Want to maximize your influencer relationships? Then go long

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Brand messaging services have long evangelized about the power of influencer marketing. Yet in order to maximize the returns brands see on influencer campaigns, it’s important to optimize these relationships.

One key factor that many brands overlook in this process is longevity. By finding the right influencer partners and developing a sustained relationship, brands can build more interesting and complex content — and ultimately save money doing it.

Unlocking the key to longevity

Influencer marketing campaigns have evolved over time. A few years ago it was common for influencers and brands to partner for a single campaign and then move on.

Today, however, the trend is shifting toward sustained collaboration, and there are several reasons for this change.

First, brands are beginning to understand that sourcing influencers can be time-consuming. Today, the number of would-be influencers has grown significantly, so it takes more time to discern the pretenders from those with real market sway.

Brands also understand that longer relationships with influencers unlock greater creative potential. Once you grasp an influencer’s strengths, abilities, and the preferences of the influencer’s audience, you can use this information to develop highly targeted marketing content that’s more relevant and more engaging. There’s no feeling out process, which means less time and money is wasted trying to get creative sensibilities in alignment.

Long-term relationships also play well with audiences. If an influencer’s audience sees that a featured brand is one half of a supportive, long-term partnership, this will register as authentic, and earn brands goodwill.

Influencers, too, benefit from a sustained partnership. High-level product partnerships help establish influencers as credible and increase their standing in the eyes of their followers, brands, and other influencers competing for the same market.

Setting the table for longevity

So how do brands lay the groundwork for long and mutually profitable relationships with influencers? It starts with identifying the right people. Success as an influencer isn’t only about reach or pure numbers — it’s also about engagement. An influencer with 10,000 deeply passionate fans or followers may have more value than an influencer with 100,000 mildly-engaged fans or followers.

It’s also critical to target the appropriate niche. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a partner influencer needs to be situated in the exact same space as a brand’s products or brand messaging services. There may be crossover opportunities with influencers in adjacent niches. Or, established influencers may seek to grow their followings into new yet still somewhat related categories — a beauty blogger transitioning into fashion, for example.

Brands should carefully weigh variables such as the size of an audience, its growth rate, overall engagement, how long an influencer has been operating, the platforms they use, the kind of content they create and the values they possess.

It’s also important to consider personal attributes as well. Influencers are like anyone else — their interests, desires, ambitions, and life circumstances evolve over time. It’s possible that today’s fashion influencer may become tomorrow’s parenting vlogger.

If all of these elements are aligned with the strategic needs of the brand, the stage is set for a long — and mutually beneficial — relationship.

The takeaway

We understand the immense value that can be unleashed by establishing the right influencer marketing partnership. Brands can work with influencers to create more authentic connections with their audiences through brand messaging services and reach highly motivated consumers within new lucrative channels.

If you’d like to hear more about the value of long-term influencer relationships, we urge you to contact BIGEYE today.

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