05 Mar How To Set Up A Strategic Marketing Relationship
Social media influencers are in hot demand these days. Informal, genuine relationships have been built by people sharing their love of products in an authentic way. Brands are on the hunt for ways to express the value of their products and social endorsement has always been a powerful tool. It’s no wonder these two groups have started to form beneficial relationships.
The question is, how can you establish beneficial partnerships with influencers online? Some influencers are bombarded with offers. How can you stand out and get their attention? It’s all about offering something more than money. It’s about building something with them that they already specialize in – authentic online relationships.
Building strategic and beneficial partnerships often starts with quality research. During your search for potential partners you should have a small dossier of information about each account. What products do they currently endorse? How do they engage with their audience? Do you have mutual contacts on LinkedIn or other social channels?
Use this information when you reach out with your initial pitch. Show that you’ve paid attention and describe why you think they’re a good fit with your brand. Be genuine and avoid clear cut sales pitches. Reference their previous work and specific content and develop a conversation that reflects their expressed interests.
Depending on who you target, some influencers get a lot of approaches from brands to endorse or highlight products. It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. It may be useful to be creative in your approach to contact them. Have they publicized events they’ll be attending? Reach out in new and personalized ways. It’s ok to do additional research but don’t violate their privacy to do it.
Find out who is using your products and sharing them organically. Who is already giving you earned media?
Respect personal brand values
Collaborating with influencers using this approach can be very rewarding for both parties. The influencer has the chance to engage with a brand they love, and you can harness their audience and authenticity. For these types of influencers, it can often pay off to build the relationship by supporting them in other ways, not just with direct financial compensation.
Collaboration is important. After all the account belongs to the influencer and they are more likely to direct the tone and content of the account in line with their own personal brand and values. In this case avoid directing the account holder to promote the content in a particular way. The influencer account has been preselected because the account aligns with the brand and they are effective influencers. Work with them and share direction but remember they have ultimate control over what they post.
Influencers don’t just live on Instagram. Check out bloggers, authors and other content generators that have deeply engaged followings. Seek out the people who are already using your product or living the life of your ideal customer. Communicate mutual benefits – how will a partnership help you, help the influencer and help their followers? The more benefits everyone gets, the deeper, stronger and more relevant the relationship will become.