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Building relationships with your influencers

Designing your Influencer Marketing campaign

Targeting online shoppers with repeated and targeted ads have become a thing of the past.  We have influencer marketing to thank for that. Why does this concept work seamlessly? Why aren’t the audience wary of this method like they are with traditional forms of advertising? Mostly because they are well aware and informed of what they are getting into before they do. You look at the Instagram or Youtube accounts before you follow them. You realize that these influencers will have some sponsored posts. Yet, your faith in their ethics and taste allows you to be influenced voluntarily. We are not too far from the age where interrupting your video content on TV with forcible ads is a distant memory. Don’t be surprised if a listicle on “10 things you will know only if you are a 00’s kid” is published on the blog soon and TV ads is one of the pointers.

Relationships aren’t built in a day. It isn’t tedious, but it is a carefully constructed domino castle. When you have fun with it and you are good at maintaining relationships, influencers can take you a long way.

Influencer Relationship Management

Let me answer the obvious question. Yes, IRM is derived from the concept of Customer Relationship Management. If you are a brand or agency, you need to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with the influencer you work on. These strategic relationships work as a long-term strategy. Influencers aren’t employees or customers. They are your strategic partners. Brands have just realized that they should focus on managing influencer relationships as much importance as customers are given.

Why a healthy relationship? 

Why does a brand need a good relationship with these influencers? A poorly planned IRM can result in your influencer being less invested in the brand. The results of the campaign automatically show. An influencer who believes in the brand and has a good relationship can work wonders and give you an excellent ROI.

We will look at what brands can possibly do to build these relationships.

Pick the right influencers for your brand

Is the influencer relevant to your brand? Not only is this important for your campaigns, but it doesn’t help when you work with the wrong choice and express regret later. A lot of inter-industry influencers do stay in touch and it could potentially harm your brand image.

Influencers are usually flooded with pitches, so to get them excited relevance is of utmost importance. Revolve, the fashion brand has been encashing with fashion influencers over the past couple of years.

A bright example of this would be Choice Hotels. Choice Hotels went a different route by using parenting influencers instead of regular travel influencers to promote their

 facilities provided by their hotel chain. The hotel, rather than just focusing on the stay or one facility, went all out and made the influencers speak about specifics.

One of the excerpts of LovelyIndeed goes as follows “Big white fluffy beds to snooze on (or jump around on; see the little video we made for evidence), Wi-Fi and charging stations aplenty for working during Henry’s naps (crucial, because we always work on the road!), and an even better breakfast (you know I love a wafflemaker)! They even provided a crib for Henry, which was awesome. We’re so used to traveling with a crib for him that it seemed like such a luxury to have one on site.”

No more “cold” calls

Make them warm! So many pitches and relationships go awry just because the emails or calls aren’t elaborate enough. Would you walk up to a person or employee and just ask them to work for you? No. Brands complain that there is a high chance of no-response from these influencers.

So increase your chances and have a conversation before pitching business to them. Follow all their social media accounts and track their activities and engage with their posts. When writing an email, use a catchy subject line and include all the relevant details and not just in the lines of “Hi, we are brand X. Will you be interested in collaborating with us?”. Here are some pointers you can use for communication

  1. A catchy subject

  2. Show knowledge and appreciate their work

  3. The value that the brand can provide

  4. Show some previous work, if required

  5. A clear call-to-action for them to respond

Pay your strategic influencers well 

Give them less chance to move away from you. As any strategic partner would do, you have to compensate them fairly. Don’t be surprised when influencers get offended when you offer them freebies instead of monetary returns. You may get away with it for micro-influencers, but the ones with higher following might spread the work among their circles leading to some potential harm to the brand image.

Long-term relationships vs short-term relationships

Follow your path to victory by maintaining enduring relationships with influencers. GoPro has done a great job in implementing this strategy where some of their sponsored influencers consistently use the products and talk about it in a majority of the posts when relevant.

Stable agreement terms and ongoing relationships lead to stronger rapport with influencers and the audience too. Also, has extended advantages like reliability, more brand awareness, a strong sense of trust, longer lasting results and high-quality content.

Image result for gopro larissa canada

Instagrammer Larissa Dsa has been a brand ambassador of GoPro

But let us also not disregard short-term yet healthy relationships with the influencers. There is a chance that the audience might get bored of the collaboration. This is a less time consuming and effortless collaboration. Also, the biggest advantage is that you can reach out to a bigger and varied audience. But you hardly see this kind with high-quality influencers. Do note that this method can be extremely tedious as there will be multiple campaigns with different contact time and a different relationship to track each time.

Your thoughts

Hello there, brands! What kind of collaborations do you prefer? How good are you at maintaining relationships with your influencers? Has it worked out well for you strategically? Do let us know below in the comments or visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to know more about what we do.

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