Over the years, marketing strategies have grown and expanded with my career. Moving on from the basic how-to’s and new strategies to try, marketing and I have had the pleasure of watching firsthand which digital strategies actually work, crate brand lift and show satisfying if not exhilarating results.

Data shows us that “influencer marketing” is by far one of the most effective marketing strategy. So how do you make sure that your brand’s influencer relationships are as effective as they can be?

Once a Month Communication and Nurturing

I can’t stress enough the value of continual conversations. Making sure your brand stays on the brain and that influencers feel part of your brand will ensure authentic and ongoing earned media.

Nurturing influential relationships includes creative email communication and double checking that you are providing value and reciprocity for the people who advocate for your brand. Little things like remembering your influencers’ birthdays and sending them new products, etc. is crucial.

Read more: Creative Ways to Maintain Communication with Your Network of Influencers

Ask for a Story Not a Brand Mention

When you are asking influencers to write or post about your brand—don’t have the “ask” be just a brand mention.

Work with influencers to create stories. How does your brand impact their daily lives? What kind of story or message would their audience actually engage with?

The results from organic and authentic content will be much higher than one off brand mentions.

Read more: What Happens When a Brand Embraces Its Story?

Less is More

Don’t take on more influencers than you can handle. Spending more time and energy on a handful of super contextually fitting influencers is way more important than spending your time trying to “scale” influencer marketing and abandoning that “in-person” touch that you should be providing.

On the same note, don’t only seek out influencers because of numerical qualifiers. Someone who is a thought leader in a niche topic and nurtures their own audiences members, is going to be more valuable than the influencer who sort of fits with your brand’s message but has a ton of followers.

Bottom line? Just like your team shouldn’t take on more influencers than they have time to build relationships with, you should be looking for influencers who apply that same philosophy to their own networks.

Read more: 3 Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes

Power Influencer Marketing Through Sharable Assets and Great Content

We hit on communicating with your influencers on an ongoing basis as well as working with them to create stories instead of simple brand mentions.

When you picture your network of influencers talking about your brand, do they have an awesome infographic, video, podcast, etc. that they can link to?

From doing research that is of interest to your consumers and influencers to producing a series of YouTube videos that tackles a common pain point of your consumers, these next level assets are what powers your whole influencer marketing machine and encourages sharing and inclusion.

Read more: 10 Key Ingredients to Insanely Sharable Content

Track for Brand Lift

There is no use in implementing awesome and creative strategies without having a way to report back to your team and analyze for your own benefit what’s working.

Thinking through basic metrics that are easy for you to keep up with and are telling which influencers are lifting your brand is key.

I recommend these metrics at the very least:

  • Increase in social following
  • Number of social shares earned media gets
  • Traffic from posts back to site
  • Number of comments on blog posts

Read more: How Marketers are Tracking and Integrating Paid, Owned and Earned Media

What’s the most valuable tip you’ve picked up when it comes to influencer marketing? Please share in the comments and/or on Twitter @GroupHigh