Managing from the Middle

Managing from the Middle – How to get the Most from your Influencer and Brand Relationships

Over the past decade, influencer marketing has taken over most social media platforms. As brands continue to expand how they utilize influencers in their marketing and PR strategies, it is important for industry professionals to understand how to successfully manage relationships with influencers and drive strategy to achieve results, all while managing expectations – on both sides.

The key to a successful campaign is ensuring your partnership will have an impact on your target audience and create a mutually beneficial relationship between the brand and the influencer.

With NST’s influencer marketing strategies, we start with a few tried and true practices to ensure a successful campaign.

Maintain Transparency

The first step in maintaining transparency is ensuring that the brand values align with the influencer’s values and their public profile. A paid influencer campaign will undoubtedly call attention to a brand, and therefore, should be reflective of what the brand stands for and what its audiences expect from them.

Transparency also comes into play when planning activations, during contract negotiations and during campaign implementation. When negotiating with an influencer, being clear and direct with timelines and requirements benefits everyone. It is important to not over promise and under deliver with the influencer or with your client. Remember that your role as a PR professional is to act as a bridge between your client and the content creator, helping to filter and clarify communication and ensure there is value for everyone. By being transparent with both the influencer and the brand, PR professionals can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the influencer campaign is considered successful by both parties.

Trust the Process

Sometimes not being in direct control of content or a narrative may be nerve-wracking. This can be especially true for clients who may not understand the importance of trusting the process.

As a PR practitioner, managing expectations is important, especially if a client has never worked with influencers in the past. We serve as counselors to educate clients on best practices and identify opportunities within influencer partners. Part of our role is ensuring our client understands that while content should be brand-focused, it should also be authentic to the creator, so it resonates with their audience. Content performs best when it feels organic to the creator and matches the format of their other posts. The influencer is an expert at what they do, and they understand their audience, which means they will know what content will perform best. Allowing creative freedom will help with overall campaign success.

Plan Ahead

It is easy to get overwhelmed while working on a campaign, but advance planning and staying organized will help keep things in order. It is critical that a plan is set in the contract to clearly outline what the partnership consists of. This should include content deliverables, deadlines, and approval workflow. Being clear in the contract will help eliminate any room for error or unintended misrepresentation. (This information is not legal advice. It is important to consult legal counsel on partnership contracts.)

Once a plan is set in place, schedule an on-boarding call with the influencer to go over campaign messaging and goals, and answer any questions they might have. If the activation is for an event, sending details about the event and campaign information as early as possible is ideal. This allows content creators to come into the event with a game plan. If this is a product activation, ensure products are mailed out in a timely manner to allow the influencer time to get acquainted with the product prior to filming. For other activations like public service announcements or sharing information, sending documents with information ahead of time to allow the influencer to process the information and ask any questions is critical. Content creators do their best work when they can focus on content creation, rather than partnership logistics.

Reap the Benefits

After working behind the scenes to ensure a campaign runs smoothly — enjoy watching the content perform! Help drive traffic to the activation by resharing to your own social channels and engage with comments on the post.

Influencer marketing allows brands to reach their target audiences in a way that resonates authentically. Hearing about events, products or information from people they trust helps to build community.

Managing influencer partnerships is dynamic and ever-changing but incorporating these four principles helps to ensure a successful influencer partnership. If you’re looking to ramp up or fine tune your influencer strategy, Reach out to us to learn more about our influencer marketing and social media services.