How to Build Partnerships with Influencers

Posted by Alex Ditty on Jun 9, 2017 3:00:00 PM

In Influencer Marketing

6 Lessons from influencer Carly Mask

social_human_podcast_influencer_marketing_carlymaskWhen executed correctly, influencer marketing is an extremely valuable tactic. More and more brands are seeing great results from their investments to build authentic connections with their audience. This tactic is most effective when marketers make an effort to partner with influencers they can trust and who have established trust with their own audience.

The most important aspect to focus on here is the partnership. A true influencer partnership is different from just hiring an influencer for a campaign. Some marketers just shop around on a platform and pick a few people with very large followings to execute on a one-time campaign. There is very little value created in this type of exchange.

 

So how do you build true partnerships? Let’s just ask an influencer.

 

Here on the SEEN blog, we provide resources to help you execute authentic and effective influencer marketing campaigns. On our sister-site, Snapfluence, we offer the influencer community educational and inspirational resources to help their creative careers. We’re working to help both sides of the table elevate influencer marketing for everyone. Today, we have the unique opportunity to bring you advice and information from an influencer with experience on both sides of the table.

On our Social Humans podcast, we have conversations with creators to give you a peek into their side of the deal. In one of these conversations, we spoke with Carly MaskCarly has experience both managing influencer programs from a brand perspective as well as being an independent influencer working on brand programs.

 

Lessons from @carlymask

Consistency is key for both marketers and influencers across the board.

In the case of social media marketing, “consistency” can be thought of as a brand or influencer sharing content that doesn’t deviate from their standard norm. We’re all for experimenting and trying new things but you want to make sure you’re fulfilling your followers’ expectations of your feed. As Carly points out, this holds true for both brands and influencers. “What’s important when you are building a brand is to maintain that consistency and in order to do that, you need to be super intentional and forward-looking instead of being reactive all the time”.

 

Don’t look for one-off hits. Build lasting strategies.

Another piece of advice that Carly offers is to not focus on one-off programs but to focus more on the types of promotions that will build lasting engagement with your audience. Stay away from the quick flashy gimmicks, they can damage your credibility in the long run. Carly says that “sometimes giveaways can work but other times if they’re done in a way that doesn’t feel authentic, it may attract followers for a short time but these aren’t the people that are going to be engaging with you authentically in the long term”.

 

Focus on meaningful conversations with the right people, not just vanity metrics.

Perhaps the biggest lesson to be learned is to ensure that you are reaching out to influencers that match your brand values. Carly says to make sure “ that you’re reaching out and having conversations with the right influencers versus just looking at a vanity metric and thinking that will yield the results that you are expecting and investing into”. Too often, brands will just look at an influencer’s follower count and decide whether or not to work with them because of that audience size. But brands need to be looking at who that audience is and how the influencer is engaging them.

 

Avoid communication breakdowns from not following through on little things.

The devil is in the details. For effective influencer management, brands and influencers both need to have constant and open communication. Carly sees that issues typically occur “when communication breaks down or there is no follow through, like when you’re sending product out to an influencer and you’re hoping for beautiful content but you’re not giving them much direction or you’re not following through or holding them accountable or setting those expectations. Then you’re probably not going to see the results that you’re hoping for. So it’s super key to make sure you have that follow through and that the love and attention is in those details”. This is the key for a brand to have a successful influencer marketing campaign. Without these pieces in place, it has the potential to get very messy.

 

Influencers will only work with brands that are an authentic match.

Carly has strict criteria for her personal brand partnerships: “the brand and the product need to be something that I can see myself using in my daily life. And that it authentically does resonate with me. Otherwise, you can see through that if it doesn’t.” This is a sentiment that we see ringing throughout the influencer community. Simply put, influencers don’t want to be “selling out” for a campaign that their followers aren’t going to appreciate. And you shouldn’t want to work with influencers who cannot authentically rep your brand either.

 

Influencers need to see the brands putting in the work to set them up for success.

Carly says that she doesn’t like working with brands “if I’m seeing or sensing that they’re not on top of it or communicating well, or they’re not following through initially”. Because “if they’re not doing it initially, they’re probably not going to throughout the campaign”. This feeling is important to consider when you’re managing an influencer campaign because there are a lot of work and logistics that go into successful programs. If you’re not ready and attacking with a good plan out of the gate, you can quickly turn off influencers and eventually your audience.

Come see, and be Seen.

Fortunately, you can easily manage this work by partnering with SEEN on your next influencer campaign.

Each of the conversations from Social Humans we offer valuable insights to improve your influencer marketing and audience engagement. We encourage you to check them all out.