Experience and authenticity are the number one thing customers are looking for. As a result, they tend to turn more and more towards influencers to hear about their opinion on a product. Through their original content and unique personality, these influencers have achieved to gain the trust of thousands of people.

In order to keep that trust, influencers want to provide the best content to their followers. So it’s no surprise to hear that relevance is their number 1 priority when deciding to collaborate with a brand. Influencer relationship management helps you build durable partnerships with influencers who offer trustworthy advice to their followers.

Which influencer to look for to advertise your brand

Influencer Relationship Management starts right from the beginning when thinking about who is best fitted to promote your product. Think of what is your campaign about: is it to promote a product? To increase awareness towards your brand? To increase traffic to your website? Every goal presents different end results, therefore what you ask of the influencer will also vary.

Once you have your expectations pinned down for this campaign, you can start looking for the right influencers. You should look for the most common indicators such as their target audience or their engagement rate. But you can also look for “soft” criteria such as the quality of their content, the way they interact with their audience, and even their previous work and placements. These soft criteria are difficult to assess with numbers and fall under your subjective appreciation of the influencer.

Keep in mind that smaller influencers can sometimes add more value to your campaign than influencers with large followings. The formers have a smaller audience but is more engaged and show more loyalty towards the influencer. These niche audiences, if targeted well, bring better engagement rate and results to your influencer marketing campaign.

Person holding a smartphone and scrolling through Instagram

The utility of a briefing

Once you have found the right influencer for your campaign and they agree to collaborate with you, sending them a briefing is a good way to clarify what you want to achieve with them. The goal here is not to give specific instructions, but rather guide the influencer. A mistake that brands often make is wanting too much control over the campaign. It’s important to remember that influencers know best what content their audience likes to see. Forcing a strict template onto them will only hinder your relationship with both the influencer and their audience.

Influencer relationship management is all about creating a win-win situation, and by letting them have some creative leeway, you’ll be able to maximise engagement and ensure follower growth for the influencer. It’s in an influencer’s best interest to create the best content possible. If the influencer shares a post that isn’t true to their style, their followers will quickly notice, leading to an inauthentic campaign. Finally, if the influencer really matches with your brand, the content they think of should naturally be representative of what you want to show the audience.

When coming up with a briefing, think of mentioning the number of content pieces, which links and hashtags to use and where to place them, as well as elements you need the influencer to mention in the text. Make the influencer aware of their responsibility to clearly mention sponsored posts with the appropriate terms. Of course, you can have content guidelines such as general do’s and don’ts and proposals of posting time, but these should stay general proposals.

Influry's briefing assistant template to help you manage your IRM

The INFLURY briefing assistant helps you create an enticing briefing for your influencer marketing campaign

The importance of authenticity to add value to Influencer Relationship Management

Leaving creative freedom for the influencer also have valuable benefits in terms of ROI. A successful post with great engagement results will lead to better visibility and ultimately, more sales and better brand recognition. Your brand authenticity can inspire trust, and trust drive sales.

Influencer relationship management is a long process. Building a trustworthy relationship with the influencer and their audience requires patience. Rushing it will be noticed and will bring backlash to both you and the influencer. If done right, the influencer will become a true advocate of your brand and will regularly boast the qualities of your product. When the brand fits seamlessly into an influencer’s lifestyle, they are more likely to immediately establish an affinity to your brand, leading to an authentic connection. Long-term engagement with their favourite brands is important, as they have a very credible effect. Therefore, companies should generally seek long-term collaborations.

All in all, companies and agencies should be careful to work only with influencers who fit with their brand and truly love their product. However, the right choice does not work through technical tools or numbers, but through personal discussions. Companies and agencies should truly engage with the influencer and their channels and listen to their ideas. This is the most effective way to achieve a successful and durable relationship.