Influencer Management: How to Do It and Achieve Success – Real Brand Examples

GRIN also recommends this free guide: How to Get ROI from Influencer Marketing.

influencer management

Influencer management is the key to a sustainable influencer program. A critical component of maintaining a robust influencer program is nurturing quality relationships with your influencers. These relationships must be collaborative and genuine if you want maximum returns from your influencer marketing campaigns.

Consumers can spot or inauthentic influencer content. If it seems that an influencer is only promoting a product to get money out of it, then those campaigns are likely to prove ineffective. 

Authentic Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing works because of its authenticity. If your efforts lose that authenticity, then you lose any advantage you hoped to gain by investing in influencers. 

There are two ways that your influencer marketing can lose its authenticity “edge”:

  • You inadvertently partner with fake or inauthentic influencers; or,
  • You fail to maintain quality relationships with authentic influencers.

You can address these authenticity issues in the following ways:

  • Choose your influencers carefully.
  • After selecting your influencers, collaborate with them and build long-term relationships with your top performers.

Both tasks make up the quality of your influencer management process. Successful influencer management means greater returns across all marketing KPIs. It also means that you’ve grasped the nuance of each influencer relationship, to include an influencer’s core competencies, creative style, follower size, and niche audience.

In other words, the way you manage your influencer relationships manifests itself in your influencer’s authenticity. Quality influencers want to partner with brands that they believe in. After carefully curating their online communities, they intend to deliver value to their audience. 

It’s not enough for an influencer to love your products or services. They need to feel safe and connected to your brand. You can deliver this connectedness in the way you nurture relationships with your influencers.

Building Genuine Influencer Relationships

There is a time and place for both short and long term influencer relationships. Whichever most applies to your campaign objectives, you can still build a genuine relationship with every influencer. 

Influencers are an extension of your marketing team. As such, you should engage them appropriately as the talented professionals that they are. Even influencers participating in campaigns “on the side” want you to be a success with their audience. In many ways, it’s up to you to let that happen.

If you’ve vetted your influencers carefully, you’ll be able to lean on your influencers for creative brainstorming. You should spend some time discussing campaign expectations and objectives with your influencers to help them understand what your goals are.

During campaigns, you can increase camaraderie between you and your influencers by offering shout-outs for wins and collaborative troubleshooting when results fall below expectations. 

With each new campaign, spend a little extra time getting to know your influencers. Not only will this help you with your influencer negotiations, but it will also deepen your relationship with them. Celebrating personal milestones with your influencers (such as increased follower counts, campaign success, birthdays, etc.) shows that you care and will further endear that influencer to your brand.

Scaling a Team of Influencers

Successful influencer management takes time and effort, especially as you scale your influencer team. When managing a handful of influencers, spreadsheets is a great way to stay organized and diligent.

Very quickly, managing a growing team of influencers will become too much for manual tools like spreadsheets and traditional CRMs. To successfully manage your influencer team, you are going to need help from influencer management automation tools that will track influencer engagement, contracts, content briefs, and influencer communication. 

Using the right tools will allow you to scale your influencer program without sacrificing quality relationships with your influencers. Here are a few brands showing the rest of us what great influencer management looks like.

Influencer Management – How to Do It – Real Success Stories

There is no one-size-fits-all in influencer management. Here at GRIN, we examine various ways in which successful influencer marketers nurture sustainable relationships with their influencers. 

We host a webinar series, Brands Working Remote Talking Influencers, where we talk with top influencer relationship managers, listen to their story, learn from their experience, and discuss best practices. Here are a few influencer management success stories from these webinars.

Organifi

Organifi is a nutritional supplement company with a mission to “empower you to live a happier,

healthier life. Everyone has a starting point, we just help make the first step easier.” 

Influencer marketing is a critical part of their D2C strategy. Not only are Organifi team members nutrition experts, but they are also skilled influencer relationship managers. Hundreds of social media influencers today are passionate about Organifi products.

 

How They Do It

Organifi connects emotionally with their influencers and calls them brand ambassadors. The brand refers to its community of ambassadors as “the collective.” 

Separating each ambassador by region, influencer relationship managers partner closely with smaller influencer teams. Also, managers begin every influencer relationship with a quick phone call to put a voice with a name and establish a meaningful connection. This approach ensures that each ambassador relationship receives the attention that it deserves.

 

Why It’s Successful

The relationship between the Organifi marketing team and brand ambassadors is deep. These quality relationships shine through in brand ambassador content, and audiences feed off the enthusiasm and authenticity.

 

How Your Brand Can Use this Strategy

If you have more than one member on your marketing team, consider dividing influencers among your team members. By assigning influencers by type, region, or style, each team member can deliver more effective influencer management. 

