Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay influencers to get out the word for you.
Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).
What Is Influencer Relations?
Simply put, the work involved in managing the development of relationships, with those deemed influential, for marketing or public relations campaigns. Influencers can be bloggers, or journalists, celebrities or just people who are highly regarded in our social circles, marketplaces or industries.
Influence campaigns are being used to do everything from increasing sales to public education campaigns, event promotions, fundraising, new product introductions and reputation management.
Public relations have always been about building and maintaining relationships. Influencer relations programs simply channel relationship building for specific purposes, ideally, clear cut goals, objectives and deliverables.
As in the development of any relationship, influencer relations programs take time, organization, sincerity and a lot of effort. As our world continues to evolve, with new channels of communications, technologies and consumer demands, the practice of influencer relations should as well.
- Thank Them
Thank You – Building Influencer Relationships
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? And yet, we can forget to say thank you.
Send them a quick thank you via email. Write them a short, hand-written note of thanks (this tactic is even more valuable today since few of us get hand-written anything anymore, so you’ll stand out in the crowd). Just make sure to communicate your gratitude, simply but sincerely.
- Think Long Term
Building a long-term relationship means investing your time, attention and interest in the other person. Communication is key, and that often means listening more than talking and looking at things from your influencer’s perspective. Be careful not to be seen as only making contact when you want something from an influence.
“Nobody wants to be recalled only when they need something. You’d be quick to dismiss that kind of relationship in your personal life, so why shouldn’t the same apply in business,” Laura says.
She advocates finding opportunities to invest in what’s important to your influencers.
- Deliver Value
Influencer Relationships – Spheres of Influence
Again, look at things from your influencer’s perspective. What do they view as valuable? Can you introduce them to people within your network? Can you offer them other projects?
As you get to know your influencers over time, you’ll discover opportunities to serve as a resource and deliver value.
- Put in the Time
In most cases, you can’t get to know someone in a few moments. While there are a few exceptions to this, most relationships take time to develop. Putting in the time, on a regular basis is an essential part of taking a budding relationship from initial contact and campaign participation to a longer-term business friendship.
You may find it helpful to set up a system of tracking so you can remember when you last checked in with your influencer and what you heard them say. Be willing to invest your time in them.
Life is sharing – Building Influencer Relationships
Most of us have networks of people with whom we share content, ideas and conversations. Use your networks, and those of your company or organization, to help your influencers grow their own. Share, where appropriate, the content they create and help them build new audiences.
- Meet Face-to-Face
When possible, meet your influencers in person. Face-to-face conversations offline are invaluable and can be helpful in taking a cordial business relationship to the level of friendship.
What are the Key Components of Influencer Marketing?
Since influencer marketing is a discipline all its own, you’ll need a few unique components to build an influencer campaign. Here are the steps we at Udaipur Web Designer use to help our clients build influencer campaigns:
- Identify key brand or product influencers, either manually or through a platform
- Create a marketing campaign directed at those influencers
- Create a secondary marketing campaign for the influencers to drive greater awareness to a larger set of target consumers
- Track key metrics relating to reach, sales and brand awareness
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