It is natural as a company that delivers full-service white glove influencer marketing campaigns to want to put the client’s wants above all else. As with all advertising, clients call the shots and it is up to you to make their wishes come true. Keeping the client happy ensures a successful campaign and a return of business. But, it’s important to remember that in influencer marketing there are two sides to every campaign. You have the client on one end and the influencer on the other – who btw keeping happy also helps contribute to great campaigns. The difference between influencer marketing and other advertising mediums is you have TWO sides with brand images to stay true to. Balancing the creative control is something we have discussed in the past, but we want to take a deeper look at why caring for your influencers and developing long lasting relationships is only going to benefit every campaign.
Where to Begin
Before even beginning the campaign, you can already develop a relationship with your influencers. How? By taking your time in choosing them. Let the influencer know not only how this partnership is beneficial for both parties but also why you and the brand find them to be a valuable partner for your campaign. A brand wants an influencer that is excited to work with them, and an influencer wants the same thing! It helps when influencers know they were chosen carefully and why their brand fits perfectly into this campaign (and why this campaign fits perfectly with their brand).
The Process Will Be Smoother
Open communication and availability are both ways to create a smoother process during your campaign. And, in an industry full of human mistakes, delays, and roadblocks, a smooth process keeps all parties involved happy. Remember, influencers are humans; a part of influencer marketing is that unexpected issues will happen, but with strong relationships and clear communication you can pivot those issues and work around anything that comes your way. Constant communication between you and the influencers means there is less room for misinformation or misunderstanding certain aspects of the campaign. When you are constantly speaking with your influencers through every step of the campaign, they are more likely to fully understand the objectives and be able to create exactly what the client wants the first time around. It is also important to be available to them as much as you can for their questions or concerns. Hop on phone calls with them to discuss content ideas, guidelines, restrictions, nice-to-haves, etc! Becoming an easy-access, understanding, and transparent contact for them during the campaign helps avoid any confusion or disconnect, which means less room for errors in content, reshoots, or tons of edits from the client–saving you all time and stress.
The Relationship Becomes a Win-Win
Taking the time to build these kind of relationships also helps it to feel more personal and less “businessy” between you and the influencers. When you go out of your way to make the campaign experience nice for an influencer, the favor will be returned. Give a lot and usually you will get a lot in return. Influencers might not be so eager to take down links to the product page or might throw in an extra Instagram Story or promote your product on extra social channels. When an influencer is excited about working together they will go the distance to keep the client happy. A great influencer loves to hear that their post provided true engagement for the brand. They care that the brand loves what they see, and that they gain genuine traction from the post. So not only do these solid relationships create less confusion and better understandings, they can also lead to you getting more out of the campaign than you intended.
Content Will Be Better
The client is always right. But, when it comes to knowing the audience you are trying to reach, the influencer is an expert. Influencers study and take note of the content they put out that does well and, more importantly, the content that doesn’t. This is especially true when it comes to sponsored posts. The beauty of influencer marketing is in its authenticity, and in order for a sponsorship to come off as authentic you have to let the influencer’s voice be heard and recognize them as a third party in the campaign. Influencer campaigns should be a true partnership between the influencer and the brand, rather than the brand dictating exactly what influencers post or how they post it.
An influencer is going to be happiest when they feel trusted to showcase the brand in a way that feels genuine to them and matches their own brand, so it is important to be open-minded every step of the way and encourage the brand to do the same. You will find that it is no coincidence that the happier influencers create the better content. So, not only is your content going to come off more genuine, but it’s also going to be…better. More times than not, when an influencer is excited about a campaign and feels like they have some control in the process they will take their time in order to create the best content they can in return.
Another pro to having influencer create such fantastic content is being able to repurpose on your own social channels. It’s almost like outsourcing some of your creative work. Some influencers create content that could come straight from a magazine, so why not take advantage and use on your own channels? If you give a little, then they will give a little. And that compromise is the sweet spot between an incredible post and genuine traction for a brand.
Potential For Brand Ambassadors
We know keeping the client happy gives potential for a long lasting partnership, well the same is true for influencers. If the brand is happy with the influencers and the campaign, and the influencer is pleased as well, that is how brand ambassadors are born. Brand ambassadors are one of the most important things that can come from influencer marketing campaigns. Take this article from Forbes about the key to staying successful in influencer marketing is creating strategic partnerships with influencers rather than being just a few plugs on their social feed. “Ninety percent of industry experts agree that to succeed in the long-term brands will need to take authenticity and value of content they’re receiving more seriously.”
Even if the influencer and the brand decide not to work together in future campaigns, if you’re working with the influencer as an agency, you now have a healthy relationship with the influencers and can leverage their brand for other campaigns that fit well with them. Creating long lasting relationships and truly knowing and trusting certain influencers can save you a lot of time in future campaigns.
Creating and maintaining healthy and close relationships with influencers is one of the best things you can do for the success of your campaign. Communication, transparency, trustworthiness, and flexibility are all ways to keep influencers happy. Happy influencers make for a smoother process, better content, going the distance, and the potential for becoming ambassadors. Brands and influencers need each other. Don’t forget to remind your influencers that they are valued in campaigns and not just another medium for sponsorship.
MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.