Influencers are human beings. That’s the source of their power to shape opinion and sustain engagement. When your brand can tap into the personal relationship a content creator has with an audience, magic happens, which is why influencer partnerships can have a highly beneficial effect on revenue.
Take, for example, British supermarket Iceland, which in 2017 established a partnership with vlogging site Channel Mum, whose influencers created exclusive content featuring Iceland products. The intimate mum-to-mum connection between Channel Mum and its parenting audience was a powerful force, and on average, mothers within the Channel Mum community watched two minutes of branded content per video. Even better, Iceland’s approval ratings jumped from 10% to 80% after moms viewed vlogger-created content, a 72% increase above the agreed-upon digital KPIs.
With influencers, you get what you give
When your partner is a human being, not a seemingly faceless media entity or corporation, you have to treat them accordingly. Unfortunately, if you have a large network of partners to manage, it’s easy to start managing them all the same and neglecting individual needs, which leads to diminished quality and engagement. Neglect is the root cause of the ghosting phenomenon in partnerships, and it can seriously damage your ROI.
That’s why when it comes to influencers, it’s important to take a personalized approach from the outset and continually nurture a personal connection with each influencer.
High-touch doesn’t have to mean high-maintenance
Is it even feasible to sustain a personal, 1-to-1 relationship with every influencer partner in your network? What if you have dozens or hundreds to manage in addition to all your other types of partners? It may seem counterintuitive, but the key to maintaining personal influencer relationships at scale is actually technology. Successful brands automate many aspects of the partnership lifecycle so that they can both run programs at scale and devote personal attention as needed. They use technology to empower their teams — so they can optimize partnerships instead of poring over spreadsheets.
To balance personalized influencer partnerships with scale, be sure to:
- Automate generic administration tasks across the life cycle. Think about every step of the life cycle from recruitment and onboarding through to continued collaboration, communication, and performance reviews. By thinking holistically, you’ll have more tools and bandwidth to give each influencer the attention they deserve up-front and maintain it over time.
- Be clear about what you want. Having a checklist of needs and what exactly your objectives are key to ensuring clarity between you and your influencer partners.
- Treat each new influencer partner like a human being. Influencer partners are individuals with needs, strengths, and weaknesses. Communicate openly and nurture the relationship, and the positivity of the partnership will be felt by your audience.
- Check in and keep things fresh. Work with your partner to ensure the desired message is being delivered in different ways. Over time, consumers being exposed to the same things again and again can suffer marketing fatigue; so will your influencer partner.
- Use the most flexible technology possible. This allows for individualized contracts and payout terms based on influencer strengths. Measuring and rewarding influencers for value delivered is both motivating for influencers and cost-efficient for your business.
Influencer partnership automation is vital to getting the best out of your team and partners. For more advice on building stronger influencer relationships, download the eBook: Getting to happily-ever-after influencer partnerships. And for personal assistance with your partnership strategy, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.