Influencer marketing was barely a thing a few short years ago. Mentions on the odd blog were great but nothing compared to today’s power of influencer endorsements. And, it’s an industry showing no signs of slowing down. A quick look at Google Trends will tell you this – the term “influencer marketing” has seen explosive growth over the past five years.
However, at a time where “how to become an influencer” is one of the top searches and most in-demand career paths, some best practice guidelines might be timely.
Now ‘influencing’ is a legitimate career choice, it’s important not to lose sight of what matters most: relationships. A key component of being a successful influencer is not just establishing and maintaining relationships with your followers but brands and PR agencies too.
We asked a wide selection of New Zealand brand managers and account managers the key to maintaining great relationships - here's what they thought:
If it’s your job – treat it like it is. Professionalism is key!
“If you have an email address listed on your social platform bio please make sure you are actively using it to respond to PRs and brands.”
“We understand everyone is busy, and time is a scarce commodity. We don’t expect a same-day reply but totally ignoring an email is just impolite.”
“The industry is small and brands talk. If you are unprofessional – either not responding or throughout the collaboration process – it will get around.”
“I’m pro influencers – but only if they do it right. The 3 P’s I always tell any influencer – Personable, Professional and Polite.”
“Show up for meetings on time and don’t cancel at the last minute. Remember, if you’re engaged as a paid influencer, the brand is the client – not you.”
“Make sure to confirm your obligations to avoid disappointment with the end result.”
“Don’t re-negotiate terms AFTER the fact.”
"Negotating can be tricky but it's your job and we respect that as a part of business BUT the collaboration should fulfil the client's expectations."
“Remember just like print pitches for a brand’s budget - you are also selling yourself! Come up with content that’s creative and stands out from your peers.”
“Charging $1,500 for a one-off Instagram post! Be creative and approach brands/PR’s with content ideas and what this might look like over a three month period.”
“Forget one off posts – they’re not valuable to us anymore. We want long-term partnerships over a period of time.”
“We understand not every product gifted will be the right fit but do let us know so we don’t keep sending similar items in future.”
“It’s really refreshing when you do have an influencer contact you or respond to a follow up email after receiving a product that isn’t on brand for them or of interest.”
“Anytime our clients are mentioned on social – stories, static posts, Facebook – we capture these and share with our client. BUT please remember to tag! Stories are often missed if the brands and PR agencies are not tagged.”
“We understand stories receive high engagement but when it’s a long story with photos and videos (and boomerangs) of product received, one after the other with no commentary, this is pretty worthless from a brand perspective.”
…And the pet peeves (eeek)
“When influencer says they love your product but don’t follow through on offers to work together and then work with a competitor.”
“Influencers who expect to be paid for every single mention. It should work like print: we pay for content and in return get some above the line added value too.”
“Integrity. Relationships with a brand shouldn’t just end because they’ve stopped paying for posts – you can’t just stop liking a brand all of a sudden. Followers aren’t silly.”
“When there’s no sense of allegiance and influencers jump from one competing brand to the next.”