Working on campaigns that could benefit from successful influencer partnerships? You’ve come to the right place.
Influencer marketing is nothing without influencers. Therefore, developing successful influencer partnerships is critical. The results? Higher quality deliverables, relationships that extend past your one-off involvement, amazing return on investment (ROI) against campaign objectives, and exceeding client expectations.
6 Steps to Successful Influencer Partnerships
Follow these 6 steps to build successful influencer partnerships:
1. Approach influencers as partners not as transactions.
Focus on building Successful influencer partnerships—not transactions—where both brand and blogger win. Consider these things when reaching out to, talking to or about, or working with influencers:
- Treat them as important partners, listen to them, fight for what’s fair for them, and respect their influence.
- Avoid approaching them with an “it’s all about my brand and what my brand is demanding” attitude. Instead, make it about the win-win.
- Recognize that not all influencers have a background in public relations (PR) and most don’t understand the difference between earned and paid media and the nuances of how things in PR run.
- Detail requirements and information in a formal contract.
- Aim for consensus by giving them time to review and approve the contract and other campaign information before signing a contract.
2. Negotiate to agree on compensation.
Every influencer has a different rate. Depending on a campaign’s amount of asks, criteria, and requirements, you can negotiate as follows:
- Set rates.
- Be open to negotiation.
- Identify influencers’ rates.
Determining fair market value can feel like rocket science, but the more you ask around, research, offer rates and get feedback, the more you will know what is and isn’t reasonable to offer. Once you set a rate and reach out based on that rate, you can vet the list of influencers who agreed to the set rate and requirements to see who is a fit for the campaign and sponsor.
Be Open to Negotiation
Whether you set rates or reach out and inquire about rates, be ready to negotiate since some influencer’s rates might be higher than your set rate.
Identify Influencer’s Rates
To help you streamline the process, you can reach out to influencers and collect their rates on an ongoing basis. Having influencer’s rates on file will help you know exactly who to go to for which campaigns.
3. Contract to formalize the relationship.
Once you have your ideal influencer list compiled, reach out to each person individually and share the basic details of the campaign, including the requirements, the deadline(s), and the compensation. Negotiate if applicable. Then, send those that said yes a contract.
Your influencer contract should be a legally binding contract created for the layman and prepared by your legal team. Ensure it includes the following:
- The asks (the campaign requirements)
- The deadline(s)
- Brand message points
- Contents that they MUST and MUST NOT include
- Campaign hashtag(s)
- Creative assets, if required
- Compensation expectations (date by which payment and/or product can be expected)
- Trackable link(s)
- Social media IDs, if you’d like them to insert them into their social shares
- FTC guidelines with samples, including disclosure statements
- A sample post or other content, if style, tone, or something else is critical
4. Keep communication to a minimum.
Influencers receive a lot of emails in any given day. Additionally, they are working with multiple agencies, brands, influencer networks often all while managing their home and taking care of their children and/or working in or outside the home. So keeping communication with them to a minimum is key.
The best way to communicate with influencers is to send them one email at the outset of a campaign that contains all of the information they need. Sending information here and there throughout a series of emails is bound to make requirements and messages slip through the cracks.
At times there are changes to messages, hashtags, links, etc. Edit, change requests, etc., are fine. But, try to keep your request-oriented emails to a minimum.
5. Streamline tracking and invoicing.
Find a way to streamline how you track a campaign, as well as the format in which you collect invoice and payment information. Having all of the links and payment information in one spot makes it easy to reference. Plus, you can ensure that all links within the tracking document are accurate before you issue influencers their payment. When streamlining, consider manual as well as automated tools.
Making sharing tracking and invoicing information via a Google Form a contractual requirement, ensures you’ll get all the information you need in one place. Influencers don’t have to worry about creating reports and you don’t have to wait for them to post and follow up with them about how many views they got.
Tools to Help You Automate
Technology has advanced to where creating, subscribing to, or white labeling a back-end system that collects links and invoicing information is no longer impossible, difficult, or cost prohibitive. Determine the key components you are looking for (that you’d like automated) and identify your budget and research options. You’ll quickly find myriad choices that will work for you.
Tip! All influencer marketing campaigns require the human element. Combining manual solutions with tools that enable automation leads to the best results.
6. Work on resolving issues.
As you work toward building successful influencer partnerships, issues may rear their ugly heads. When they do, tackle them with the interest of both the brand and the influencer in mind. The following are potential issues that could arise during influencer marketing campaign:
- Contract Issues
- Influencer Criteria
- Influencer Approvals
- Product Shipment
- Giveaway Requirements
- Publish Dates
- Quality of Content
- FTC Requirements
- Link Submissions
- Payment Issues
Tip! The best way to solve a problem is through planning and prevention. First of all, refer to the contract instead of allowing things to get personal if issues surface. Second and if the client is in the wrong, advise them (or take advisement) with courage and consideration. Finally, help influencers troubleshoot ideas that will lead to a win-win.
Next Steps for Building Successful Influencer Partnerships
When you set out to build successful influencer partnerships or are in the middle of a campaign, ask yourself:
- Am I approaching influencers as partners and not transactions?
- Did I negotiate to agree on compensation?
- Did I contract to formalize the relationship?
- Am I keeping communication to a minimum?
- Did I streamline tracking and invoicing?
- Did I plan and prepare and am I working on resolving issues?
Answering yes to the above-listed questions will help you develop long-lasting influencer relationships and results that exceed expectations.
What are your tried and true tips for building the most successful influencer partnerships?
Not sure you influencer management is for you or looking for a partner to help you scale? Check out these 10 Ways to Save Money Via Influencer Marketing Network Partnerships and take the humorous quiz to see whether partnering or outsourcing is right for you.
This post has been modified from the originally published post on ForwardInfluence.com.