A good relationship with influencers is extremely important when it comes to long-term collaborations. Establishing a long-term collaboration brings many benefits such as adding more value to the product, more authentic endorsements, and consistent user engagement. It is also really important within short-term collaborations. If you already know that good news travel fast and bad news travels even faster, then even within the short term you need to think of how to establish a good relationship so that other influencers will easily want to team up with you.
So, simply use these tips and tricks on how to build and maintain strong relationships within your field and see the results skyrocket.
1. Ensure The Influencer Is A Good Fit
One of the worst mistakes when conducting influencer campaigns is choosing influencers solely on their follower count. Instead, you need to make sure they are primarily a good fit for your brand. If you end up collaborating with an influencer whose target audience doesn’t match yours, you can’t expect satisfying results. Think about what kind of content they are producing, this is integral to getting the right fit. The type of content an influencer posts can tell you a lot about them so do your research. Starting a partnership with an influencer means that you’ll be putting someone in front of your brand as its typical user. You want to choose someone your target audience can relate to and whose recommendations are credible.
2. Ensure The Influencer Likes Your Brand
Having an opportunity to collaborate with your brand will be exciting for an influencer who is also a customer and working with someone who already loves your products will be much easier and more productive. The best way to find an influencer who is a loyal customer is to go through user-generated content. The posts your customers publish can reveal an influencer who is already a fan. Another bonus of this technique is you’ll have a better chance to agree on incentives such as your products (instead of a paycheck) if the influencer loves your brand.
3. Be Unique And Personal With Your DM
Writing them a generic message won’t make a lasting impression as influencers will receive pages of DMs from brands wanting to work with them. You need to stand out from the crowd by being unique and personal. Make sure in your initial DM you are straightforward and explain why you want to collaborate with them. You could start with “What makes them the person you want to work with?” and “Why they are the best choice for your brand?” for example. Remember to do your research on the specific influencer and try and find an appropriate hook. This could be something like “I see we attended the same conference recently”. They’ll be more curious about a partnership if you approach them as a friendly acquaintance rather than a salesperson. The first impression matters and it can set up the course of your relationship.
4. Be Honest About Expectations
Open talk and compromise are key components of any relationship. You need to remember it’s not all about what you want. Knowing what influencer expects from your partnership is crucial. Here are a few campaign expectations you want to determine beforehand:
How many pieces of content do you expect from influencer?
State the specific period of time in which they need to deliver the content
Share the plan on how you will use their content and on which platforms
Set up an FTC disclosure
Your expected engagement rate, checking this is achievable first with the influencer.
Ask the influencer about their expectations
5. Discuss The Campaign
No one knows their audience better than the influencer. They know what type of content their followers respond best to, what drives better engagement, and the best channel for achieving your goal. Experienced influencers who have worked with multiple brands will be able to give you some guidance and maximize your effort. Of course, you should be the one who gives final approval but if you think that the influencer has a solid idea you might want to reconsider the sponsored content’s distribution platform. Also, be sure to define the captions and campaign tagging expectations. If you want to popularize a brand hashtag, an influencer can help you start that trend. Make sure that you specify every hashtag or important aspect of captions that the influencer needs to include in the description, video, Story, or wherever the campaign is launching.
6. Creative Freedom
Most influencers are creatives and need to consistently create fresh and interesting content that will keep their followers engaged. If you don’t show appreciation for their creative energy, or if you suffocate their creative thoughts the campaign will neither be honest nor authentic. It would be a huge mistake to take over complete control of the influencer’s promotion. Putting words into influencers’ mouths and dictating every single detail will make the campaign less effective. Influencers know what type of content resonates with their audience.
We hope after reading these tips, you now have a better understanding of how and why to approach influencers. Remember, what is especially crucial is that you treat the influencer as a partner not as an employee.