Finding your influencers is the first step to building a successful influencer marketing program. After that is accomplished, you need to keep those social influencers engaged, informed and equipped in order for them to create top content.
Once you’ve selected your influencers and defined each of their roles, it’s time to get to work. We’ve developed a guide to help you engage your influencers so you’re certain to get the most out of these relationships and your campaigns.
The worst thing you can do when interacting with your influencers for the first time is to tell them what to do and how to do it. Provide guidance and suggestions, but don’t force them to post exactly what your ads would say. Listen to them and have them tell your story in their voice, you might discover some golden nuggets when hearing about your brand from another’s perspective.
It’s a two-way street, and you have to remember why you decided to work with them in the first place. Typically, it’s because they’re influential with their followings, passionate about your brand and have the expertise and knowledge to deliver appropriate messaging on the subject matter.
Remember that real influencers aren’t there to take commands and operate on autopilot. Engage in conversations with your network of influencers, be human, personable and make influencers feel valued. Build a relationship with them just like you would with any other client you work with. Flex to their communication style, actively listen and express your gratitude for your collaboration.
Practice Open Communication
The most important tool you can use to increase engagement is authentic communication. Don’t expect to contact them once without any follow-up. It’s highly unlikely they’ll execute on everything you talked about after one conversation.
It’s always helpful to meet with your social influencers face-to-face if that’s an option. If it’s not, be sure to set up calls, video chat and reach out in email to show them you’re invested in building a relationship.
Provide Guidance, Tools & Content
Even though you’ll want to give your influencers wiggle room to be creative and use their own voice in their social media and blog posts, there’s no harm in providing them with key details and messaging about your company or products. Work with your team to create deliverables and resources your influencers can use to complete their posts and shares. Both parties should be contributing ideas and content related to the project.
Check In & Follow Up
We all get busy, but your influencers need to be included in your to-do lists and marketing strategy. Don’t let them fall off your radar and expect to pick back up where you left off. Social influencers have full schedules too. Checking in and following up with them shows you respect their time and value their contributions. Make time for them and be prepared to answer any questions they have or listen to new ideas they want to share.
A successful influencer marketing program takes hard work, dedication, and time spent building relationships. Nurture your influencers and map out a plan for not only securing the right people but continuing to engage them on a regular basis. Get to know your influencers, show them appreciation and you’ll be on your way to a collaborative, engaging and beneficial experience for all.