If you want to do influencer marketing well, winning the support of top influencers is a must. And winning the cooperation of influencers takes time, patience, and a solid strategy.
We’re dedicating this article to give you a comprehensive approach to building meaningful, long term relationships with social media influencers. So if you’re ready, let’s begin!
Step 1: Identification Of The Right Influencers
The first step in winning the cooperation of influencers, is to know which influencers are right for you. You need to pick the ones that match your brand persona, align with your values, and fit in perfectly with your overall marketing goal.
For this reason, we recommend that you put in time into investigating the quality of your influencers by understanding how relevant their audience and followers are to your brand, what their reach is like, and specifically, who their followers are!
You should also engage with those influencers who have a good reputation with the brands they’ve worked with. To find out, you can approach brands and do something like an ‘influencer background check’ to find out how cooperative they are, with the prior permission of your influencers of course.
There are a bunch of tools you can use that enable you to identify the right influencers, while also giving you deep insights on their followers. FollowerWonk and HootSuite are two of them! Both tools have insights on the influencers social following, like their size, their social authority, the number of views they get and more. Use this information to your benefit, depending on what the purpose of your influencer campaign is.
For instance, if you’re looking to grow your brand awareness, you should pick the influencers with the largest social following and social impressions, if you’re looking to build trust, choose the influencers with the highest social authority.
Step 2: Pitching To Influencers With Perfection
The next step in the process is to pitch to influencers in a way that they just can’t say no! You need to create an offer that they just can’t refuse.
In order to connect with them, the ideal mode of communication is email. Most influencers are too busy to check their social media messages as they’re overflowing with messages from followers from all around the globe. Email is fast, direct, and efficient.
Personalizing your email after conducting a lot of research on your influencers is the key to boosting your email response rate. The subject line should be catchy, interesting and convey what the body of the email is about. Within your email, convey what you’re looking to do, why you want to work with the influencer, and why they should work with you.
Using an influencer marketing platform is one of the best ways to reach out to influencers since the platform service provider has usually already formed a relationship with the influencer. So by paying a subscription fee to an influencer platform, you might fast track your influencer reply rate. One such platform is Famebit, which connects you directly with influencers.
If you’ve already been working with influencers, you could ask them for referrals. Influencers usually know other influencers, and there is no better way to initiate a new relationship other than a warm introduction from an influencer.
Step 3: Making The Relationship A Win-Win
Once you’ve heard back from an influencer and established that they’re interested in working with you, you need to work out a win-win working arrangement with them.
Ask the influencer how much they would charge to promote your brand, and what they expect in return for their services. Some influencers may not charge you if your product, service or brand supports them and their audience in a meaningful way.
Creating content collaboratively with influencers is a great way to engage with them, since you’re having a meaningful dialogue to work together. You’ll be able to iron out any kinks in the process of creating content that actually means something to your audience.
Bear in mind though that influencers are very busy, and communicating with them is a time consuming process. So if you don’t have the time or patience to do it well, you’re better off hiring an agency to do the work for you. They’ll act as your creative collaborators, and intermediaries between you and the influencers to make social influencer magic happen!
Make sure you include all the necessary terms and conditions of engagement in your contract with influencers so there’s no room for ambiguity of any sort. You’re working with high-profile social influencers, so professionalism is key to relationship success.
Step 4: Maintaining Relationships With Influencers
If you’ve worked out an arrangement that fits best with you and your influencers, and done a few campaigns together, you’ll be in a good position to gauge how the relationship is working for you and whether you want to continue it, or end it.
If you decide to continue working with the influencer, you should ensure you maintain your relationships with them. By greeting them on important events or social occasions, cross-promoting them on your social media profiles, sending meaningful gifts to them, you’ll win their hearts and minds for the long term.
Wrapping it up
Follow the steps above to build a relationship that lasts long. One celebrity or social influencer endorsement can do wonders for your brand, so never underestimate the returns influencer marketing can generate for you!
This a guest post by Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services. From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.
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