How to Build And Manage Mutually Profitable Influencer Relationships

How can influencer relationships benefit your business? Learn how to build and manage influencer relationships for your marketing strategy.

Mutually Profitable Influencer Relationships

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Within the world of social media, advertising, and marketing campaigns, influencers have become a leading trend. 


Whether they have worldwide influence or a more niche following, influencers of all varieties have gained popularity with both the general public and businesses. They can market fast food brands, host giveaways, display call center management skills, interview film casts, create product ranges, and so much more. 


To reach your customer base more effectively, you may have considered collaborating with an influencer too. As they’re already integrated into a community of followers, with trusted opinions and relatable lifestyles, they’re more convincing in directing customers to your business than traditional marketing methods. 


However, to build a successful influencer marketing strategy, you need to start by prioritizing your influencer relationships and making them mutually beneficial.

What are influencer relationships?

People and partners are more likely to work with your business again if their first experience of collaborating with your team was positive and worthwhile. This applies to influencers too, as campaigns where they can see that you value their creative input as well as your products can instill a sense of trust. Should your business need an influencer for another campaign, they already know your standards and how you treat your influencers. 


Building influencer relationships requires time and effort, planning your interactions to ensure the experience is just as exciting and beneficial for them as it is for your brand. 


By dedicating resources and showing an active interest in an influencer’s work, you show that your business values them. In return, influencers are more likely to match your energy in creating engaging influencer marketing campaigns.


How to build and manage an influencer relationship in 2023

build influencer relationships

Image sourced from @kacierose_ on Instagram

1. Research your influencers

Each influencer is unique – in their personality as well as their reach, target audience, and style of marketing. Thoroughly researching influencers before interacting with them ensures you direct your energy and resources towards those who best match your business’s values and will be most beneficial to your campaign. 


With this knowledge, you can gauge which influencers are most likely to respond positively when you reach out to them, minimizing the admin for your team.


It’s also important to know what sort of following your influencers have as this affects who your marketing will reach and how effective it will be. 


With larger followings, there’s more chance of reaching potential customers with your product promotions. 


However, influencers with smaller followings can make an impact with a select group of loyal followers interested in specific products and areas of the industry. What’s more, these types of influencers tend to be more affordable for startup brands. 

2. Create an outreach strategy

Knowing what you want your influencer to do and how this fits in with the rest of your marketing strategy can give the influencer more confidence in your business along with a better picture of their role. 


Presenting this as part of your outreach strategy shows that you have a clear sense of direction for the campaign, optimizing your use of influencers. This creates a more appealing campaign to be a part of, making influencers more comfortable working with you.


You may want to explain to your influencer why you picked them over others – perhaps their previous content overlaps with the content and topics you want to cover. Or maybe your products are suited to their audience. 


Sharing similar values can also be useful, as having the same aims and targets in mind will help in collaborating on content. Explaining these things upfront highlights why they should work with you and shows that you purposefully selected them.

Image sourced from @CaseyAonso on YouTube

3. Design a contract together

Before you start working on a campaign together, set out the terms and conditions of the contract so that everyone is clear on what is expected and owed. 


Your contract should include an influencer marketing brief along with outlining the hours you want them to put into it. Likewise, it should state what sort of support influencers can expect from you and what collaborating with your teams will look like.


Compensation is also a crucial part of the contract. Influencers are working freelancers, so they should be paid for their services fairly. The pay rates you can expect vary depending on the audience size of the influencer and the engagement they receive, meaning the more well-known influencers will cost significantly more. 


That said, even with micro-influencers, you should discuss their rates when making a contract and not expect exposure to be considered a form of payment.

4. Encourage their creativity

Influencers are in the business of creating imaginative and exciting content that their followers want to see. So giving them some freedom in the content for your campaign allows them to do what they do best. 


This helps to build a trusting relationship between your business and the influencer, rather than making them feel like your team is micromanaging their part in the project. Set your basic requirements but leave it to them to decide what will convince their followers the most. 


Giving your influencers freedom within the campaign can also expand the ways you interact with your existing customers and help prevent content fatigue. This could be demonstrating your contact center service level with the influencer or inviting them behind the scenes of your business. 


Instead of sticking with the same trusted methods, letting the influencer take the lead can allow your brand to experiment with your marketing and test new ideas. 

5. Set a timescale

All projects need deadlines, especially when they involve a team working together. Setting a timeline with your influencer can make it clear for both of you when to expect the posts to go live. 


