason. Brands want their influencers to feel a sense of exclusivity and that they are pampered. Gifting products and services that are in addition to compensation can be flattering. The said products and services serve as appreciation tokens. While brands pay influencers, the former must remain thankful for the latter’s hard work. For example, L’Oréal Paris formed the “beauty squad.” This group is a selection of top beauty influencers that receive premium perks from the brand.
8. Pay Them Right
Pay your influencers right. The amount of compensation depends on many factors. An influencer may deserve to be paid more for his or her contribution to increase brand awareness. Another factor to consider is the effort an influencer has exerted to come up with good content.
To know if you are paying the proper amount of compensation, study recent trends. You may also talk directly to the influencer. After which, agree on a value acceptable by both the company and the influencer.
9. Help Them Grow
An Influencer Marketing campaign should be a winning opportunity for both the brands and influencers. During campaigns, brands typically want to grow their audience and boost sales. As for influencers, while they also want to increase their digital presence, they are honing their marketing skills in the process. The growth of influencers should be regularly allowed so long as their growth is positive and does not clash with the brand’s interests.
10. Be In It for the Long Haul
This last tip is a combination of the nine tips that were previously mentioned above. In creating influencer relationships brands must already imagine an image in mind. This image should portray a long-term relationship with influencers. By making influencers know that you are interested in working with them in the long run, they will gain confidence and trust. It will be a win-win situation for all parties involved.
Wrap It All Up
As a brand, working with influencers is a conscious effort. Influencer relationships must remain at a balanced state wherein no one is excessively above the other. For that reason, brands must treat influencers as humanely as possible. Whenever this is achieved, influencers typically express their gratitude by producing high-quality campaigns. In the long run, the special treatment will further strengthen the relationship between the company and influencers. Remember to keep in mind these tips in order to build strong influencer relationships:
- Treat Every Influencer With Respect
- Know Your Influencers
- Allow Creative Freedom
- Keep Things Professional
- Keep Communications Consistent and Streamlined
- Personalize Your Communications
- Offer Warm Hospitality
- Pay Them Right
- Help Them Grow
- Be In It for the Long Haul