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In our personal lives, we know that shared values, communication, and compromise are some of the pillars of a healthy relationship. Why then in business do many of those concepts fall by the wayside when it comes to influencer marketing? The key reason is scale. Maintaining a fulfilling relationship with one person takes a lot of time and energy, and if you have dozens or hundreds of partners to romance? That’s daunting. But it can be done!

Treating influencers much like you would a long-term relationship pays off by enabling you to build a diverse portfolio that reaches your business goals and keeps both parties fulfilled, and turn it into a true partnership. Here are some simple rules from the heart to help you find, sustain, and optimize influencer partnerships that last.

Rule #1: Know what you want (it’s not Miss Perfect, it’s Miss Perfect-for-You)

There are a lot of fish in the sea, so it pays to establish what you’re looking for in a match and search specifically for those qualities. For example, many brands make the mistake of going for the biggest influencers with the highest volume of followers, when actually what they need is a more targeted approach.

To find your perfect match, consider:

Who is your audience?

  • Which social channels do they use?
  • Who do they trust and listen to?
  • What drives them to purchase?

What are your business goals?  Do you:

  • Need to encourage conversions and track performance?
  • Want to raise brand awareness for your brand or product?
  • Need more user-generated content for your own channels?
  • Want to scale up your affiliate partnerships in a cost-effective way?
  • Need to reduce “one-off” sponsored post spending and encourage advocacy?
  • Want to multiply the number of partners you work with?

How will you scale?

Once you know what your ideal partner persona looks like, don’t look for that needle in a haystack. Use social discovery automation technology to create your custom criteria and start finding potential matches. 

2. Establish your roles

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and establishing optimal roles in any relationship is valuable. Think of it as “you wash, I fold” on an enterprise scale.  To create successful influencer partnerships, you need to remove any excess administration tasks and have frameworks that define the life cycle of your engagement. You need to think about every step of the life cycle, from recruitment and onboarding through to continued collaboration, communication, and performance reviews. Setting specific tasks for all involved in a partnership is vital: 

  • You need the right people and processes to orchestrate the people
  • You need the right technology to scale and grow
  • You need to have the right roles in the team
  • All partners need access to a single “source of truth” for task management 

Again, automation needs to be at the center to manage that full life cycle of an influencer partnership so you get the best out of your team and partners.  Who needs the frustration of the daily grind? Much better to keep things fresh.

3. Show your commitment

Like any romance,  partnerships need nurturing on a personal level. To truly create lasting and successful partnerships, remember:

  • It takes time, but it’s worth it. Dedicate time to identify your weaknesses and search for the right partner for your company and campaign.
  • Trust and patience is key: Once you’ve found that person, nurture that relationship! This means trusting their judgment, being patient, and letting things progress naturally.
  • You’ll evolve along the way: Monitor progress and adjust the relationship accordingly to ensure that it’s equal; are they excelling in one area more than others? Are everyone’s expectations being met?
  • The right tools are essential: Use technology to save time, which is especially important when managing influencer partnerships at scale.  Adapt and find new ways to creatively deliver your desired message.

For more relationship advice to keep your partnership love alive, download the eBook, Getting to happily-ever-after influencer partnerships. And for a hand to hold any time, reach out to grow@impact.com.

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