Everyone has that one influencer-brand relationship that they idolize as marketers. Maybe it’s Tuula Vintage and Cathay Pacific Airlines or perhaps Boxed Water’s #ReTree campaign. Either way you are left wondering, how can I get my influencers to love me as much as supermodels love working with De Grisogono. Luckily, we are here to help. The process doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated; instead, follow this advice to streamline your influencer relationships and make them fall in love with you. Although you cannot force an influencer to fall in love with you, these tips will help you provide the influencer with value upfront and help you kick-start a long-term relationship. So, just in time for Valentine's day, here is how to “make” an influencer fall in love with you.
1. Actively listen for valuable insights
Social listening is often referred to as the process of monitoring social channels to gain insights about customers. The same process can be applied to your influencers as well. Plus, listening to influencers can help you predict consumer behavior on a larger scale. Influencers are the ones that large, niche communities turn to for advice, so when they give an opinion on a topic it resonates with the audience and can impact behavior. As an added bonus, listening to influencers allows you to be proactive about trends rather than reactive once the trend is already reaching mass adoption. Listening to your influencers could prove to be a huge competitive advantage when executed properly. And we all know that listening is key to building the strongest relationships, right?
2. Engage regularly to build long-term relationships
Your influencer marketing efforts need to be “always-on.” This means that you should never talk to influencers if your only intention is to request something from them. Remember, influencers are humans too (and want to be treated as such). The “Give, Give, Get” process is often referenced. You should be providing value to your influencers twice before you ever ask them for anything.
By engaging with your influencers on a regular basis, you will not be scrambling to build your relationships from scratch every time you need something. To achieve the always-on status, you can engage with influencers in many ways. Interact with them socially by sharing their content or replying to their tweets is a simple way to stay on their radar. Plan to meet influencers in person during events or conferences, since face-to-face time with influencers is extremely valuable and can help take your relationship to the next level. Keep these relationships warm and nurture them overtime to always have a pool of influencers you could tap to partner with.
3. Don’t propose on the first date (or the second)
If someone asked you out on a first date and then proceeded to ask you to marry them after dinner, then you would probably never talk to that person again, right? Influencers are no different. Proposing a long-term commitment before getting to know each other is awkward and can scare away an influencer.
“Trust, which is the basis of all symbiotic business partnerships cannot be created overnight, it takes time. Don’t ever mistake lust for love!” - Jonathan Farrington, CEO, Top Sales World
Avoid scaring your influencers away by taking the time to get to know each other. As a brand, you should be focused on finding influencers who are aligned with your brand message. While influencers, on the other hand, are looking for brands that will be closely tied with their name and their identity. Both parties should be selective in this process.
4. Ask them what you can do to support them
There can be great value in asking an influencer what your brand can do to support them. Much like your brand has goals and objectives that you strive to achieve, so do your influencers. Directly asking them how you can help make them successful will help you stand out and provide immense value to the influencer. Don’t waste your time guessing what the influencer wants - just ask them!
It is crucial to be transparent with your influencers. Although this may seem straightforward, many brands get this wrong. As the push to humanize brands continues to gain traction, these same principles should translate into your influencer strategy. Being both transparent and authentic with your influencers can have a positive ripple-effect. Work with your influencers and tell them what your relationship could look like and how you would like it to grow over time. Work with your influencer to come to an agreement that all parties are excited about.
At the end of the day, influencers love brands who provide value back to them. Brainstorm creative ways you can stand out from your competitors in the influencers’ eyes. The biggest key to influencer relationship success is engagement. How, when, where, and why you engage with your influencers should all be meaningful and strategic. To learn more about how to build influencer relationships read the Guide to Mastering Influencer Engagement. We would love to hear your thoughts on influencer engagement too! What have you done to make your influencers fall in love with you?