adspree’s Guide to Developing (Meaningful) Influencer Relationships
The crux of influencer marketing is developing relationships with people who have already developed relationships with your target audience. We believe that if you want your audience to connect in a meaningful way, then your own connection with the influencer should also be meaningful. Traditionally, advertising and marketing has had an element of “using people” to reach an end. Business relationships have been criticised as superficial and vacuous, influencer marketing gives us an opportunity to change that for everyone’s betterment.
This means connecting to people on a human level. Appreciating influencers for their craft and giving them the respect they deserve. While time-constraints occasionally make this unavoidable, don’t jump straight into sending them financial offers. Patience is an influencer marketing virtue. This also means that you should not pester influencers to endorse your product, give them time to consider the consequences of working with you. You’ll have to excuse our cheesy marketing cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are meaningful working relationships.
Similarly, remember that no two influencers are identical. Don’t send them copy and pasted emails full of marketing jargon. Discover more about their content and approach them with a tailored, authentic message - potentially referring to past projects of theirs of a similar nature.
Wherever possible, build relationships before you need them. One of our finest achievements is our network of influencers and friends around the world. Aside from anything else, unsolicited offers are not a good way to get noticed. Mega-influencers are blasted with dozens of offers, emails, and freebies every day.
One way of standing out from the crowd is by providing quality content for the influencers to work with. While you should allow influencers creative freedom to showcase your product in the way they think is best, having an interesting user-experience for them to work is a great starting point. Having fascinating content increases the likelihood that the influencer will be passionate and involved with the campaign, and ergo keener to promote it. This could mean providing high resolution videos and images for them to share, or a unique perspective on an already popular topic. Infographics, fun-facts, and research all help to make sure your message is unique and well received. Rather than a simple product review, create an experience that the influencer would be proud to have associated with their name and share with their followers.
We listen to our networks’ wishes and concerns. The golden rule of influencer marketing is never to pressure influencers to promote products that would be detrimental to them. These offers could be inappropriate for financial reasons, but more-often-than-not because they do not match the tone and feel of the influencer’s content. It damages a relationship with an influencer to pressure them to promote products that are a bad match with their audience. It suggests that you both don’t know them well enough and/or that you do not respect their followers. Influencers who have carefully crafted their reputation can suffer serious social backlash if they are perceived to be “selling out” and putting profits before followers. It is standard protocol for influencers to announce that they are being paid to promote products, this is a good thing for the industry. It is crucial that offers are mutually beneficial, especially if a long term working relationship is possible. We make sure influencers we work with only ever promote products that they genuinely like.
And there is a lot to be said for long term connections. We keep in touch with our partners after working them, updating them on the campaign and showing our interest in their own success. Once effective influencers have been identified, you can build on that relationship, analyse strengths/weaknesses of the campaign, and improve upon it for next time around.
We appreciate that ‘be human’ might not be the most specific advice, but it’s truly the best tip we can give. If you’re looking to develop meaningful relationships with influencers, then you need to treat them as individuals not business contacts, while still showing a good deal of respect.