Edited by Shelcy Joseph

When engaged strategically, influencers can increase your brand awareness and build consumer engagement around your products. But notice the key word here: strategically. From identifying the right influencers to executing the right concepts, each step of the campaign must be well thought-out in order to achieve maximum results. This means looking at factors beyond the numbers and one-off social posts, and developing organic long-term relationships with these content creators. 

When influencers have a genuine connection and ongoing relationship with a brand, they not only tend to create the best content, but also tell the brand’s story in a way that resonates best with their audience. This in turns leads to the most positive outcomes for brands. So it’s definitely worth investing in these types of relationships.

Here’s how to build an impactful, mutually beneficial influencer-brand relationship. 

Find the right influencers

The influencers you engage play a huge role in the success of your campaign. There not only needs to be genuine brand affinity, but also organic alignment between the brand and influencer. If an influencer is a slow fashion advocate and has several posts about the topic, it is likely that they would be interested in your eco-friendly. sustainable clothing line. But before you approach them, figure out if their content style matches your brand’s creative look and feel. If the answer’s yes, go deeper and analyze their audience. Do their followers overlap with your target consumers? Do they have an optimal engagement rate? While these questions make the casting process a bit more challenging, the benefits of contracting the right influencers outweigh the costs of finding them. Tech tools like Companion can help you achieve this easily. 

Do your homework 

Just as in an interview, you don’t want to come unprepared in your outreach to your desired influencers. Nothing can ruin a potential relationship faster than a slip-up showing you haven’t done your homework. Do a deep dive into your influencer’s content, noting past and current brand partnerships. Get a feel for their personality by watching their stories for a few days in a row, keeping in mind their opinions and the way they review brands. Leverage your research to personalize your pitch and watch the influencers respond positively to it.

Break the ice

The reality is, established influencers receive hundreds of messages and invitations from brands. So if you’re chasing a big name, you might need to get creative in your approach. You could send a message, tag them in a post or story, send them a product to try or invite them to your next event. Whatever you do, you’ll need to make your message personal, interesting and promising enough to grab their attention. If you do your homework and figure out common grounds, this shouldn’t be too hard. Just make sure to send polite follow up emails if you don’t hear back.

Take things offline

Nothing builds chemistry like a face-to-face meeting, so get ready to take things offline once you’ve connected with an influencer. Invite them to an event or suggest you meet up for lunch or coffee. You might go on to build great friendships and partnerships (we all know the best work comes out of those!)

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