10 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Relationships With Influencers

by Shane Barker

Last updated on December 13th, 2017

Influencers can be your long-term advocate and brand ambassadors. Spending even $1000 on influencers can yield amazing returns. You don’t want to kill your influencer relationships because of some overlooked or careless mistake. You can build invaluable relationships with your influencers that can be mutually beneficial.

Truth be told: Relationships are fragile. When it comes to business, you have to maintain relationships with your partners, customers, and employees.

Influencers are interesting people because they are your partners, customers, as well as employees. With your stringent timelines and busy schedule, you might lose track of your relationships with influencers.

In an article by The Huffington Post, marketers pointed out the mistakes they made in managing their influencer relationships. Taking some valuable insights from marketers, here’s this comprehensive list of everything you need to know to build strong relationships with influencers.

Mistake #1: Not Creating a Win-Win Proposal

Influencers can offer your brand many benefits. But they will expect something in return for their partnership. Companies often underestimate influencers and offer them minimum possible return to get their work done.

But with the increasing popularity and usefulness of influencer marketing, influencers have more options and decision-making power. If your proposal is benefiting you and not them, they may not agree to work with you.

Relationships With Influencers

Source: Bloglovin

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Research the influencer and their past work before drafting your proposal.
  • Plan fair compensation for your influencer after observing the previous work done by them.
  • Ask your influencer about their expectations, and if their expectations can help you achieve your objective, then compensate them accordingly.

Mistake #2: Being Disorganized with your Marketing Plan

Marketers, this is not a new topic for you. There are times when your marketing plan changes suddenly, and you may lose people along the way.

Influencers need to know your marketing agenda in order to effectively plan and create content, be it images, or blog posts, or video reviews.

If you keep changing your marketing plan or expectations, it can annoy influencers and jeopardize your relationships with them.

Source: The Huffington Post

How to Avoid This Mistake

Influencers need to know what your marketing agenda is for your influencer marketing campaign. It could be something like:

  • Promoting a new product launch
  • Promoting an event
  • Promoting a contest or discount
  • Boosting brand awareness
  • Increasing conversions or traffic

Whatever your marketing agenda is, you need to know in advance before you start discussions with influencers.

Mistake #3: Underestimating their Creativity

Influencers are known for creating quality content that can boost your traffic and SEO. They are aware of their audience’s likes and dislikes, and that helps them plan and create content.

You can ask them to align their content with your company by showing them examples. But do not force it upon them. Influencers will not promote content that will hurt their reputation with their audience. And forcing them will affect your relationship with them.

Source: Bloglovin

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • See what your influencer is currently doing, and how can you add your company’s flavor to it.
  • Watch how other companies are using your influencer’s content.
  • Give influencers creative freedom, and see what they create for you.

Mistake #4: Not Fostering Relationships

Influencer marketing is an ongoing process. Unless your influencer fails to deliver you value, you will likely want to work with them again. Effective marketing is all about effective communication.

If you only reach out to your influencer when you need them, you are only maintaining a transactional relationship. In a study by Linqia, 50% of the marketers spend more than 25 hours on an influencer marketing program. Giving time to your influencer is the first step in fostering a relationship with your influencer.

Source: Linqia

It’s also important to make direct contact rather than through an agency. Platforms like Grin have made that possible so brands can form close, long-term relationships with influencers.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Add them to your newsletter. Send them emails about your new products, events, etc. If you can send them a personal email, that would be much better.
  • Send them discount coupons or free products when you launch your new products. This will make them feel privileged and connected to your brand.
  • Share their content. Add them on social media. Make them feel like they are part of your company.

Source: Huffington Post

Mistake #5: Asking Inexperienced Employees to Deal with Them

It is not uncommon for marketers to be busy with multiple projects. And it’s possible that they assign someone to deal with influencers who is inexperienced. Sometimes, your employees may make bad decisions on your behalf. They might not treat influencers respectfully or communicate with them effectively.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Ask employees to cc you on all the emails so that you are well-informed.
  • Check on the influencer yourself once in awhile.
  • Ask your team to provide influencers with clear instructions and the materials needed for content creation.

Mistake #6: Setting Unrealistic Targets and Expecting Quick Results

Sound familiar? This happens all too often in marketing. Excited about our campaign ideas, we set unrealistic targets and then expect quick results. Because of the difficulty of measuring the ROI of the influencer marketing, you may then get impatient and start pestering your influencers.

Source: Linqia

How to Avoid This Mistake

Decide in advance how to measure the ROI of the influencer marketing campaign. And how to track the conversions from your influencer. You can:

  • Assign unique coupon codes to each influencer
  • Start new, branded hashtags for your campaign
  • Give each influencer a unique, trackable link

Source: The Huffington Post

Mistake #7: Delaying Payment or Breach of Contract

An absolute no-no in any business dealing, this will certainly kill your influencer relationships.

It’s not new for influencers to complain that businesses refuse to complete the transaction after the contract is over. This could also be unhealthy for your brand if an influencer writes a bad review about your brand.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Define expectations in the contract and also define the consequences if things don’t go right.
  • If the influencer has delivered their side, you need to deliver yours.

Mistake #8: Not Mentioning or Crediting Influencers When You Use Their Content

This could be a grave mistake, even if it has been committed out of innocence. It’s expected that you will mention your influencers when you use their content on social media, in emails, on your website, etc.

If you use their content repeatedly without giving them proper credit, you might lose their trust and willingness to participate in future projects.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • If you’re sharing their blog posts, videos, or images, mention their website or social media profiles.
  • Thank them for sharing your content.

Mistake #9: Treating it as a One-time Transaction

Treating your influencers as a one-time transaction is going to be a serious mistake from your side. It’s a short-term vs. long-term game strategy. If you have spent your time to find the right influencer, then also spend the time to maintain the relationship with them.

According to Sponsokit,

“Retargeting is not only effective in influencer marketing, but for the majority of your customers, it’s vital. By only hitting them once with an endorsement, you are failing to convert a staggering 75 per cent of your customer share.”

Some businesses overlook the long-term influencer marketing benefits and forget their influencers after their first campaign.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Discuss your long-term marketing plan with them, and how they can grow with your brand over time.
  • Make them a part of your company’s celebrations and events.

Mistake #10: Not Trusting Them

You cannot have blind faith in your new influencers, but that doesn’t mean you should doubt their every move. Trust has to be mutual. They have to trust your brand, and you have to trust their influence and content.

Establishing trust with your influencer will improve the content and results of your influencer marketing campaigns.

How to Avoid This Mistake

  • Deliver what you promised. Don’t delay when it’s time to compensate them.
  • Don’t start with preconceived notions. Give them a chance to prove themselves.

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered the biggest mistakes that marketers make when managing influencer relationships, and how to avoid them. We would love to learn about your experiences with managing influencers. Please share them, and any tips or questions you may have in the comments below.

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Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant, named the #1 social media consultant in the nation by PROskore Power Rankings. He has expertise in business development, online marketing and is an SEO specialist who has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and a number of A-list celebrities.

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