Influencer marketing is not a walk in the park. There are several key components that have to be mixed into the recipe, together with a bunch of spices and herbs.
Succeeding with influencer marketing can be difficult, but it is also extremely rewarding when you get it right. With a social media marketing strategy on hand, you are planning for success, while also making it easier to execute what needs to be d0ne when setting up your influencer marketing strategy.
Now, in this article, we won’t tell you how to write an influencer marketing strategy, however, we will provide you with 5 steps that are incredibly important, and that you definitely need to have in mind when creating your strategy.
Being aware of the challenges and obstacles that you may face is the key to avoiding them, and below, you can find some of them.
5 Effective tips to Influencer Marketing Success:
1. Approach and engage
When you have someone from your team reaching out to an influencer, I would advise you to not have someone from your marketing department do the outreach. The reason for this is that the way you build relationships with the influencer will also have an impact on how the future with the influencer will look like. And as a marketer, you naturally think from one perspective: how you can sell as much as possible with the campaign. And when doing this, you risk coming off as greedy and like you are taking advantage of the influencer.
Furthermore, influencers prefer to talk to individuals in a position outside of marketing, such as product managers, or someone in a chief position. One exception, however, would be if you are actually selling to marketers.
Now, of course, if you can put your greediness aside and listen to what the influencer has to say, it doesn’t matter if you are a marketer. The single most important thing is that you listen to the influencer’s own thoughts ideas before you jump in with your own. After all, the influencer is the person who knows its audience best and what they resonate with. If you are going to decide everything, there’s a risk that the campaign will come off as too promotive, and thus inauthentic.
A lot of the success (or non-success) of influencer marketing has a lot to do with the relationship building between your internal resources and the influencers you are approaching.
The better the relationships you build with them, the more likely it is that the influencer will want you to succeed, and thus become more motivated to help you in any way they can. This may mean that they will charge you less for the promotions, as they truly believe in your product, or that they will w0rk harder in making the campaign work effectively.
2. Provide value
If you approach an influencer by only asking for something without providing any value, here’s a risk they will ignore you, or get a bad impression of you. Do not underestimate the importance of building relationships with influencers, and one way to do that is to bring them more value than what you ask from them.
A relationship needs to be give-take, not just take-take.
Some brands even go to the extent of trying to get squeeze as much as possible out of the influencers, leaving them feeling like they’re being used by the brand.
And that is not a position you want to be in because not only will they not want to work with your brand ever again, but they will also be less engaged in working hard for your brand.
3. Not having patience
In a world where everything is happening so fast and results are expected to be seen quickly, not having patience with your influencer marketing campaigns can actually cripple your success.
While you often can see some results early in the process, the big results in influencer marketing come after quite some time. In order to see all, and the complete results of influencer marketing, you need to have a lot of patience. The problem is that brands are too eager to see if their influencer marketing campaign was ROI positive, and this often means missing out on measuring a bunch of important metrics.
Influencer marketing takes time and effort, and it’s important to know that it does so even before they begin working with it. Unfortunately, though, it’s a common scenario.
Marketers launch an influencer campaign, and then within the same day, they want to start measuring results and start questioning whether or not influencer marketing works.
Understand that some marketing metrics take a longer time than others, and understand how you can best evaluate the results. Read our guide on how to measure the ROI of influencer marketing.
4. Trade short-term efficiency with long-term relationships
Too many brands are seeing influencers as wear and tear objects, and this touches a bit on point number one.
Brands can get so much better results by creating strong long-term relationships with a few influencers instead of building short-term relationships with many of them.
There are several important reasons to why you should focus on quality relationships rather than quantity relationships, so let’s break them down:
They are cheaper
If you have built a strong relationship with an influencer they are more likely to give you better deals for marketing – and there’s a good reason for that.
Think of it this way: If a good friend that you’ve known for years and built a strong relationship with, asked you for a favor, would you help them? How likely are you to help someone who you’ve only known for a couple of weeks if they were to ask for a favor?
The same goes for influencer marketing. The better you know the person, the more they want to see you succeed- and do everything they can to help you do so.
Also, because influencers prefer to work more long-term partnerships instead of jumping from partnership opportunity to partnership opportunity, they often give better package deals and long-term special prices. This is just basic business practices. If you are a long-term returning customer, you are more likely to get better deals. Makes sense, right?
Jumping from influencer to influencer can harm both you and them
When you leave an influencer after a marketing campaign, the influencer needs to find new partners. The problem is that the more similar brands they work with, the less credible they become.
Let’s say you run a company that sells supplements. If the influencer has collaborated with 3 brands before, and then works with 3 more supplement brands after your partnership, you can imagine that their recommendations will love power and trust.
Short-term partnerships make influencers desperate, and you don’t want to be the reason that they lost credibility.
In addition, an influencer campaign can be effective long after the campaign itself is over, but if the influencer goes out and endorse a competitor of yours, your recommendation will be perceived as less trustworthy.
Therefore, the goal is to find good influencers, build good relationships with them, run long-term campaigns, and if needed, bring on some more influencers to your team. But whatever you do, don’t let your influencers go unless they are not generating the results you are hoping for.
Influencers who stick with a brand are more trusted
An influencer who endorse a brand once might get a few results, and influencer who endorse a brand two times will empower is message, but an influencer who promotes a brand time and time over will be seen as a firm believer in that brand.
And seeing that the influencer is just that, an influencer who influences people’s lives and decisions, will be able to share their story of how that brand has helped them, thus leading to the followers who have faced the same problems as the influencer becoming a customer of the brand.
In short, influencers who promote the same brand over and over will be more credible and trusted of their recommendation compared to an influencer who endorses a new brand every single day.