7 Best Practices for Communicating with Influencers

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Aug 15, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Influencer marketing is enjoying its time in the consumer spotlight.

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In a world where people often don’t know what to believe about what they see in the media, it’s nice to see people they look up to and follow trying out products and giving honest reviews. With their devoted fan bases with specific interests, influencers can reach consumers with nearly as much sway as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a real-life trusted friend.

Successful influencer marketing, like any other type of consumer marketing, requires good communication right from the start. Here are seven best practices for communicating with influencers in your influencer marketing campaigns.

1. Allow Them to Do What They Do Best

Choose an influencer who is a good fit for your brand, and let them do their thing. If you try to force them into your own marketing mold, you risk a campaign that comes across as contrived. After all, they developed a following by creating videos, great blog posts, or social media posts that draw significant attention. Let them use your product in the environment in which they have already experienced success.

2. Ask Them About Their Best Successes and What They Attribute Them To

Whether or not an influencer you want to work with uses extensive analytics, they know what works and what doesn’t. Ask a potential influencer-partner about their biggest successes (and biggest duds), and they will tell you! Often, they know exactly why a particular social media or blog post outperformed others, or why one fell flat, so listen to what they have to say. Analytics can’t capture everything.

3. Allow Them to Maintain Authenticity

The last thing you want is for your influencer campaign to look like you pulled your influencer into your world and put them to work for you. They have developed their following through organic content. In other words, their photos or videos of products in their own kitchen or home resonate with people in a way that in-store photos or “forced” campaigns simply cannot.

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4. Think Long-Term

Many influencers are eager to work on longer-term collaborations with brands. While one-off campaigns can be great for a start, developing ongoing relationships with influencers can benefit both you and them over the long-term. Think of your partnership as more of a marathon than a sprint, and give the relationship time to develop through strong communication and collaboration. 

5. Keep Lines of Communication Open

Communication is the key to a strong relationship, regardless of context. Before, during, and after a campaign, communicate regularly with your influencer. Ask questions and listen to their answers. Likewise, if they have questions, answer them candidly and with honesty. With long-term collaborations, keep your influencers in the loop about relevant company developments. 

6. Incorporate Them Into Your Company Culture

You may find great opportunities to strengthen your relationship with your influencers and their audiences by thinking offline. For example, could your influencer make an appearance at a trade show or a product launch? When you allow influencers to become integrated into your company culture, you strengthen the relationship and have more chances to draw upon their experience and ideas. 

7. Work with the Right Marketing Strategist

Not all marketing strategists “get” influencer marketing. It’s not like traditional advertising, and it’s not the same as a standard celebrity endorsement. Make sure the marketing strategist you work with understands how influencer marketing works, how to cultivate great relationships with influencers, and how to maximize the value of the brand-influencer relationship. Hangar12, for example, provides extensive support to clients in their influencer marketing endeavors. 

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