The Complete Guide to Successful Influencer Management
As of 2017, influencer marketing was deemed the fastest growing strategy for customer acquisition online. If you’re a digital marketer, odds are you’re already leveraging influencer marketing or intend to in the near future.
Image Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
The benefits of running an influencer campaign are impressive. A recent report found that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, $7.65 is generated in earned media value.
However, while many people talk about the benefits of influencer marketing, only a few highlight the importance of influencer management.
Effective influencer management is a critical component of a successful influencer campaign. It involves identifying the right influencers, aligning your campaign goals, and tracking performance.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the best tools, tips, and techniques for better influencer management – so you can take your next campaign to new heights.
Your Guide to Successful Influencer Management
Let’s take a closer look at six simple but crucial ways to effectively manage your influencers and collaborate efficiently.
1. Choose the Right Influencers
Naturally, the first step in influencer management is to get influencers onboard for your campaign. You can either use influencer marketing platforms to find relevant influencers or search manually.
Regardless of which approach you take, these are the main factors you should keep in mind when making your initial selection:
Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of choosing an influencer who’s not from your niche (or at least related to it). Relevance is key when it comes to influencer marketing.
Choosing an influencer from your niche ensures that your messages will be seen by a relevant audience. Think about it, if you’re in home decor, can a tech influencer really do you any good?
Image Source: Instagram
Reach and Engagement
Reach refers to the number of people who will potentially view an influencer’s post. This can range from several thousand to tens of millions of people.
Engagement rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of the followers of an influencer who like, share, or comment on their posts. Influencers with a massive reach command the highest rates but tend to have lower engagement rates.
Smaller influencers can reach fewer people but are much more affordable and tend to have higher engagement rates. Engagement that could translate into more potential conversions than a larger influencer.
Image source: CampaignDeus
Most businesses tend to start small and transition to larger influencers as they grow or use a mix of both (depending on their campaign goals).
Your choice of micro, macro, or mega-influencers will depend on the size of your business and your campaign budget.
Another factor to consider when choosing your influencers is the demographics of their audience. While some mega influencers can be a good potential partner for a wide variety of products, such broad mass market appeal is rare.
In most cases, you will find audiences largely delineated by age, gender, and specific fields of interest. This is beneficial as it makes it much easier to identify which influencers will help you reach your core target demographic effectively.
This one is simple. When choosing influencers, select those who work well on the social media platforms that are most effective for your business.
2. Share Clear Expectations
When working with influencers, make sure that you clearly communicate your campaign goals with your influencers. Whether that goal is to grow your social media following, improve conversion rates, or drive sales – they need to know.
Communicating your goals will allow your influencers to assess the kind of content that they need to produce.
Also, be sure to decide beforehand which hashtags you want to use. Good hashtag selection can give your posts a significant boost in exposure and help you run a more successful campaign.
Image Source: Instagram
Finally, remember to make sure that your sponsored content includes the necessary disclosure – fully compliant with the FTC’s updated standards. If not, both you and your influencers could land up in serious legal hassles.
3. Build and Maintain Relationships
Influencer management isn’t like buying ad space. In a lot of ways, working with your influencers is like managing employees in your company. Adding that human touch can help keep things on track and running smoothly.
You should acknowledge their efforts and pay them adequately. 72.2% of influencers in a study reported that the brands they worked with didn’t offer adequate compensation.
However, it’s not just about monetary compensation. Inviting them to your events or corporate retreats can help you build that personal connection with your influencers.
If they are prominent industry figures, you could even invite them to speak at one of your events. This would allow your executives and guests to learn from their expertise and even raise the prominence of your event.
If meeting in person isn’t practical, there are still many things you can do to build rapport with your influencers. These include sending personalized thank you notes at the end of a campaign, freebies, or bonuses when campaign milestones are reached.
Image Source: Instagram
4. Promote Your Influencers
While your influencers spread the word about your products, don’t forget to put in a good word for them in your own networks.
You could also share their content on your social media accounts to help boost their content performance. And as an added bonus it can also help both of you grow your individual audiences.
Image Source: Instagram
This can be especially helpful for smaller influencers. They’re likely to benefit significantly more from you sharing their content online.
You could also consider sharing a few interesting posts from your influencers even if they aren’t explicitly about your brand. As long as the content is likely to resonate with your audience, it’s a win.
And the variety will stop your business social accounts from turning into drab onenote corporate mouthpieces.
5. Provide Creative Freedom to Influencers
Many influencers feel that brands and marketers want to control the content and messages they share. Almost 40% of influencers in a study said that brands are making the mistake of imposing overly restrictive guidelines on them.
It’s necessary to communicate your brand aesthetics and the idea behind the campaign you are putting together. However, you should refrain from imposing overly restrictive content guidelines that would kill your influencer’s original voice.
Brands should not forget that most people love and trust influencers because of their authenticity. It is their honest, funny, witty, original voices that keep their followers engaged.
Controlling influencer content and messaging can be a bad strategy in influencer management. It can harm your overall engagement from the campaign.
Most influencers prefer working with brands that provide creative freedom to them. When influencers create branded posts in their style, it resonates with their audience and thus drives better results.
In this post below, Ryan Winterbotham, who loves landscape scenery and abstract photography, posted for EE (a telecom brand) in his style.
Image via Instagram
Implementing these recommendations will help you enjoy long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with your influencers. You may even start seeing improvements in the effectiveness of your influencer campaigns and the ROI they are able to provide.
Most of these tips require little to no investment of resources, beyond the time it takes to implement them. So, there’s really no good reason not to, especially when you consider just how much you stand to gain.
What did you think of this guide? Do you have any tips that have worked well for you which didn’t make it on to our list? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your ideas!