Everyone is talking about how powerful influencer marketing is for brands. And many experts weigh in on how to execute the perfect campaign with content creators.
But the main challenge businesses face is building meaningful, long-term influencer partnerships.
Why is that important? Can't I just find more content creators to work with?
Yes, you can, but the longer you work with a particular creator the more you learn about what type of content and promotion work with their audience.
You also have more chances to optimize and A/B test your messaging. So creating lasting relationships with each influencer can dramatically improve your ROI.
In this post, we present eight tips on how to retain your influencers longer.
Drive Research surveyed 100+ influencers and creators to learn more about their ideal brand partnerships. The Brand’s Guide to Working with Influencers discusses their feedback surrounding compensation, best ways to contact creators, areas of opportunity for brands to stand out, and more.
1. Recruit the right influencers
When looking to build long-term influencer partnerships, it all starts with recruiting the right people for your brand.
You don't want to accept every opportunity that comes your way. Instead, make sure you work with creators whose audiences match your target audience.
Use an influencer marketing tool like Grin or Klear to filter influencers by their audience demographics, causes they care about, and their location.
2. Look to your followers for long-term influencer partnerships
When brands look for influencers they often overlook their own community. For example, there could be influencers among your existing followers.
Use a social media tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to filter your followers by their audience size and engagement rates.
Making a connection with people that already know and love your brand will prove much easier than doing cold influencer reach outs.
This audience already acts as brand ambassadors, so why not establish more long-term influencer partnerships with them?
3. Share your stats
Influencers want to know how their campaign did, so don't keep them in the dark.
Contact your creators and share your stats - engagement, clicks, leads, and sales - and get them excited for the next promotion.
Share your successes as well as your failures, your creators will appreciate the honesty and openness.
Looking for the best ways to contact creators? Watch the video below for what influencers stated are their preferred communication channels.
4. Keep them in the loop
It's important to communicate with your influencers about a variety of things.
To build long-term influencer partnerships, provide clear communication with creators on components such as:
- Campaign results (traffic, engagement, clicks, leads, sales)
- Your next promotions
- Product launches
- Various marketing campaigns you are planning
- Design and brand esthetic
Make each creator feel like they are an integral part of the brand. Celebrate your wins with them and treat them like an extension of your marketing team.
5. Pay your influencers well
From our experience surveying content creators and bloggers, we know compensation is HUGE for influencers.
It used to be that a lot of micro-influencers would create content in exchange for free products, and you can still find that in a few tiny niches.
For the most part, however, influencers are looking to get paid. In fact, 70% of creators prefer monetary compensation for their posts.
So don't offer them free products or swag in exchange for their work, pay them what they are worth.
You can use an influencer calculator or just ask them for their pricing.
You shouldn't haggle them too much. Make a good first impression, minimally negotiate on a price and start long-term influencer partnerships.
6. Trust the influencer to know their audience
Every influencer's worst pest peeve is when a brand tells them to produce content that won't work for their audience.
If you are working with them someone with an engaged audience then you should trust them.
They've been producing content on a consistent basis for long enough to build a following, and you should take their direction on what would get engagement for your brand.
7. Offer exclusive access to events and products
We spoke about making your creators feel a part of your brand and this takes it a step forward.
You can actually invite influencers to various events you're hosting. For example, if you are a B2B brand you can invite your influencers to speak at webinars, panels, or online conferences you're putting on.
They will be stoked to attend and will probably not charge you as much as a professional speaker.
You should also give your influencers access to new products you launch. And don't expect anything in return.
They may or may not post about them but that's not the point. Your goal here should be to foster that relationship and make them feel a part of your company initiatives.
8. Ask them for feedback
Last but not least, always ask your creators for feedback.
By conducting market research with content creators, you can learn what they like and didn't like about the brand collaboration.
Getting regular feedback is the secret to improving your results.
For example, we surveyed 100+ influencers to learn what factors make up their ideal brand partnership.
Questions we asked about how brands can build long-term partnerships with influencers included:
- What factors are most important when choosing brands to work with?
- What areas of opportunities are there for brands to stand out among competitors?
- What are your pain points when working with brands?
- What are the best ways to contact you for brand deals?
Interested in the results? Visit, A Brand’s Guide to Working with Influencers.
Influencer partnerships shouldn't just be disposable, one-time collaborations.
To maximize your influencer campaigns you need to establish and retain these relationships long-term so that you could nail your audience targeting and optimize your campaign results.
The best ways to grow lasting relationships with influencers and creators include:
- Recruit the right influencers from the get-go
- Pay influencers well and trust them to know their audiences
- Communicate often and keep them in the loop
- Offer them exclusive access to your new products or company events
- Ask them for feedback
It's becoming increasingly important for marketers and organizations to be aware of how to best work with influencers if they hope to stand out against competitors. By conducting market research with creators, brands can learn what to do (and more importantly) what not to do.
The insights gathered will help build long-term influencer partnerships and increase ROI on influencer marketing.
Drive Research is a national market research company that can help. From our in-house panel of creators and bloggers, to our experience executing qualitative and quantitative market research, we are the best fit for gathering the feedback you need.
To learn more about our services, contact us today.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.