It also ensures the influencer has enough time to make high-quality content that engages their followers and prompts interaction. Since they know their abilities, the influencer is going to be best positioned to suggest what a reasonable timescale for your content is. 


Having a timeline can also be useful when planning other aspects of your marketing campaigns to align with your influencer content. For example, posting unrelated content may minimize the impact of your influencer campaign, whereas planning it into your calendar gives you space to share the content on your channels without disrupting the flow. 


The timescale should also include the time of day that posts are shared, identifying when audiences are most active online.

6. Track the content

Watching the key performance indicators (KPIs) of your influencer content can be useful both for your business and the influencer. 


The information gained from the metrics can be used by your marketing team to inform future campaigns, recognizing which content successfully led customers to your ecommerce and retail POS system. Particularly when experimenting with new formats or ideas, monitoring KPIs show whether a particular influencer is worth continuing with.

Image sourced from @lilnasx on Instagram


Similarly, KPIs can be informative for the influencer as well as showing that your business is invested in the content they produce. 


Tracking how the content performs and is received by customers shows that your business values the input of influencers in their campaigns, reassuring them that they have the support of your business in the work they produce. This builds the relationship and enables both parties to succeed. 

7. Keep the momentum going

Once the contract has finished, don’t abandon your influencers. You’ve spent a significant period working together and building your relationship, so keeping in contact can help to maintain this. 


If you work with a lot of influencers, creating an influencer newsletter can be an easy way of letting them know what your business is doing. You could also share the long-term impacts of the campaign they worked with you on. 


Should new opportunities arise, having the contact details of your past influencers can allow you to pass these on. This may be another business or partner who is also looking for an influencer on a project. 


Alternatively, influencers may hear of events or projects that your business would be interested in and can forward the details to your team. Maintaining contact helps to extend your network, bringing more people together to create new projects and products.


Particularly with successful influencer campaigns, start making plans for the next project as soon as possible to keep the momentum. You may already have ideas for new content, sharing positive review examples for customer service, interviewing members of staff, or trying out new products, which you can share with the influencer to initiate the new project. You also have the benefit of knowing what it’s like to work with them, enabling even smoother future collaborations. 


Ways to ensure your influencer relationship is mutually profitable

As a business, it can be easy to measure the influencer marketing ROI from your side, without considering how you’re benefiting them. This can make the relationship one-sided, meaning your influencers will be less invested in your projects or working with you again. 


However, if you plan and create benefits for your influencers, they are more likely to want to keep working with you. 

Image sourced from @warrior.alexandrarosie on Facebook


Here are some ideas of what your business can do for influencers:


  • Build a knowledge base for influencers: This gives all influencers a basic understanding of your business and, with automation testing, could even become an app.
  • Develop an ambassador program: If you regularly use influencer content, this could include perks that they receive depending on the amount and type of work they do for you. 
  • Share partner content: Extending the reach of their content adds to the exposure your influencers get, increasing their visibility and attracting new followers to their channels.
  • Add to your influencer compensation: Consider adding gifts and benefits to their compensation, providing them with samples of your products or use of your services.

Key takeaways

Building and managing a mutually profitable influencer relationship takes planning and consideration to get the most out of the experience. 


A significant part of this is ensuring your brand’s values align with your influencer’s, and setting out a clear content strategy to best engage with your target market. This requires communication throughout the campaign, so both your business and influencers know what’s expected of them. 


However, a successful influencer relationship doesn’t end when your campaign does. Maintaining contact for future projects and offering them benefits shows your appreciation for their work. 


This makes the experience advantageous for everyone and prevents it from becoming one-sided. Implementing these makes influencers more likely to want to continue working with you and recommend your business to both followers and others in the industry.

What will your influencer relationships look like in 2023?

It’s time to start looking to the future and making plans to optimize your influencer marketing in 2023. 


If you’ve used influencers on previous campaigns, you’ll have some experience to base improvements on to make sure both your business and the influencer are getting the most out of the relationship. This can make your collaborations more fulfilling and open up new and profitable opportunities.


On the other hand, if you’ve not tried influencer marketing yet, this time is now to leverage influencers for brand growth. Working together can generate new ideas for your business as well as allow your influencer to experiment with their content style. 


Building Influencer Relationships takes effort but can have lasting benefits for your future marketing strategies.