Partnerships between brands and influencers are becoming more common and sought after in this era of influencer marketing. Hence, delivering an incredible influencer experience is crucial for a successful influencer marketing strategy.
A survey done by Tomoson found that brands are generating more than $6 for every $1 spent in influencer marketing campaigns. In addition, businesses’ influencer marketing expenditures are expected to reach up to $15 billion in 2022. The given statistics show how influencer marketing will continue to grow in the coming years. Therefore, brands must seek ways to create exceptional experiences for influencers to build profitable and long-term relationships.
This post will discuss the importance of experiential marketing for collaborators and how companies can produce an extraordinary influencer experience for brand partners.
Why Deliver an Unforgettable Influencer Experience
If you were asked to give a positive review after having an unpleasant experience with a product or service, can you do it? Will it be easier to provide a genuine recommendation after using a product or service that is delivered beyond your expectations?
In a partnership with brands, influencers are expected to share their experience of using the products with their viewers. Moreover, audiences seek genuine reviews from influencers. Therefore, an amazing event or encounter with a product allows collaborators to create well-curated and honest content that may result in positive brand reception among audiences and eventually product purchase.
Secondly, having a great brand-influencer collaboration experience is important in building long-term relationships. Among the benefits of long-term relationships with influencers are authenticity, brand loyalty, and genuine content. Thus, if your brand desires to create long-term relationships with influencers and take advantage of their benefits, providing a fun and remarkable influencer experience is the key.
Lastly, influencers can become brand customers. Therefore, their experience working with brands can impact their decision to make purchases in the future. For this reason, brands should treat collaborators as consumers.
How To Give a Stand-Out Influencer Experience
A survey administered by Crowdtap found that 54 percent of influencers agreed on working with brands that respect them. Hence, if brands want to treat their collaborators right, investing in a notable influencer experience is necessary. Below are some suggestions on how to give influencers the best experience they can have working with your brands.
1. Deliver a Personalized Influencer Experience
Brands show influencers they are special through custom offerings, letters, and gifts. Personalization plays a vital role in creating a hard-to-forget influencer experience. To create a customized experience for content creators, brands may offer products, services, or events that will cater to influencers’ special needs.
In addition, personalization can also be done through addressing influencers by their names through emails, comments to their posts, or a thank you note. Mentioning influencers’ names on your brand’s campaigns or gifts sent to collaborators adds worth to the experience itself or to the treat.
A great example of a brand personalizing influencer campaign is Adidas. During the release of the brand’s Podsystem shoes, Adidas used billboard advertising to reach out to a number of influencers. Moreover, the brand created personalized messages addressed to influencers with the social media stars’ Instagram names. Consequently, the customized notes were appreciated by the chosen influencers and some were even posted in their social media accounts, receiving more engagement from audiences.
2. Invite Influencers to Participate in Cause Marketing Campaigns
Social good campaigns are another way to deliver an unforgettable influencer experience. Generally, individuals want to promote causes and movements. In fact, 71 percent of Americans agreed to support brands that are socially responsible. Furthermore, supporting causes provide a fulfilling experience to participants and adding value to the experience of using a product or service. Hence, by involving influencers in cause marketing campaigns, you are giving more valuable experience than being associated with your brand.
For instance, Mcdonald’s partners with influencers to promote several of the brand’s corporate social responsibility campaigns in social media. Additionally, the brand also encourages collaborators to be a part of its cause marketing events.
One example of these campaigns was in support of the National First Responders day in 2019. Mcdonald’s enlisted the help of influencers to surprise firefighters with Mcdonald’s breakfast meals. The collaborators expressed in their social media posts how they had amazing experiences of helping and learning from the firefighters.
3. Create an A+ Unboxing Influencer Experience
Unboxing goods and gifts is an added influencer experience to working with brands. Hence, companies may make it more memorable through making treats and products exciting and adding a personal touch to either the product or the experience.
For example, WinMagic Toys produced surprise toys that add excitement in opening and unboxing the products. The brand partnered with mom influencers to unbox the WinMagic Toys’ Bananas with their kids. Since the products were created to produce a surprise effect, the unboxing experience became remarkable.
4. Involve Influencers in Product/Service Creation
Brands can make a worthwhile influencer experience through partnering with collaborators in creating products or services. As a result, influencers will feel a greater sense of importance and feel like their opinions are heard. Additionally, seeking out collaborators’ recommendations and including them in the creation process of products and services can build trust and loyalty between brands and influencers.
M·A·C Cosmetics shows how the brand values influencers through collaborating for a new product launch. For instance, the brand currently partners with beauty influencers, also known as M·A·C makers, to choose a lipstick shade and design the product’s packaging. Therefore, with the brand’s lipstick collection, M·A·C is successfully recognizing and representing beauty movers around the world.
