Rules for Outstanding Influencer Relationships

People trust the information they get from those they know and like. When advertising sounds commercial, scripted and inauthentic, interest is often lost. Thus, traditional marketing campaigns are beginning to fall short more and more often, losing consumers’ attention. When speaking to a current audience, influencer marketing is a tool that every marketer should have in the arsenal. Here are a few rules on doing it right. 

1.) Build relationships with the right influencers 

When it comes to forging a great relationship with an influencer, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is this person relevant to my industry?  

  • Do we share an audience?  

  • Is the influencer’s connection with that audience strong enough to be of use to me?  

  • Does the influencer have the right personality and represent the right culture to align with my needs and values?  

It might seem appealing, for instance, to partner with the most charismatic social media personality of the moment, but if that personality’s goals and following don’t line up with those of your company, the relationship might not leverage the exposure you were hoping for.  

2.) Make sure the feeling is mutual 

Okay, now that you’ve asked all of the selfish questions, consider what a real relationship is all about. In order to have a lasting partnership, it’s important to make sure that your influencer’s needs are being met, too. Is he or she able to maintain the freedom and creativity that got them to where they are? Are they really passionate about the product and brand?

If not, what’s the point? Even if your brand is seemingly disconnected from their personality, it's possible to hone in on mutual ground. Once you’re sure that both parties are happy, you can then move forward to creating that home-run content.  

3.) Make it real 

Remember why you went through the trouble of steps one and two and chose this particular voice. Let the influencer speak from his or her place of experience in a true, less scripted way and the results will be much more rewarding. Giving your advertising this honest, valid angle is what influencer relationships are all about; it allows you to adopt a less commercial feel in exchange for a voice consumers can trust. As we all know, customers have a pretty good ear for the content that is exaggeratedly crafted. What they want instead is to hear from real humans who have experienced a product and can give a genuine perspective. 

4.) Test the results 

Now comes the time when you should ask what all of this work has accomplished. Like any marketing strategy, the efficiency of your influencer marketing should be tested. Run the numbers and if it’s not quite increasing ROI, reexamine. Of course, you can do this with data analytics but examining your customers’ user generated content is an excellent test in this case. If users are sharing your content in a positive manner via social media and word of mouth, you’re on to something. If they’re sharing disapprovingly, it’s time to reevaluate.  

It’s really no surprise that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals, even if they don’t know them, over brands. Embracing this fact could be the most advantageous move for advertisers as forming solid influencer relationships is a gift that keeps giving...and giving, and giving.