As Marketers, we often ask ourselves: How are we going to engage our Social Media Influencers, and how are we going to open up their reach to an even wider audience? What we very rarely think about is how we are going to build, maintain and grow our business relationship with our Influencers.
The romance first starts when we engage our influencer. It’s new. It’s exciting; but how do we maintain the excitement?
The key components to facilitate a successful Influencer relationship to enhance your Influencer Marketing campaigns are:
Listen to your Influencer
When it comes to any successful relationship, listening is key. Your influencer will be a significant connection when it comes to gaining insights about consumers. This will ensure proper execution of campaigns and will aid in your ability to be proactive to upcoming trends. Your influencer will appreciate being part of the vetting process and will feel as a valued member of the team. Now who doesn’t love feeling important and valued?
Stay involved with your Influencers in order to build lasting relationships
Think of any relationship you have. Now imagine the only time someone spoke to you was to get something from you. You would start becoming resentful of that relationship and more than likely start shutting down. As much as an Influencer will be providing a value to you, you should be be giving value to your influencers. Engage regularly with your influencers by:
- Sharing their content with your community and linking back to them
- Follow and subscribe to your Influencer
- Comment on their posts and respond to their comments
This will allow you to continually be part of their lives, know what they are doing and who they are connecting with. It will show them that you are interested in them and would make them equally as interested in you and your campaigns.
Track what influencers are saying about your product in real time. Look for opportunities to engage and start a conversation with new influencers you have not already built a relationship with. Whether the feedback is positive or constructive, it is important to respond and ask for more information. Is there a common complaint with your product? Or is there something people can’t get enough of? Either way, keeping this feedback loop open and honest will help you relay insights to the product team and make an impact.
Actively ask them how you can support them and help them build value
As much as your agency has goals, so do the Influencers. Before you came along they had hopes, dreams and were striving for a certain type of success on their own. Being one of your Influencers may be part of that stepping stone for them. Nevertheless, it is important to learn where they are lacking in support, what they want and their growth expectation. There are many ways in which you can support and help your Influencer which in return will support you and your agency. Offer to connect your Influencers with people within your community from whom they can learn from. It is also important to invest in your Influencer and sponsor their initiatives. Support your influencer by featuring them and showing them they are an integral part to the whole process.
Build a community of Influencers
As the famous saying goes “There is power in numbers”. Creating a community of Influencers and inviting them to host live chats or to product specific events will allow your Influencers the ability to feel like they are part of a bigger picture. More so, it is important to remember that your Influencers are entrepreneurs of their own. This community connection will allow them to reach across and gain and grow their own personal fellowship and in return you will build an army of Influencers who will all target the same audience.
Ask for feedback
You will never know unless you ask. It is important to stay on top of what your Influencers are saying and how they are responding to the products they have been asked to promote. Feedback opportunities may not always be apparent, but it is important engage in conversation in order to build relationship that can grow and are based on open communication. Remember, the feedback may not always be positive but it is important to gain as much information as you can from it. See if there is a common thread and work on a resolution. Ask your Influencers how they would respond. This will allow you to gain insight in the product and the influencers and will help you to provide feedback to your vendor.
Remember you are the middleman in this relationship. It is crucial that you are open with your Influencers. Integrate and involve them with the strategic planning and the product road-map when it comes to executing your Influencer Marketing programs. Keep communication open, invest in your Influencers and you will see a mutually valuable relationship blossom.
Are you a business or an agency who has additional tips on keeping a strong bond with Social Media Influencers?
Leave them as comments below!