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How Brands Can Get The Most Bang From Influencer Partnerships

So, you’re about to launch an influencer marketing program and can’t wait for all the magic to unfold before your eyes.

But before you set that program on autopilot and move on to the next priority, are you confident you’ve established ways to get the most out of your influential partners?

Here are a few relationship management tips to consider that may have you planning the sequel sooner than later.

Know Their True Identities
From the start, knowing and appreciating who your partners are beyond their online personas helps forge solid, open and honest relationships. This begins during the identification process by looking beyond the stats and glossy, highly curated Instagram posts.

What do they really stand for? What are their personal interests, hobbies and family life like? Understanding what makes their true identity will not only help brands feel better about aligning, but will help produce more mutually beneficial outcomes along the journey.

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As you begin to work together, invest in the relationship. Meet and communicate firsthand as much as possible. This builds trust and understanding that pays off for both parties over time.

A League of Extraordinary Collaborators
Once the team is assembled, how can you make sure your partners are powered up to do the best they can in telling your brand story?

The more you can share and integrate them into your marketing process, the better. Consider these tips:

-- Have select team members meet with your partners to share key insights and knowledge behind the brand.

-- Help them understand how their role and content fits into the greater marketing mix.

-- Provide detailed background information on your target audience so they know who your brand appeals to.

-- Pull back the curtain and provide immersive experiences to see how the brand is made, and the people behind the development and manufacturing process.

-- What does the company behind the brand stand for? Share views on the larger corporate culture, CSR/cause, HR and other business-related efforts.

-- Invite them to have a seat at the R&D table. What are consumers looking for? What are ways the product could evolve? Their frontline access to valuable consumer insights and trend-forward thinking is a gold mine for your brand.

Shine a Light
In addition to influencers sharing sponsored content on their channels, it’s not always second nature for the brands to cross-promote on theirs.

Agreements that allow brands to share content on their channels not only deliver more consumer impressions and engagement, they better align partners with the business and add credibility and corporate endorsement to the program.

And, you may want to consider creating a dedicated landing page to feature your partners, including bios and links to their sites. This demonstrates true partnership and helps organize sponsored content in one easy to access location.

Stay for the Closing Credits
Working closely with your partners on campaign results is critical to the success of your program.

As they have analytics on sponsored content that you can’t access, make sure to set expectations that you’ll come together to look at impressions and engagement metrics following each execution.

Collaborating with your partners on the backend results, as much as the upfront creative development, speaks to a highly collaborative and well-rounded program.

In-Kindness We Trust
Often brand partners can find ways to deliver added value to the partnership.

For example, other elements of the marketing program may offer exclusive opportunities that partners can take advantage of, such as tickets to special events, speaking opportunities, access to internal creative resources and additional product sampling.

The more you can do to break through walls and take off the mask, the more these influencer sidekicks will show up as true heroes for your brand.

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