An important aspect that people often forget about when it comes to influencer marketing is the relationship they have with the influencer. We can get too caught up in the number of followers someone has and what their engagement is like. While these are very important to the success of the campaign, we need to remember that at the end of the day, we’re dealing with people.
What can you as a brand do to help foster a genuine relationship with creators to create lasting relationships and advocates for your brand?
We wanted to take some time to share some tips on how you can connect and build a relationship with the creators you’re working with; from when you first reach out to them to after they make their post promoting your product.
When you reach out to influencers, you want to put your best foot forward. The old adage is you can never make a second, first impression and this holds true here.
We spoke to different influencers about what they look for when a company first reaches out to collaborate and here are some of the things that they prioritize when reading your first email or message.
When you contact an influencer for the first time you want to make sure you come across as professional. Influencers want to work with reputable brands and if your outreach email has typos in it or seems questionable, they likely won’t get back to you. Make sure you’re proofreading your email a couple of times before sending it.
Another important point is to make sure you include a link to your business somewhere in the email and that you have a professional looking website. If you’re concerned that your company doesn’t have a professional website or even a website at all, don’t worry! You can also share your Instagram account to help creators get a better sense of your business.
If you don’t include a link to either your site or Instagram page, it may look like you’re hiding something about your business. Be as open as you can with creators when reaching out.
And you want to make sure that your Instagram/Website are professional because the same way an influencer is representing your brand - the companies they chose to partner with represent their brand. Influencers will not want to partner with companies that will reflect poorly on their image.\
Further on that point, another thing influencers look for when they first agree to work with a company is the company's value proposition. While promoting a product that they actually enjoy is important, creators also want to partner with brands who have a mission and a purpose that is consistent with their own. With that in mind, share your brand's mission with the creator when you reach out to them.
Better yet, before you reach out to an influencer, make sure their brand is aligned with yours! We recently published a blog post about this here, but what this does is it allows the creator to speak more naturally about your company and product. An easy way to do this is through using our tool SocialRank. One thing that SocialRank allows you to do is sort through your followers and your competitors' followers on both Instagram and Twitter to find people who are highly engaged in you or your product category and partner with them for influencer marketing campaigns.
If you want to learn more about how to find your ideal influencer, click here to sign up for our upcoming Free Training, “The Art of Finding Influencers: How We Find Dream Influencers Using Data Without Spending Hours On Social Media Manual Searching.”
During the Campaign
We talked about this in our 5 Influencer Marketing Best Practices blog post but it’s so important that we wanted to reiterate it. You want to give as much creative freedom to the influencer as possible. They know how to communicate with their followers far better than you can. If you try to dictate the creative and/or the messaging it will come across as inauthentic and forced. By giving creative freedom to the influencer, you’re not only getting a better ad out of it but you’re also going to have a happier influencer. If you put trust in the creator to make the content, you’re strengthening the relationship you have with them.
We’re not saying that you can’t have any input - of course you can! Just don’t be overbearing and do your best to provide your input in the beginning, before the creative is made as opposed to after it’s been finished.
One other easy thing you can do is amplify the creator and their post by sharing it to your page and with your audience. It’s a simple thing you can do that shows your appreciation for the work they’ve done and helps expose the creator to new audiences. This is an effective tactic especially if you’re working with micro-influencers.
The most effective way to build a relationship with the influencer is to collaborate with them on a long-term basis.
Instead of focusing on one off posts create a long term partnership with multiple posts. Not only is working with an influencer for a longer-term going to help you establish a relationship but it is also going to make their promotion of your product more genuine.
Let’s look at two different scenarios and then decide which one we think is going to be more genuine and effective.
You pay an influencer to promote your product one time in the feed.
You work with an influencer for 3-4 months and during that time they post 10 stories and 4 feed posts.
Obviously Scenario 2 is more effective due to the higher volume in posting but if a creator is willing to post about a product that much, that likely means that they genuinely believe in the product they are promoting. This authenticity leads to their followers trusting the recommendation more, making them more likely to convert.
You may be thinking that this will cost you more, and you’re right. However, another advantage to longer-term partnerships is that with guaranteeing recurring posts and as a result recurring payment for the influencer, you can usually negotiate a lower rate. If an influencer doesn’t want to do a package deal for multiple posts then maybe that isn’t the right influencer for you and your brand.
Don’t forget that you are dealing with people when you’re doing influencer marketing. Not only is it the right thing to do to build a genuine relationship with the creators you partner with, but it is also beneficial for you and your business.