When working with influencers, reaching out with the mindset of fostering a long-term engagement is to everyone’s advantage. Done right, an influencer partnership holds potential to become a lasting and fruitful relationship where both parties benefit.
So, it’s worth the extra effort with influencers to make a personal connection and not just sell your brand. But how does a fruitful relationship with an influencer start?
Here are four steps to build a long-lasting relationship with an influencer for your brand:
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1. Find The Right Match
A great relationship starts in the research phase, long before you make contact.
Just because an influencer’s following is the highest in your industry, that doesn’t necessarily make them the right match. It’s important to look at the influencer’s personal brand and voice, cues for their values and positions on key issues related to your brand, who their followers are and how those followers engage with the influencer’s content.
In short, you’re not just looking for reach—you’re looking for your brand’s influencer soulmate.
Once you find them, be sure to make the alignment easy for the influencer to see, too. An influencer will respond better when you have clearly taken the time to be thoughtful about your approach.
(Further reading: Choosing the Right Micro-Influencer for Your Brand)
2. Make Relevant Pitches
Another way taking the time to research thoroughly will pay off is that you will get a sense of the type of brand promotion the influencer delivers and what their audience responds to best.
Keep this in mind when approaching the influencer with an ask or offer. When you approach them with an opportunity that fits well into what they are already doing, it will signal you took the time to do your homework and that your goals align.
The right offer will not only get an easier “yes,” but can also prompt genuine excitement for the collaboration—something that is sure to come across in the influencer’s posts about your brand.
3. @ Them
If your brand and the influencer align well, it means you have strong crossover in audience demographics. While the brand benefits from expanded reach in target audience and credibility of the influencer’s endorsement, the influencer is gaining from the crossover exposure to your following, too.
Be generous with shout-outs on social media, both for the content they include your brand in and other content from the influencer that your followers might enjoy. In addition to offering some reciprocity, this can also be a great way to stay in touch with an influencer between collaborations.
4. Say Thank You
Gratitude never goes out of style—even a Gen Z Snapchat-er enjoys being appreciated. So any time an influencer delivers with a quality shout-out to your brand, take a minute to send a private, personalized thank you.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but a quick note of thanks and a compliment specific to that particular placement can be a secret weapon when it comes to building goodwill and securing future opportunities.
An Influencer Relationship is a Win-Win
If you are pursuing opportunities to partner with influencers, don’t settle for a one-off mention. Influencers can be invaluable partners to connect with your audience and build trust!
Like any traditional outreach to media, approaching an influencer with the mentality of building a long-term relationship can multiply your gains in the long run, even if you only have a single ask in mind for the present.
Think to the future—if you took the time to do the research and find the right match, you’ll likely find yourself coming back to this person again, even if you don’t have something specific in mind now.