Influencer marketing is a term that floats around almost every marketing meeting and is part of a “hot” strategy that every marketer wants to implement.

Honestly, I think the term “influencer marketing” has become a little intimidating and some brands are overwhelmed at the thought of implementing it with their existing marketing. Luckily, I’m here to help!

First of all, let’s take some of the scariness out of the term. Influencer marketing sounds so sexy, but really, it’s just a marketing philosophy that aims to build real relationships with real people who consumers want to hear from. Since consumers don’t want to hear from your brand, your brand’s job is to amplify and foster the voices of bloggers, social media users and happy consumers to get the word out about how awesome your brad is. Not so scary, right?

Own influencer relations “in-house”

The key part of this strategy is “real relationships.” This takes time and work. Therefore influencer marketing can’t be passed to an agency and needs to be invested in and given time and a plan to nurture relationships. Thus making it crucial for brands to own influencer marketing in-house.

Plan for a the upcoming year

One of the industries I’ve worked a lot with is the crafting industry and I’ve seen almost all crafting brands work with DIY bloggers as part of a plan that spans a year. Often, the brand has the bloggers sign a contract to ensure that the needs for both parties are met.

Typically the contract involves the brand promising the blogger a payment per quarter or month and to send them supplies for a project relevant to a product or line the brand is launching. The blogger agrees to use those supplies in a post about integrating the brand into a project.

I like this approach because it guarantees a secure relationship for both parties involved and think this type of relationship can apply to all industries so now is a good time to brainstorm how this type of relationship could work for your brand, even if you try it on a small scale.

Invest in a platform

There are a few platforms out there, GroupHigh being one of them, that help brands organize their entire influencer marketing strategy. Having a platform allows a brand to add this strategy into their existing influencer marketing and have one person in-house oversee it. The time and man power spent on influencer marketing is a lot more manageable with the right tool and there are a few so do your research!

If your brand doesn’t have the budget for a tool, make sure to at least have a thorough spreadsheet where you list all of your influential relationships, their social channels, their contact info, and links to posts they write about your brand.

Reward based on performance

Brands who track how well an influencer’s words perform not only have a pulse on the relationships that are working but also can reward and keep these people happier for a stronger and ongoing partnership.

Track all media that you earn from influencers. Review how well their posts do in terms of engagement and how much traffic they bring back to your site. Keep track of how often an influencer takes it upon themselves to write about your brand—not just the agreed upon posts.

Another approach that I’ve seen marketers taking more and more is to run a contest with their network of influencers. They will challenge them to post about a product and encourage their audience members to take a certain action. The influencer who performs the best will get a reward in the form of a gift card or even a set monetary amount. This approach encourages friendly competition and ensures that top performers get rewarded.

Influencer focused content creation

Remember how consumers trust the words of their peers over your brand? Many brands are using this fact to invite influencers to create content for all areas of their brand’s imaging. From newsletters featuring an influencer’s story to a website’s homepage featuring an influencer’s quote to blog posts written by other consumers—brands are constantly finding new ways to have influencers create content for their brands.

 

Do you have any ways that you’ve seen brands invest in long-term influencer relationships? We would love to hear from you!