Also, creating an identity for your influencers within your brand so that they feel like they are part of your team. Once they feel personally invested in your brand, they will deliver more authentic content across their social channels.

LumeCube

LumeCube offers “portable lighting for creators and communicators.“ As more employees work remote, LumeCube lights are in high demand to help employees create a more well-lit workspace. The brand also provides premium lighting for photographers and creatives.

Social media influencers are frequently in need of quality lighting to create compelling content. As such, LumeCube leans on these creators to showcase its product and demonstrate what it can do.

 

How They Do It

LumeCube initially focused their influencer recruitment efforts on pro athletes (Macro influencers). Over time, the marketing team added more influencers with smaller followings and sorted their influencers by role within the marketing funnel.

In other words, LumeCube examines each influencer’s core competencies and assigns them to objectives such as brand awareness or conversions. Because its product serves several niche markets, LumeCube marketers focus on skilled influencers that know how to use LumeCube products well.

 

Why It’s Successful

By focusing on the various stages of the marketing funnel, LumeCube produces a strong flow of new customers both in the short and long term. Marketers recognize that influencers with different follower counts are specially equipped to meet KPIs within particular stages of the funnel.

Also, ensuring that influencers know how to use the product guarantees that audiences see LumeCube products in the best possible light (pun intended).

 

How Your Brand Can Use this Strategy

If you offer technical products or services, onboarding your influencers will allow them to showcase your deliverables more effectively in their content creation. Influencers that possess deep knowledge of your products and services can incorporate better storytelling techniques.

Lastly, you can use different types of influencers to service different stages of your marketing funnel. Addressing the entire funnel not only produces sales right away, it will also nurture a consistent flow of new leads and customers.

Frenchie Bulldog

Frenchie Bulldog creates irresistible pet accessories like collars, leashes, and even clothing. The brand is famous for its dog bandanas and harnesses.

Influencers with pets have helped Frenchie Bulldog scale its business, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. And because these pet accessories are so adorable, pictures and videos of pets wearing Frenchie Bulldog make great social media content.

 

How They Do It

Frenchie Bulldog is a brand that focuses exclusively on product seeding. This product seeding approach lends itself well to new product launches. Frenchie Bulldog sends their influencers bundled gifts of new products.

Marketers take an interest in each of their influencer’s personal lives. By nurturing deep relationships with influencers, Frenchie Bulldog can tailor its product seeding and make liberal use of influencer shout-outs when repurposing influencer content.

 

Why It’s Successful

Genuine brand-influencer relationships produce greater authenticity. And because Frenchie Bulldog creates quality products, influencers are thrilled with bundled gifts. The product seeding approach is also cost-effective and allows Frenchie Bulldog to do more with less.

 

How Your Brand Can Use this Strategy

If your products or services make for enticing giveaways, you might be surprised by how many influencers would love to partner with you solely on the basis of free products/services. You can also note influencers that showcase your brand without you ever reaching out. These influencers tag your brand because they genuinely love it. 

tentree

Tentree has a brand vision to plant 1 billion trees. To achieve their vision, they plant one tree for every sale. As of the time this blog was published, tentree has planted nearly 50 million trees.

The brand funds this vision by “offering sustainably made products for everyone to enjoy.” Tentree is primarily an apparel company and sells clothes made of recycled polyester, organic cotton, and even items made from recycled wood pulp.

 

How They Do It

Tentree’s passion is environmental sustainability. As such, the marketing team targets influencers that are environmentally conscious. These shared values drive deeper connections between brand and influencer.

Another factor that differentiates tentree from other influencer marketers is that it merges its greater social media strategy with influencer marketing. In other words, influencer content is tentree’s social media strategy.

 

Why It’s Successful

Integrating influencer marketing and social media marketing requires careful influencer management. Tentree models this strategy and produces some of the most authentic social media content in the clothing industry. The level of synergy between influencers and tentree social media is robust.

 

How Your Brand Can Use this Strategy

It’s not necessary for you to keep your branded social media strategy separate from your influencer strategy. In fact, integrating those efforts can make both efforts more impactful. This combined approach to social media and influencer marketing can streamline your day-to-day and increase your overall returns.

Conclusion: No Matter Your Brand, a Strong Influencer Management Strategy Leads to Successful Influencer Marketing.

Above all, you want to make your influencers feel valued for the ways that they enhance your brand. Since influencers are smart creatives serving communities of highly-engaged consumers, the more seriously you take your influencer management, the greater your influencer authenticity will become.

As you scale your influencer program, consider adding influencer-specific automation tools. Doing so will save you time and improve your ability to nurture each influencer relationship.

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Additional Resources

What the best brands are doing to drive revenue from influencer marketing

Whether you are just getting started with influencer marketing or already have your program in place, this guide gives you the tools to get the return on investment your C-level will love. 

How to get ROI from influencer marketing

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