As you scale your influencer marketing program, management of influencer relationships becomes more and more important. Once you reach 20-30+ influencers, the time you spend on simple day-to-day tasks & communications grows significantly.
If you’re at that point in your influencer program (or nearly there), this article is for you. You’ll learn 7 tactics that the most successful brands are using to solve these challenges. Implementing them is the key to scaling up without adding a bunch of people to the team.
In other articles, you’ll find basic tips like:
- Only work with relevant influencers
- Pay them fairly
- Treat them right
While these fundamentals are important, we’ll dig a bit deeper. These are specific tactics that you can go and start utilizing in your strategy right now.
What is influencer management
Influencer management is the process of leveraging optimizations in your creator relationships to maximize the ROI & scalability of your channel.
It can refer to anything from activating new campaigns, to teaching creators how to perform better, to measuring their results, making payments, daily communications, and more.
Without the right processes in place, influencer management becomes a major bottleneck as you grow. With the right strategy though, you’ll soon have a growing team of influencers with mutually profitable relationships.
7 proven tactics for managing influencer relationships
1. Implement an influencer newsletter
Having a regular monthly or bimonthly newsletter sent to your creator partners is an underutilized strategy for relationship management.
Implementing one will help you to:
- Communicate key messages & announcements in bulk
- Keep your brand top of mind for those creators
- Share tips & advice on how to promote your brand & earn more money
- Highlight the most successful posts from last month
Those last two points are extra important. Not all creators, and not all posts will perform the same. You’ll find that a certain type of content works better than others.
The newsletter is a perfect place to shout out those who have had high performing content, so that a) you can motivate & recognize those people for their efforts, and b) others can learn what works and improve their own content next month.
By doing this you’re also reducing the effort required for creators to come up with content ideas. The harder it is to think of ways to promote your brand, the less it’ll happen. Regularly showcasing successful examples solves that problem.
2. Create a landing page to answer common FAQs
Creating a landing page to advertise your partner/ambassador program is another really easy tactic that solves a ton of problems.
You can write up all the key information and frequently asked questions in one public place, to save your team time on responding to the same questions over and over. That might be things like:
- Content guidelines
- Payment methods, terms & other benefits
- Application criteria
- Who else is in your program (and what are they posting)
- Points of contact & processes
You can also add an application form for your program on the landing page. Doing so will help you to recruit influencers, since creators will be able to find you more easily when searching. Even better though, you can qualify applicants by adding pre-screening questions. That means you’ll only invest your time recruiting influencers who meet your criteria. Any applicants who pass the screening questions can be quickly audited using Modash to check their engagement rate, audience breakdown, fake followers (etc.) to confirm they’re a good fit before you proceed.
Add a link in your newsletter to your landing page to make sure your partners know where they can easily find the answers to FAQs.
If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at Bolt’s landing page for an example.
3. Automate influencer content tracking
Keeping track of who has posted, how often, and how their posts perform gets exponentially more difficult as you grow. You can get by with manually checking, screenshotting stories etc. for a while – but as you scale, it becomes critical to automate using software.
Modash has an influencer monitoring platform for tracking content. It automatically pulls in (and saves) every partner post so that you can check on everything in one place. It works even if you have 100+ creators posting in a single campaign.
With all of your partner posts collected in one dashboard, it’s infinitely easier to:
- Check which partner content has been posted (what, when, and by who)
- Report on content created
- Grab content for repurposing elsewhere
- Ensure compliance (get alerts if ad disclosures are missing, for example)
In Modash, you can also view a summary of your partners’ performance together to compare them:
That’ll help you quickly identify if there’s a certain type of influencer that typically performs better. For example, out of a group of fitness creators, you might learn that specifically yoga influencers outperform the others.
4. Streamline your influencer activation process
Influencer activation is all about getting new recruits contributing to a campaign as quickly as possible. From the moment you agree to work together, there’s several things you can do to speed up the process. For example, you could prepare:
- Influencer contracts with a quick & easy e-signing solution
- Your briefing materials & brand guidelines
- FAQs on a landing page
- Examples of successful posts to help the creator
- Unique selling points for your brand
- Information on KPIs & how you’ll measure campaign success
- Instructions on using tracking links & promo codes (if relevant)
Your goal here is to reduce friction, and get to the first live post faster. Try to anticipate any potential questions new recruits might ask, or resources they might need to be successful. Set expectations for how your collaborations will work.
If you have the budget for it, you could even pay an activation bonus upon the first piece(s) of content going live to incentivize getting started even sooner.
5. Implement a performance quota
For active influencers in your program, you could consider implementing a minimum number of conversions or results per month. That number might be very small, but the goal is to simply encourage creators to make sure they do something every month.
Every creator you work with adds some amount of time cost for you (or your team). Answering questions, keeping up to date, approving creatives, and so on. Including a minimum quota ensures you’re only spending significant time on partners who are delivering results.
This doesn’t mean that you kick someone out straight away as soon as they miss the target. You can offer them help & support to get back on track. If they’re consistently unable to deliver results though, you can consider moving them out of the program, since it’s not a good fit for them.
6. Maximize relationships with top performers
Start by simply engaging with partners’ content. Like & comment. Reshare on your own channels (with permission & credit). Creators will appreciate your support, and it goes a long way to developing the relationship.
Where you have particularly successful relationships, consider working on additional projects together too. Beyond their usual posting schedule, you can brainstorm more collaboration ideas.
- Do an Instagram takeover together
- Host a joint event
- Use their face on your ads
- Run a giveaway from their account
- Create a co-branded product line
- Shoot a commercial with them
Once you find an influencer who is a great fit for your brand, do everything you can to maximize that relationship. Get close to them, and make them feel involved.
7. Add a personal touch to the relationship
Don’t forget the simple human stuff. A lot of these tactics are focused on scalability, but there’s a time and a place for the unscalable tactics too. This is one of them.
For top performers in particular, you could try taking the time to wish them a happy birthday, or congratulate them on milestones & achievements. Put in some extra thought when you’re engaging with their content online.
These little things are going to help creators feel like you care about them as a person, rather than just the KPIs they can drive for you. It leads to a more positive feeling about you & your brand, and influencers will want to work with you more in the future.
If you want to step up your influencer management game, my advice is to just pick one of these tactics and implement it right away.
Any one of them can boost the ROI of your influencer program significantly. Less time spent, for better results.
Build that landing page. Set up automated influencer content tracking. Start your newsletter.
Work through them one by one, and the effect will compound until you have a world-class influencer marketing program.