If your brand or company ran a personal ad, what would it say? I think we could all learn a thing or two from Rupert Holmes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsj2wdFDmLk):
“If you like high visibility and earning social sway.
If you’re not into one-offs and have the money to pay.
If you like getting quality content on the world wide web,
I’m the influencer you’ve looked for, come with me and collab!”
Wait, is that not how that went?
Either way – let’s talk long term relationships between brands and influencers. The reality of communications and marketing strategies in 2017 is that influencer marketing is not going anywhere. If anything, we are going to see more of it in 2018 and beyond. This is both effective and problematic for brands – here’s why: Influencers are powerful in the social sector, but with that power comes risk – and one with a hefty price tag for brands.
September 8, 2017 marked a pivotal time in influencer marketing when the FTC finally settled a case with influencers who had not properly disclosed partnerships with companies to consumers. It also served as a warning for both creators and advertisers. “Influencers should be aware that they’re violating the law if they don’t clearly disclose their material connections to brands,” said Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the FTC. (source)
So what do risk management and long term relationships have to do with one another? Everything. Influencer continuity helps with brand loyalty, higher engagement, FTC compliance and quality creativity.
Brand Loyalty – When consumers look to influencers for product recommendations, it becomes painfully obvious if an influencer is touting a new hand cream as their favorite every other week. Sure you can have many favorites, but what trust does that build for either a brand or a fellow consumer? Not a whole lot! Committed influencers bring not only the benefit of brand loyalty to your company, but also consumer trust – a priceless commodity!
Higher Engagement – Long term relationships with an influencer drum up engagement that can only be garnished with a devoted audience. For example, if you are working on a long range campaign with a monthly “check-in” component, consumers will want to be an integral part of that to follow the journey that specific influencer is having.
FTC Compliance – Arguably the biggest benefit for long term relationships with influencers is the ability to have a subset of pre-vetted creators who 1. Understand the FTC guidelines and 2. Abide by them.
Quality Creativity – If your brand or company is on the fence about getting involved in a long-term influencer relationship, think about it from this perspective: would you rather know the type of content you will get or take a gamble? Keeping influencers “on your payroll”, so to speak, is a low-risk, high-gain situation in terms of receiving quality content with varied creativity. What does this mean? You understand that the content will be the caliber you expect and the creativity will be beyond what your in-house team is capable of creating.
And if your brand or company is still on the hunt for those perfect influencers, here’s a little personal ad inspiration:
Brand Seeks Influencer For Long Term Relationship
Must Love: Quality Content, Social Media and Creativity
Not interested in purchased followers or anyone averse to FTC regulations
About the Author: Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based writer who focuses on food, travel and lifestyle topics. She is a bar columnist for Metro Honolulu and contributing writer for Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, People Magazine and more. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying a new restaurant with her husband or playing with her two chocolate Labs, Judy and Bill, at the beach.