Businesses engage in marketing campaigns to build brand awareness, create customer loyalty and increase overall sales. The key to a great marketing campaign is to be able to reach a core target audience as cost-effectively as possible. This is why businesses today are turning to influencer marketing in order to build their customer base. Unlike traditional marketing strategies such as TV ads that are stale and boring, influencer marketing allows businesses to reach thousands of potential new customers at minimal costs. These customers are often targeted and therefore likely to make impulse purchases.

What is Influencer Relationship Management?

Drawing inspiration from Customer Relationship Management, IRM is all about maintaining a positive and effective relationship with your influencers. The key to good Influencer Relationship Management is understanding that influencers are not employees but rather strategic partners. Once you sign a deal with social media stars it is necessary that you get the best out of them and this is achieved by ensuring they understand what your business and products are all about. Potential customers want to feel like an influencer genuinely uses and loves your product. This is because potential customers are inundated every day with ads demanding their attention so customers want to experience something that feels natural and authentic. Here are a few points to remember:

  • Pick an influencer who shares your values.
  • Ensure your influencer has the right target audience.
  • Treat your influencer as a strategic partner.
  • Ensure the influencer understands the product and vision.

Strategies For Influencer Relationship Management.

The first strategy is a direct approach where the business manages an immediate relationship with an influencer. This strategy is not advisable if there is no prior experience because it could lead to mistakes being made. Strategy two is to hire an agency that specializes in IRM to handle everything on your behalf. Finally, you can rely on online tools designed specifically for this purpose.

Things to Remember in Influencer Relationship Management.

  1. Pick Influencers with good track records.

    Not all influencers are created equally and it is important to pick a brand ambassador who has shown a good track record for taking their work seriously and delivering on promises. A bad influencer could easily destroy your brand just as easily as they built it up.  
  2. Have a coherent vision for your brand.

    An influencer can’t improve your brand if you don’t have a vision for what your business stands for. It is critical to understand the values you stand for and identify what needs your products will be fulfilled in the marketplace. 
  3. Compensate your influencer well for good results.

    An unhappy partner will not give their full commitment to helping you sell your products unless there is commensurate payment for services rendered. This is why it is important to pay influencers well and on time otherwise, potential customers may sense a lack of genuine enthusiasm for the product. 
  4. Maintain effective communication at all times.

    It is very important to talk to your influencers as often as possible so that you can properly articulate your vision and ensure you pass along your opinions on what is being done right or wrong. Updating your partner on the latest products and company policies is also an effective way to ensure they can communicate this information to their following as quickly as possible. 
  5. Get influencers on to public forums.

    Once an influencer has become the image of your brand the next phase is to ensure they are as visible as possible. This can be done by having them make appearances at trade shows, expos, launches and celebrity gatherings. The more an influencer talks about your product the harder it is to ignore it.  
  6. Maintain a positive relationship with influencers.

    Influencer relationship management is all about making sure that your relationship with the influencer is smooth and productive. This means asking your influencers for their ideas and input, listening to their concerns and giving them any necessary support they need. 
  7. Have a long term plan.

    Most influencers prefer to have long term relationships as opposed to one-off campaigns. This is because the more campaigns they have with different companies the more they appear inauthentic. Being the face of a brand over the long term allows for long term financial planning and consistency of message.