5. Extend Invitation to Influencers’ Families and Friends
Events and gatherings become more significant when shared with loved ones. Thus, if you want to create a remarkable influencer experience, consider to include a plus one or more on invitations extended to brand partners. Firstly, brands may ask collaborators if they want to bring someone to the event organized by the company or arrange a party intended for influencers to mingle and enjoy with their families and friends.
In turn, influencers will have a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Secondly, a plus one can always help with taking photos for more creative content. Lastly, if influencers happen to bring another social media personality, brands will gain more engagement.
Nintendo, in partnership with Forward Influence, produced a fun and engaging influencer experience by hosting a group event for influencers and their families. The event was specifically catered to children and adults. Since Nintendo promotes family fun, a family event became the perfect venue to showcase the brand’s culture and values. Influencer moms shared in their social media posts how their event experience with their families was entertaining and unforgettable.
NOTE: When in-person events start up again, brands can maximize on influencer partnerships as shown in the examples shared below.
6. Treat Influencers with Travel Indulgence
Brand getaways are one of the most common and effective ways to deliver a memorable influencer experience. Sponsored trips for influencers can help brands build personal and long-term relationships with collaborators.
Additionally, influencer trips will help brands gain well-crafted content and high audience engagement from influencers’ posts. Choosing breathtaking sceneries, planning exciting activities, and preparing sumptuous meals will all contribute to a remarkable influencer experience.
Visit Philadelphia creates amazing experiences for influencers through travel sponsorships. In 2014, the tourism company hosted its first sponsored trip for brand partners. Visit Philadelphia invited Instagram influencers for a weekend getaway to explore Philadelphia’s spectacular destinations and views. Since then, the brand continues to invest in sponsored travel to showcase Philadelphia’s magnificent sceneries while providing exciting experiences for influencers.
7. Give Influencers Exclusive Access
Another premium influencer experience your brand can give is access to behind-the-scenes on events, stores, or the creation of products and services. In addition, exclusive access will not only make influencers feel valued, but also help them build a personal connection with your brand and offerings. Therefore, brands can use behind-the-scenes strategies to tell the brand’s stories to influencers, show the ins and outs of the company, and allow brand partners to use limited products and services.
To illustrate, Clinique provided an elite influencer experience by inviting collaborators to Clinique’s headquarters for a day where they made their own products, learned how products are created, and tried out the brand’s offerings.
8. Invest in Long-Term Influencer Partnerships
A number of brands are now moving from one-off engagement to extended partnerships with influencers. In fact, long-term influencer-brand partnerships are among one of the top influencer marketing trends in 2020. Brand and influencers’ long-term collaborations can foster loyalty and trust. As relationships with brands grow, influencers can produce more genuine content.
Similarly, brands can build personal connections with influencers through extended partnerships. Once relationships between brands and influencers are strengthened, partnerships become enjoyable and more meaningful. Thus, through extended and long-term partnerships, brands can deliver a more exceptional influencer experience.
An example of a brand committed to creating long-term collaborations with influencers is Alamo. The car rental company partners with social media stars to create content about their travel experiences on their social media accounts and the brand’s blog site. Alamo works with the brand’s Chief Travel Guides for a year of partnership which is often extended for a number of years.
Through the brand’s long-term partnerships with influencers, Alamo gain brand awareness, receive high engagement from audiences and produce authentic social media content.
9. Provide an Exclusive Influencer Experience
One of the ways brands can leave a mark on their influencers’ hearts is through giving exclusive experiences. A brand may provide special treatments such as extending premium products or services or offer early access to brand offerings. Whatever your brand chooses to do, the main goal is to make influencers feel special.
For example, BMW aims to provide a royalty experience through its influencer marketing strategies. For the brand’s Road to Coachella campaigns, BMW offered chosen influencers to travel to Coachella in fancy BMW cars. This initiative made the Coachella experience extra special for brand partners.
Another brand offering superior influencer experience is MGA Entertainment. In 2019, the brand that created L.O.L Surprise hosted a Winter Disco launch party for family influencers and celebrities. The special event was created to introduce the new L.O.L Surprise Winter Disco toy collection. A limited number of guests were treated with a giant L.O.L. Surprise and other fun activities and treats.
Wrap It All Up
Delivering an outstanding collaboration experience can help brands sustain profitable partnerships with influencers, which may lead to an overall increase in ROI. Investing in long-term partnerships, providing exclusive and personalized offerings, involving influencers on product creation and social good campaigns, adding a surprise factor to the unboxing experience, sponsoring getaways, and extending events invitations to influencers’ companions are among the helpful ways to create a noteworthy influencer experience.