If you know anything about influencer marketing, it’s that influencer relations are the bread and butter of this marketing operation. Without influencers, you won’t be able to reach your audience.
Despite this common-sense standpoint, many marketers still stumble when it comes time to actually work with influencers. If you need some quick ways to better your relations with influencers, follow these tips:
1. Use an Influencer Marketing Platform
Most influencers prefer to work with companies through an influencer marketing platform. The platform offers influencers better protection and the ability to connect with more companies. It can also give them the ability to reach out to companies they want to work with rather than waiting around for someone to contact them.
These influencer marketing platforms also have many benefits for your company.
Some of these benefits are:
They can help you identify and connect with relevant influencers for your brand.
They also help you run and manage your influencer campaign from the same platform.
They can help you manage all communications with your influencers by integrating them into a single platform.
They provide easy-to-use tools to track the performance of various influencers and measure your campaign’s progress.
They can help you manage your influencer payments.
If you’re not already using an influencer marketing platform, consider making the switch today.
2. Sharing Is Caring
You want your influencers to give you mentions and shout-outs. You want them to tag you and your products. You want them to share your content with their followers.
Do you reciprocate? “Sharing is caring” should be your mantra when it comes to influencer relations. If you’re not giving your influencers access to your network by occasionally sharing their posts or mentioning them on your channels, your relationship is lopsided.
Here are some things you can do to improve your influencer relations:
Follow the influencers that you collaborate with on various social media platforms.
Like, share, and comment on their posts that relate to your niche.
Mention influencers that you have collaborated with, whenever you post influencer-generated content on your social media channels.
Don’t be the brand that doesn’t reciprocate. Give your influencers a shout-out when they’ve done a great job. Also, remember that it is a mutually beneficial relationship, so think of ways to help them as well.
3. Build Long-Term Connections
Don’t forget this is a relationship-building exercise. While influencers aren’t necessarily your friends, you should treat them as friends or business partners. You’re mutually invested in each other’s success. As they grow their audiences, their promotions of your product will reach further. It’s a two-way street, and it’s not a short-term marketing fix!
You can also invite them to events you’re participating in and introduce them to your network. This will take your relationships beyond a specific collaboration or campaign and foster long-term influencer relations.
4. Show Your Appreciation
Sometimes, all it takes to improve influencer relations is a simple “thank you.” Consider sending your influencers a quick message, thanking them for their content and contributions. If you want to get fancy, you can send them something more. Perhaps a paper card or a small trinket is enough to demonstrate your appreciation. Maybe you go all in and offer them something exclusive—for your influencers alone.
Keep in mind this should be “above and beyond” anything the influencers expect in the contract they have with you. Sending free products they were promised in their agreements doesn’t count as a token of your appreciation. Something small and unexpected can also suffice, as long as you make the effort to show your appreciation.
5. Be Honest about What You Want
Just like any other business relationship, influencer relations come with certain expectations and goals. Be sure you communicate those goals and expectations clearly to influencers. If not, you could wind up in a sticky situation.
Here are some aspects to consider when you collaborate with influencers:
Explain your campaign goals to them so that they know what they need to deliver.
Decide the number of pieces of content that you expect and the message that you want to convey via each piece of content.
Decide the type of content that you want and the channels where you want to promote your content.
Provide clear content guidelines, but make sure to provide creative freedom.
You can also use an influencer marketing platform to brief influencers, create specific assignments, and track the performance of each influencer.
When you and your influencers are on the same page, you will have a much easier time managing the relationship. If you have different expectations or you are not upfront and honest about it, you could end up creating hostility between your company and the influencer.
Good communication permeates every aspect of doing business today. Influencer relations are no exception. Being honest and communicating expectations are examples of what you need to do when it comes to communicating.
Be clear and concise. You should also be professional. You want your relations to be warm and cordial, but these people are not your best friends.
Grin can help you organize and simplify your communications with different influencers. It also provides you with templates to reach-out to new influencers and communicate with existing ones.
7. Tackle Issues Head-On
The second you have identified an issue, be prepared to tackle it then and there. If the influencer is upset or has misunderstood something, ask, “How can we correct this?” If they behave in a way you dislike, don’t beat around the bush. Address the concern immediately.
Building and maintaining good influencer relations is key to the success of an influencer marketing campaign. With these quick tips, you’ll be able to improve your influencer relations in a breeze. If you have any other tips to improve influencer relations, please let us know in the comments below.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.