In this smartphone era, where people spend an average of two hours per day on social media, influencer marketing has taken centrestage. Loyalty towards influencers have made then social media celebrities and a trusted name in their field.

Consumers, especially millennials, have shown an aversion to traditional ads. Ad blockers are used by two out of three millennials, not just on their desktops but also on mobile phone. To target this age group, a more authentic form of advertisement is required. That is why influencer marketing has become so popular over the years.

While calculating return on investment is a big challenge that marketers face, there is no doubt that influencer marketing gives manifold returns. To keep up with this trend, the annual ad spend on social media is forecasted to reach almost $14 billion this year.

To reach out to the millennials and Generation Z, you need to right voice who they connect with. Partnering with an expert in a given field and is trusted by the followers as an ambassador is an authentic way to connect with them. Brands get into a long-term partnership with these influencers to establish their presence through them.

During a long-term partnership, the influencer becomes an ambassador for the brand. It’s more like a celebrity endorsement, during which a celebrity becomes the face of the brand. In such a scenario, both the brand and the influencer have certain interests which this type of partnership fulfills.

Ambassador programs with influencers can achieve multiple goals including to drive sales, increase brand awareness, boost website and social media traffic, and promote a product launch.

Pop-star Selena Gomez entered into a $10 million partnership with Coach in 2016, and became their brand ambassador. The announcement was made by Gomez on Instagram, where she has 132 million followers. She also has over 56 million followers on Twitter.

Selena has been a huge asset for Coach, with her phenomenal social media presence. Coach’s growth on social media has increased tremendously since the deal. There has been a 50% increase in the brand’s followers, and an 81% increase in their average “likes” year over year.

Selena

American Express leveraged hundreds of Instagram influencers for their #AmexAmbassador campaign. Influencers regularly posted pictures of themselves benefiting from the American Express rewards programs and of perks like exclusive airport lounges, parties, and trips.

The campaign includes celebrities, macro-influencers, and micro-influencers. The influencers used for the campaign belong to wide-ranging categories including fashion, lifestyle, food, photography, travel, pets, and interior design.

AmexAmbassador

Tips

  1. Outline your campaign goals, and identify the influencer accordingly. Make sure that the influencer understands your brand.
  2. Partner with influencers who already identify with your brand to make the campaign more authentic.
  3. Get the influencers to co-create content as well to promote the brand.
  4. Entering into a long-term partnership with an influencer will mean making the entire deal official. This will also help ensure that the influencer doesn’t collaborate with a rival brand during the duration of your contract.
  5. Partner with those influencers that have a multi channel presence on social media.

Conclusion

A long-term brand endorsement across platforms by an influencer shows that the brand is trusted by the influencer. The entire process seems all the more authentic as it shows the genuine love that the influencer has for the brand. This also translates into a higher long-term value as it has the potential to acquire more loyal customers.

In some cases, getting into a long-term partnership with a small influencer who has a potential to grow is a great way to increase your brand’s community as well.

Long-term partnerships not only increase digital conversations, but also lead to more in-person referrals by the influencer to their family and friends.

Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem

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.

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