The popularity of influencer marketing is increasing. So, it’s not surprising that more brands are choosing influencer marketing rather than traditional marketing. According to a study by Linqia, in 2018, 66% of marketers were running more than three influencer marketing campaigns.
Brands have also decided to invest more money into influencer marketing campaigns. According to the same study, in 2019, 54% of marketers are planning to invest more than $250,000 annually in influencer marketing. Whereas 17% are going to invest more than $1 million.
Apart from the budgets, there is another key factor that determines the success of an influencer marketing campaign. It’s the relationship between the brand and influencer. Maintaining healthy, long-term relationships may sound easy, but it’s not.
So, here are six of the most effective ways to develop long-term relationships with your influencers.
1. Provide Creative Space
Nearly 51% of marketers report that influencer-generated content outperforms brand-created content. Also, 81% say that they prefer to use influencer-generated content on other social media platforms.
Have you ever wondered why influencer-generated content performs better than brand-generated content?
The key is creativity. It’s also the key to maintaining healthy relationships with your influencers. The most effective way to nurture your relationships with influencers is to provide creative freedom to your influencers.
So, the next time you’re working with influencers, remember to share a basic guideline of the message you want to convey to your target audience. But, then leave the creative aspects of content creation in the hands of your talented influencers. If you’re concerned, you can ask that you be allowed to review the content before posting.
However, it’s better not to intervene in the process of content creation. Providing enough space for creativity can motivate influencers to work with you for future campaigns too. Additionally, it can help you to establish long-lasting relationships.
2. Respect Their Time
Brands need to respect their influencers’ time. It takes a lot of time to come up with original ideas and create quality content.
Often, brands forget that influencers are just like normal people. So, it’s important to treat them exactly the way you would like others to treat you. You need to respect the time of influencers and understand that they have other commitments too. Hence, you cannot expect that they dedicate all of their time and energy towards your campaign alone.
Make sure to communicate your campaign goals and objectives clearly to your influencers. This will help guide them on what they need to do. Additionally, put genuine effort into understanding them as unique individuals, and wish for their well-being.
You can also promote them in your networks and share their content so that they get more visibility. When you put genuine effort into nurturing these relationships, influencers will also show interest in working with you for longer periods of time.
3. Offer Fair Compensation
Your influencers need to feel valued and happy working with you. And needless to say, fair compensation speaks volumes about how valuable you find their efforts.
“Fair compensation” is the third-most-popular reason for influencers to work with brands. However, most of the time, brands fail to recognize this and make the mistake of not paying influencers enough money.
So, make sure that you are paying them adequately as this goes a long way in maintaining good relationships.
Instead of money, you can also offer free products or services to your influencers. However, it will only work if influencers work with your brand because they love your brand. Fair compensation indicates that you respect your influencer’s time, effort, and hard work.
So, whether it’s money or free stuff, make sure to offer fair compensation to your influencers. It will help you develop long-term relationships with them.
4. Avoid Cold Outreach
When you reach out to potential influencers, you should not start your message with something generic such as, “Dear Blogger,” or “Hello.” This is very impersonal and indicates that you have sent the email in bulk. Influencers don’t like cold calls or emails.
Even if you have a template to reach out to influencers, that doesn’t mean you should use the same content to reach out to everyone.
So, before you reach out to a potential influencer, it’s critical that you do research to find out more about them. Most importantly, you should follow your potential influencers on social media. Try to engage meaningfully with their content so that you get on their radar.
This can help you collect some interesting facts about them and use them to personalize your message.
It will also help you to add a personal touch to your outreach emails. Mention how you came across their work and what you particularly liked about it. This will show them that you have taken a keen interest in their work and that can help you develop a long-lasting relationship.
5. Don’t Be Transactional
A transactional approach is when you contact influencers only when you need them, and stop all communication once done.
This approach will never motivate influencers to invest themselves in your projects or campaigns. So, make sure that you continue to keep in touch with them, even after your campaign is over.
You can engage with their content and keep sharing it with your social networks. You can also invite them to events you organize or share exclusive invites to events they may find worthwhile. Additionally, you can share samples of your products and invite them to product launches.
If you make that extra effort to nurture your relationships with them, influencers may be interested in partnering with you again for future campaigns.
6. Reach Out to Relevant Influencer
It’s critical that you reach out to relevant influencers; influencers who are experts in your niche. When you contact influencers from your niche, they may actually really like your products/services and may end up talking passionately about them. This will also help you build better long-term relationships with them.
A relevant influencer will bring authenticity and genuineness to your content. As a result, you can drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and generate more sales.
However, all of this depends on your ability to identify relevant influencers from your niche. According to eConsultancy, marketers reported that they still find it challenging to identify relevant influencers and 54% of them search manually.
There are many tools and platforms like Influence.co, which can help you find relevant influencers. This tool can help you discover influencer by using filters such as location and niche.
Other than Influencer.co, you can also use platforms like Traackr or IZEA. Both of these platforms can help you find relevant influencers from your niche and help you manage your influencer marketing campaigns.
The success of influencer marketing often depends on the influencers your partner with. Hence, it’s crucial that you reach out to the right influencers and develop long-lasting relationships with them.
The tips above can help you build strong and long-term relationships with influencers. Which of these strategies do you use to build sustainable relationships with your influencers? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.