Have you ever met up with a childhood friend who you haven’t seen in years and pick up a conversation right where you left off?
There’s something powerful about engaging with someone who knows you so well that there’s no explaining yourself. You can skip the small-talk and you can jump right into the deep conversations. Get right to the good stuff.
That’s precisely the feeling you should feel when dealing with your long-term influencers! You will have built up a mutual history and a working relationship which amplifies the success of every campaign that follows, and it only keeps getting better with time; Mutual understanding leads to mutual success which leads to more collaboration in an endlessly positive cycle!
Long-term relationships pay off. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Eliminates the need to constantly be recruiting
Calculate ROI with confidence
Relationships make everything easier. A full 75% of brands surveyed cited finding the right Influencers as the top challenge to Influencer Marketing. Long-term relationships solve this right off the bat, as you already know who your go-to Influencers are. There are fewer misunderstandings when Influencers already know what success metrics you value and how to achieve them, and of course, predicting ROI couldn’t be easier because you already have the historical revenue data from your past work with them to go off of!
But what really accelerates your campaigns to move a rocket-speed? Influencers who have accumulated “tribal knowledge” on your brand. What’s that? This is everything that Influencers might need to know about working with you that isn’t written down: brand ethos, work ethic, communication styles, unspoken rules, and heuristics. These only come with exposure, and you only get that through long-term relationships.
Convinced that long-term is the way to go? Great! Here’s how you can build those relationships.
4 ways to build long-term relationships with your influencers:
Allow Creative Control: Brand marketers have ideas. That’s why they’re marketers, right? Unfortunately, when it comes to influencer marketing, too much input from them can actually be a bad thing. According to eMarketer, 77% of influencers report that creative control is their top motivator. That comes in higher than money, respect, or alignment. Their brand, after all, is authenticity, and their followers are rabidly interested in them because they “tell it like it is” and offer a sort of credible candor that can’t be born out of the marketing department. If you treat your Influencers with the professionalism and respect that you would any other agency and give them the freedom that they need to operate, you’ll build trust that keeps them coming back for more.
Get to Know Them: True relationships take time and influencers will be more invested in people who invest in them. You can achieve this by simply taking time on your first call together to learn about their personal interests, about how they got started in influencer marketing, what they do with their earnings, and where they think their career is headed. Demonstrate your genuine interest and treat them like a valued partner and you’ll build loyalty that honest money couldn’t buy.
Use an Influencer Platform: For the same reason that using a CRM beats using sticky notes, an influencer marketing platform (such as Revfluence) beats trying to keep it all in a spreadsheet. To find each solid, long-term influencer you should be reviewing at least 15-20 proposals, and all of those pages can add up quickly. Using an influencer platform streamlines the process because it manages communications, payments, and proposals. This means that you can always pick up where you left off, your Influencers have confidence that they’ll be paid, and you can handle as many relationships as you need to be successful.
Show Gratitude: A good old fashioned “thank you” card is never out of style but if you want to really cement a long-term relationship, give your influencers a professional shout-out. According to eMarketer, 55% Influencers reported that their primary goal in running campaigns with brands is to increase their own following, and they see it very much as a co-marketing opportunity. You can help them out and show some above-and-beyond gratitude with free press: feature them prominently on the website as a testimonial, back-link to them into a blogpost, or use one of their videos on a product demo page.
So, are you in it for the long-haul?
If all of these tactics share one common thread, it’s that they aren’t one-off activities! These are stepping stones along the journey. Find ways to pepper these into you habits and influencer marketing activities and you’ll find that through consistent gratitude, interest, management, and delegation of creative control, you’ll build long-term relationships with influencers, which will improve your campaigns in just about every measure possible!
Is Influencer Marketing really what you think it is? Click here to learn more!