How to Improve Customer Relationships With Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is not a short-term marketing source. It’s not a fad that will disappear next week.
Based on the incredible results it is able to generate, and the fact that its popularity doesn’t look like it is slowing down anytime soon, we can be sure that influencer marketing has many years to live. In fact, it hasn’t come to its peak years yet.
But something worth thinking about is what type of results you want to achieve, and what you want to use influencer marketing for. The most common reason brands use influencer marketing is because they want to increase sales (short-term goals), and increase brand-awareness (long-term goal).
But unfortunately, something that is more time than not neglected by marketers is building public relationships with the help of influencer marketing, Because the truth is that public relationships are crucial for having that extra leverage as a brand, and the second truth is also that influencer marketing can help you build your relationships.
Influencer marketing is something that you work with long-term, and so is relation-building.
You won’t build strong relationships with your audience that eventually lead to loyal supporters of your brand and engaged fans overnight. Think about it: do you become great friends with someone after one meeting? Of course not! It takes interaction after interaction to build a strong relationship, and this is also the mindset you need to have when looking to build your public relationships.
Why you need to think about your customer relationships
It’s well-known why it’s important to have a good relationship with your customers. When you build relationships, your audience will be more loyal, they’ll recommend your brand to their peers, and they’ll be willing to do more for you.
But it’s important to know that a relationship is not only about taking. A relationship where one part takes and takes without giving is a relationship that won’t last long. But a relationship that is mutual is one that will last forever and will only get stronger with time.
As a brand, this is something you want to think about long and hard as you are using influencer marketing to build your relationships.
Even though influencer marketing helps you reach your audience, gain trust from the influencer, and then allows you to continue the conversation with your newly acquired audience, you need to make sure that you provide value to the people you engage and build relations with.
If you don’t provide value, and only ask people for favors, people will quickly get tired of you, and they’ll go somewhere else.
In other words, for any type of relationships, no matter if they are the result of influencer marketing campaigns or if they are built by consistent interactions with your audience, they have to be win-win relationships for them to become long-lasting relationships.
No give-take relationships have ever made both parts satisfied.
Why customer relationships is valuable
An influencer marketing campaign has a relatively short lifespan. Some might last for a few weeks, others might only generate results over the course of a few days. As a brand, you want to take advantage of the resources you’ve invested, and you want to squeeze out every single drop of marketing juice you can access. Fortunately, that’s exactly what building relationships will help you do.
When you run an influencer campaign, some of the trust that the influencer has is transferred over to you. As you know, influencers are trusted individuals. In fact, a study found that 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement. What does this mean in practice?
It means that when an influencer recommends your brand, people trust their recommendation, and they’ll trust that you are a good brand.
But this also puts a responsibility on you as a brand, from many aspects. First, you have a responsibility to make sure the influencer’s word is kept. If the influencer recommends you to their followers, says you are awesome, and then it turns out that you are nothing like the influencer describes you, you’ll not only scare away people from your page, but you’ll also harm the trust that people have in you.
Think about it: If you get a recommendation to do something from a friend, and then it turns out to be terrible, you’ll, of course, have that in mind the next time they recommend something.
You also have a responsibility towards yourself to keep your promises. Now, it might be the case that you haven’t actually made any promises, and everything that the influencer says is all on them, but on the other hand, don’t you want to be recognized the way the influencer describes your brand?
Probably, because if you’ve chosen an influencer that resonates with your brand and even better, that has been a fan of yours before the partnership, you can be quite sure that what they write is positive.
Engage with the people engaging with the influencer’s post
When you run an influencer campaign, and an influencer makes a post about you, people won’t flood like crazy to your page. Some will see the promotion and continue scrolling, others will look at the post and appreciate it, and then continue scrolling, some people might look at the post and not be completely sold, and others will engage with the post of the influencer, while some people will go directly to your page, start following you, and maybe even buy from you.
The point is, there are people of all kinds, and you cannot expect people to be convinced immediately. You should also remember that relationships aren’t built without interactions and with just an influencer recommendations.
Instead, strong relationships are begin built after the first interaction, and then from countless interactions after that.
So how can you leverage the influencer campaign to build relationships?
Well, there will be people who engage with the post of the influencer without starting to follow you, or in any other way engage with you. Some people just won’t realize that the post is a promotion of your brand, and others will think about it for a few seconds and then forget about it.
But the good news is that the majority of people who engage with the influencer’s post will be people who, firstly, look up to the influencer, secondly, might be interested in your brand, and thirdly are interested in the industry you are in.
Since the people who have engaged with the influencer’s post, they have shown some kind of interest, and this is something you’re going to take advantage of.
Therefore, you should engage with every single comment that the influencer’s post receives. Let’s say the influencer receives a question – then hop in and respond to that question.
Some might argue that it should be the influencer who do that, but when you interact with them, not only do you make them more aware of your brand, you also show off your amazing customer service and personality. And believe it or not, but if you do, many people will begin to follow you. If people ask questions about your brand or product, chances are also that you will be able to answer then better than the influencer.
If you want to take it up one notch, you can engage with the people who have liked the post of the influencer. After all, these people have shown some kind of interest in the post, but they are not as engaged as the people who have both liked and commented. While there are probably a lot of people who have liked the post, take them one by one and engage with them.
If you want, you can like a few posts of their so that they see your brand and possibly start following you. The best part about this is that since they have seen the influencer promotion about your brand, there’s a chance that they have a vague memory of your brand, but just cannot remember that they have encountered you before, and this is good because humans like things that feel familiar, thus making them more likely to start engaging with you
Of course, just liking a few posts won’t open up for that first interaction, so ideally, you should send them a private message or leave a comment on their post which opens up for a conversation.
Remember that the problem is not finding people to interact with. The problem influencer marketing solves is helping you identify people in your target audience.
Building relationships with influencers before you partner with them is tremendously important.
if you’re just seeing influencers as an opportunity for you to get exposure, you’re missing the point.
By focusing on building strong relationships with the influencers you plan to partner with, they’ll be happier in seeing you succeed, thus making them do everything in their powers to help you succeed.
If you’ve engaged with them and made them engaged in your brand, they’ll also be much more likely to say yes if you ask if they’d like to partner with you.