Opinion

How brands can get more from their influencer relationships

5 Cs of influencer When it comes to achieving the best balance of profit and fit there are five Cs to winning with social influencers, says Amanda Gormley in this guest post.

Today, social influencers are considered to be extremely powerful allies in the marketing world, but like any relationship, investing in influencer relationships is important.

Here are the five Cs to consider when selecting and building relationships with the best social influencers for brands.

Clarity

InfluencerTo achieve this, you need to do your homework. There are a number of factors to consider that will provide clarity on your choice of influencer. Get these wrong or mismatch the influencer to your brand or product, and you could be looking at a wasted investment.

The below checklist is a good start:

  1. Relevance: What type of content are they posting and who are they trying to reach? What are their interests, where do they live; how old are they and how do they align with your strategy?
  2. Engagement: How active is their community in responding and reacting to posts? Are followers caring and sharing what they say, eat, wear, do?
  3. Authenticity: Does their content sound genuine? Authenticity will increase awareness and ultimately influence.
  4. Frequency: How often are they posting?
  5. Reach: Aside from unique visitors, check all their social channels and consider the above when determining their suitability for your brand.

Icon set, Like, follower, comment. Vector illustration

As with all PR campaigns, clarity will come from setting clear objectives. It will also ensure suitable deliverables are met. Request data, reach, likes and shares from past and similar campaigns. Ask for case studies from other brands they’ve worked with. This will give you something tangible to work towards for your own campaign and help with learnings for future campaigns.

Collaborate

Start by finding out the best way to connect with the social influencer you want to work with. Is it via email, through their blog, Facebook or through an agency? Be professional. If you can, suggest a face-to- face follow-up. Think collaboratively from the get go.

Share their posts on your brand social channels, wherever possible. Follow-up during the project and ask for honest feedback and ways to improve. After all, they know their audience better than you and could give you some invaluable insights into your target consumer.

Conflict awareness

If, for example, you’re a food brand and an influencer is the right fit for you, it’s likely they’re going to be of interest to other food brands. Do your research and be honest with what you consider a conflict. Will it affect credibility if they are posting about a direct competitor, too? It may actually enhance their credibility, and it’s in everyone’s interests to ensure genuine content.

two friends taking photo of their food with smartphones over ar restaurant table

Confidence

Brands need to have confidence in the social influencers they choose to work with.

You need to give them a clear and simple brief, and then the autonomy to bring it to life in the way that will resonate with their audience. Freedom to produce authentic and engaging content is more likely going connect them with their target audience.

The same rule of confidence and trust applies whether you’re choosing to work with long-term brand ambassadors or influencers in support of a specific product or service.

Courteous

Acknowledge influencers when they post about your brand, whether it’s planned or not. Be courteous by showing that you value what they’re doing and compensate fairly. Consider brand trials and brand experiences. After all, continuing to invest in influencer relationships could present new opportunities for you both.

Amanda Gormley is a senior account supervisor at Creation, a Weber Shandwick company

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