So, you’ve made the leap to influencer marketing. You’ve done the research, convinced your partners how effective it is, and are ready to get started. However, there’s likely one part of this whole process that you don’t truly understand enough…the influencer.
Getting to know these creative creators, from how they like to be contacted through the way to they like campaigns to wrap up, is a crucial but often overlooked piece to success in this type of marketing. Learn what they like, and they’ll be enormously valuable and dedicated to your brand. Make a few mistakes, and you just might have trouble even getting your strategy off the ground.
Let’s see what makes influencers want to work with certain brands and not work with others:
What’s the Relevance?
First, you need to appreciate how these people got to the level that is getting them noticed. Most mid to high level influencers started with a basic blog. Slowly and carefully, their unique voice attracted more and more readers who resonated with their stories and found a connection with the author. Eventually, scores of loyal and dedicated fans elevated these bloggers to the influencer level where their opinions and reviews on multiple social channels are now getting major attention.
The one constant throughout this often long and laborious process is the dedication to their audience which means presenting relevant content. The brands they partner with must be a good fit or they risk losing their audience. Mom bloggers review strollers, tech gurus try out the latest phones…and if a brand tries to shoehorn inconsistent products into a carefully curated blog (e.g. sports bloggers reviewing children’s books), it could be disastrous for blogger and brand alike. In this recent survey, 44% of influencers surveyed say that presenting relevant content is the leading reason they’d want to work with a brand. So, do your research and consider the fit. It will make the process so much easier.
Embrace the Freedom
Alright, you’ve got the fit. Maybe you’ve even pulled off a campaign and discovered a few influencers that you’d love to continue a partnership with. It would be quite useful at this point to know why they would want to work with you again. Well, here you go. According to that same survey, 77% of influencers cite creative freedom as the top reason they’d go back to the same brand. Again, this shows how important integrity and authenticity are. Giving these creative professionals enough space and respect to let them organically weave your brand into their narrative is not only beneficial to the blogger, but a smart move for you. After all, this is what they do…and if you’ve come far enough to engage an influencer because you love their content, you should trust the process.
Appreciate and Compensate
It’s an impressive fact that these creators seem to have their audience and their creative freedom at the top of their priority list, as it shows integrity and foresight as to how to keep their business moving forward. Well, you know what else moves a business forward? Money. Let’s face it, it’s most of the reason why we all show up every day and noble thinking doesn’t pay the rent. Make no mistake, these are professionals. And while some may occasionally volunteer their time for altruistic causes or a product that they really believe in, most do (and should) require competitive compensation for their hard work.
In fact, 68% say it’s why they would work with a brand again. You wouldn’t ask for free ad space or your team to come in for free on a weekend. If it’s helping to promote your brand or sell your product, then you need to pay. And don’t forget, words and sentiment go a long way also. Sincere thank you notes, compliments on their posts, or even a gift card or bonus for exemplary work can show how much their efforts are appreciated, just like anyone who goes above and beyond to help you out.
Establishing these practices when running an influencer marketing campaign can not only make your current venture succeed, it can set you up as a brand that all influencers would be eager to collaborate with for future campaigns. And they’ll be much more likely tell their thousands of loyal readers how great your brand really is. Now, everyone’s happy. Wasn’t that worth it?