Updated: Apr 10
Give Them Reasons To Invest In A Long-Term Relationship
Critical changes to the Influencer industry are illuminating more than just the bad news. There are some really good opportunities you should be taking to maintain relationships with Influencers and ride out the effects of this virus together. I get, if you hear “unprecedented times” again, you might pull your hair out, but this is actionable advice that you can take, even when the world isn’t in a state of crisis. We’re going to dive into the ways you can easily invest in your partner relationships and encourage them to do the same for your brand.
Allow Them More Creative Freedom
If they are allowed to do what they do best- be creative, they are more likely to see your brand as a helpful partner that they’d like to continue working with in the future. Although placing restrictions on the kind of content they can create is not always easily avoidable, especially if you are a large brand with many initiatives going on at once, there are workarounds. It’s not only important to leave a little wiggle room for the sake of the relationship, but it also helps to ensure that the content comes across as authentic as possible. Because trust me, people are more savvy than you think at spotting cheezy, cookie cutter captions. It’s important that the messaging and images associated with your brand are as authentic as possible and that starts with having an authentic relationship with your talent in the first place.
Sincerely Take Interest In Them as People
Follow what they do and who they are. Support them on a genuine human to human level. Show them you care about their interests and values just as they have proven themselves loyal to your brand. If you send them a PR package, leave a personal message and mention something you know they would love and appreciate. If an Influencer is always raving about how much she loves coffee, maybe you include a cute coffee mug in her PR package to let her know you are invested in the relationship.
Go Beyond The Campaigns
Keep in touch after campaigns wrap up! Influencers are excited to support Brands that are thinking about long term goals and campaigns and who keep them in mind as more than just a one-off. Of course, the results a particular creator can deliver will have a lot to do with whether or not they should be kept on speed dial for the future. But taking care of your partners with a little more commitment will ensure they are more loyal and will go the extra mile for the brand.
Keep Communication Open
It makes sense for Brands to be in a limbo stage right now while operations are still on lock-down and so many nonessential businesses are forced to close. While everyone is just hanging on until further notice, that uncertainty understandably means we’re seeing a huge rise in campaign cancellations and postponements.
Not to mention a sharp cut for many advertising budgets. Influencer Marketing falls into most general advertising budgets, leaving many Influencers out of work and looking for new ways of making a living while staying home. The WORST thing you as a Brand could do is simply “fire” your influencers from their campaigns and stop communicating with them. It’s the same thing as getting fired from any other job. In a time like this, if the door is shut on them in that way, there’s little chance they would be inclined to work with you again when things clear up. The solution is to keep in constant contact, let them know it’s not just your cancelled campaigns or events that you care about, but it’s them too- the people who represent your brand to thousands of people.
Don’t Come Across Too Opportunistic
Since the virus outbreak, engagement has been going up and users are more active in general on social media. If you have an online business or are still operating online and keeping campaigns running, then you’ll be enjoying the benefits of that extra captured attention. By continuing business as usual online, you are doing good for your brand, the consumers who want your products, and of course the Influencers you’re working with. Try to keep in mind that you don't want to ever come across as though you're trying to capitalize on fear or take advantage of people in a vulnerable position. You'll see crazy metrics that project there will be more eyeballs on your brand because of everyone scrolling into oblivion right now, but don't let that distract you from being responsible with your marketing and offers.
Keep Your Messaging Positive
This one sounds like an eye roll, but it’s actually super important. It’s tough to be positive when your sales might be dropping or your distribution may be suffering because of the quarantine. But keeping your customers and Influencer partners feeling as supported as possible by their favorite brand will go a long way. One easy thing you can implement across your social media platforms is helpful, positive, feel-good messaging. Encouraging people to stay safe, practice all the mandated safety precautions, etc. in association with your products or services is a good way to show sensitivity to the anti-selling perspective of some of your customers. It’s smart to get that message across through your Influencers, who can reach more of their audience than ever with the extreme amount of people spending more time online, looking to them for some solace. More on this in our recent blog post HERE about the reasons you need Influencers the most in times of crisis like this.
Stay Involved and Help Influencers Do The Same
No doubt, people are struggling and the fallout of this pandemic is just beginning to rear its ugly head. Some communities are getting hit harder than ever with loss, unemployment, and unimaginable displacement. Industries that are getting the hardest hits are the food, retail, travel, transportation, education, small businesses, and obviously people in the medical field. In the midst of this madness, it's a good time to remember the values and pillars of your Brand identity and to walk the walk for your customers and Influencer partners to see. With the ability to continue reaching people, what would it look like if you as a Brand were to lead a charitable campaign that everyone can get behind? Think of the difference that could make for the communities you’re helping, the people you’re commissioning to rally with you, and for the Influencers who have the ability to help you make a difference- and trust me, they want nothing more than to help in any way they can.
You could offer donations to nonprofits who need resources to continue responding to vulnerable populations. The fact that a philanthropic endeavor like this is good for your Brand image, good PR for you, and helps people associate your Brand with charitable causes is only the cherry on top of the social responsibility you have a chance to show here.
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About the Author
Katherine Pereda is the Founder and CEO of The Influencer Grapevine, a boutique Influencer Marketing agency based in South Florida. Her clientele list ranges from luxury houses such as Gucci, Roberto Coin, Acqua di Parma, Vacheron Constantin, Jitrois Paris, Cartier LatAm, and Jimmy Choo to beauty, home design, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness companies like Maisons Du Monde, Tampax + Always PURE, Home Made Simple by Procter & Gamble, Target, MintedLeaf CBD, and Agnes & Dora. Katherine has also worked extensively in experiential marketing for WantedDesign, New York Fashion Week, DesignMiami/, Glossier, Create & Cultivate, Miami Swim Week, Funksion Fashion Week, and Art Basel Miami. Now specializing in talent management, and brand campaigns, she helps influencers and businesses from all over the world gain exposure, connections, and collaborations to build lifelong relationships.