As a business brand owner who has decided to launch an influencer marketing campaign, it is paramount for you to understand the concept of Influencer Relationship Management. This is because your relationship with your influencer will go a long way to determine the success of your Influencer Marketing Campaign.
Influencer Relationship Management (IRM)
Influencer Relationship Management refers to the entire process of creating a healthy and positive relationship between you (the brand or business owner) and the influencer. It includes the influencer’s preferences and interests, the medium of communication, goals (long-term and short-term).
Tips for building strong Influencer Relationship Management
• Choose the right influencers
The first step to building a strong relationship with your influencer is to ensure they match your brand and your marketing goals. Business brands should partner only with influencers who match their brand identity, voice, and mutual goals. Your choice influencer should also be able to establish a productive workflow and have a track record of successful campaigns. Such influencers are capable of working towards a productive and mutually beneficial relationship.
If you want to build and maintain a strong relationship with your influencers, you need to be honest about the terms of your relationship right from the onset. Be sure to tell your influencer(s) about the brand’s goal, objective, expectations, timeline, and budget. Also, never promise compensation (merchandise, money, travel, etc.) you cannot fulfill. Being honest and straightforward will let the influencer work with you only if he is comfortable with the conditions and terms.
• Create personal relationships
Although influencer relationships are formed in the digital world, influencers are not only online personalities; they are human beings looking forward to building online relationships that can positively affect their physical lives. Strive to build genuine personal relationships with your influencers by knowing who they are outside of the internet. This will make them feel like a part of your team.
• Learn to trust your influencer
A key component of Influencer Relationship Management is trust. It is one of the reasons you need to be careful when selecting your influencer. Trust in your influencer’s personality and ability, and ensure they know you trust them so they will want to protect your trust in them.
• Think of long-term relationships
Many influencers prefer long-term collaborations to one time campaigns. Making an influencer see your Influencer Marketing Campaign as a marathon instead of a dash will further boost the potential of your relationship becoming stronger and more positive.
• Allow creativity
Creative freedom is highly relevant to you and your influencer. Who knows your audience and what they want more than your influencer? No one since it is your influencer’s audience your brand is targeting. Allowing your influencer to create contents they believe in will not only build their trust and respect in your, but it will also increase the effects of your influencer marketing campaign, it will also boost your Returns on Investment (ROI).
• Be fair in your compensation
Always ensure your compensation plan for your influencer is relative and appropriate to the efforts. Although influencers might not request for monetary compensation (depends on audience size), it is always fair to ensure any form of agreed compensation (merchandise, travels, etc.) is enough to make them not feel cheated and want to have a long lasting relationship with your brand. Adequately compensating influencers will also give you, the brand owner an extra advantage of being able to control content and the entire influencer marketing strategy.
For any healthy relationship, communication is highly significant and this does not exclude influencer relationships. It is essential for brands to keep the lines of open communication right from the negotiation period to the campaign period and even after. This is especially important for the brand to update influencers about the company happenings, irrespective of the marketing effort. Such will help strengthen the relationship between brands and influencers. Communication between brands and influencers can be maintained through three different means namely:
Direct: communication between brands and influencers can be done directly between both parties. This can be done through mediums such as emails, faxes, social messaging apps, phone calls, etc.
Agencies: influencer marketing agencies can also serve as Communication Bridge between brands and the influencers they manage. Brands will pass all information they need their influencers to know to the agencies who will, in turn, get such across to the influencers.
Platforms: there are several online influencer marketing tools which brands can use to manage and communicate with influencers. An example of an influencer managing platform is NoxInfluencer where brands can search, sign up and communicate effectively with their choice influencers.
• Influencer promotion
If it is satisfactory to both parties, public relationships outside of official campaigns should exist between brands and influencers. Brands can promote their influencers through their social media accounts, websites and other content mediums. Most influencers will appreciate this as it will create awareness for them.
• Know what your influencers want
Every individual is unique in their way, influencers inclusive. Their needs might not always match what you want to compensate them with. Try to know what your influencers wish for in their career and work out ways to help them achieve it as a business or brand.
• Offline relationships
Considering how frequent we interact in the virtual world, and the sense of normalcy associated with it, it is very easy to neglect our offline relationships. Consider having your influencers in physical gatherings. Let them be part of any brand event you organize, be it product launches, trade shows or other business events. Also, find ways to let them be part of your company by allowing their presence at office gatherings, parties, and retreats where they can mingle with other members of your business.
• Partner with influencer marketing agencies
Influencer marketing agencies are firms that specialize in creating relationships between influencers and brands. They connect influencers and brands which match with each other together. They do not only create connections between brands and influencers, but they also help maintain a strong, healthy relationship between both parties and can manage an entire Influencer marketing campaign on behalf of an organization.
There are also influencer marketing platforms on which influencers and brands can meet and build a relationship with one another. An example is NoxInfluencer.
It is a different thing to enter into an influencer marketing relationship with an influencer; it is another to build and maintain such relationships. It doesn’t come easy for both parties! When you effectively manage and relate healthily and positively with your influencer, it will further boost the success of your influencer marketing campaign.