You’ve heard about the explosive growth of Influencer marketing? It’s now the fastest growing marketing channel. Its value is indisputable:
- Influencer content returns average ROI 11x that of other channels.
- The average influencer campaign earns $6.50 for every $1 spent.
But in the frenzy to get on the bandwagon, too many organizations focus on the wrong things when it comes to influencers. They sign on as many influencers as possible based on vanity metrics and launch fast-running branding campaigns with the highest profile influencers available—and they think their work ends there.
This short-sighted approach leads to campaigns that lack direction and collaboration—and wasted opportunities. The fact is, finding the right influencers is just the beginning.
The most valuable influencer relationships are nurtured over time, with both parties invested in the relationship, the audience, and the results. For an enterprise, building that kind of fully engaged relationship requires good tools and active involvement throughout the partnership lifecycle, not just at the recruiting phase.
You have to put in the work—and tools help
Managing influencer relationships effectively takes good planning and good tools if you want to do it effectively—especially at any kind of scale. Partnership automation tools aren’t just about measurement, they also help your teams implement strategic creative output and build a genuine collaborative relationship with each influencer. Yet a staggering 76% of marketers are managing influencer campaigns with no tools whatsoever.
The right technology also equips influencers to better understand guidelines, share feedback, and measure results, connecting them to the process and leading them to create more authentic content that delivers for your brand.
The key is to establish consistent and personalized connections with your influencers.
Customize your communication (and URLs)
Consistent and frequent communication is essential to retaining and nurturing partnerships to stay top-of-mind with your influencers. If you’re going to manage partnerships at scale and communicate authentically, customization is vital.
To truly make an impact, you need to include relevant context for each individual influencer and provide links and promo codes that are unique and relevant to them. You should also be adapting communications for seasonality and platform preferences.
Customized URLs are also a must, because they are more trustworthy to consumers than auto-generated links. In fact, they receive 39% more click-throughs, are easier to remember, and can be shared offline. A customized URL can increase the reach of a link considerably.
Trust but verify
Once your influencer campaign is up and running, you need to monitor progress. You want to know that the right posts are going out at the right times, so you know your influencers are delivering on their promises and contributing to your goals. Having automated tools that monitor your influencers’ activity and allow you to view their content in real time is enormously valuable when you are managing large-scale campaigns.
A holistic view of the entire partnership lifecycle will not only increase the effectiveness of your campaigns, it will also strengthen your relationship with the influencers you choose. Good relationships today mean good campaigns tomorrow, because you learn over time what works and what doesn’t.
Keep the flame alive
Signing on the right influencers is important, but it’s what happens afterward that determines your eventual ROI. Effective influencer management throughout the full lifecycle not only makes your partners better advocates for your business, it also helps you continually improve your strategy to make tomorrow’s partnerships even stronger than today’s. Learn more about building strong influencer relationships in our ebook, Are You Ghosting Your Influencers?, or directly from one of our expert growth technologists at firstname.lastname@example.org.