As stated on Forbes, a recent survey revealed that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next year. Influencer marketing can be described as a territory between an official testimonial and a subtle product mention. Influencers that collaborate with certain companies take to their social media platforms to advertise products. The idea is that an influencer matches a brand’s image, so they collaborate to promote a product they genuinely love and that they think will resonate with their followers. Influencers exist primarily on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Influencer marketing is a growing trend and it is only expected to increase in 2017. According to grouphigh.com, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 33% trust ads. Forbes shared an interesting stat that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers, giving brands and businesses even more reason to put their dollars behind influencers instead. Influencers are the ones holding everyone’s attention. Based on these facts, influencer marketing is not something that companies want to let slip through their fingers. The whole point of influencer marketing is forming and maintaining relationships, not only with consumers, but between businesses and the influencers they collaborate with. In order to successfully utilize influencer marketing, influencer relations have to be at the top of a company’s priorities. The following are ways to keep positive relationships with influencers.

Use Influencers as Product Testers

The first part of influencer relations is to use them to test your product. Make sure that the product they are promoting is one that they genuinely love and think their audience will take interest in as well. By doing this, you grow your relationship with influencers by showing them that their opinions matter. Ask for their feedback, because part of collaborating and building a relationship is bouncing ideas back and forth. This can better your influencer campaign and influencers are the ones that know their audience (also the consumers) best.

Send Influencers Product Samples For Genuine Opinions

This goes along with the last point. By sending influencers product samples, they get the chance to see, feel, try on and showcase the product. This is also part of influencers promoting a product they genuinely want to promote. This is a win-win in terms of maintaining positive relationships because companies will benefit from their product being showcased to the consumers, but more importantly, because influencers will appreciate getting their hands on what they are supposed to promote and in most cases they get to keep a product that they actually like and want.

Feature Influencers On Your Website and Social Media

Here is where we have social media come into action. As a company, you should be featuring your influencers on your websites and social media platforms. This is important so that they feel noticed for what they are doing, and once consumers go on your website and find a big influencer on it with your product, they will feel enticed to have that same product, too.

Be Engaging on Your Influencers’ Digital Media

In order to maintain a business-influencer relationship, engage with them on their social media. Whether this is their blog or Instagram account, connecting with them is key to keeping a positive relationship going. This could be a simple like or a short comment, showing influencers and their audience that you are keeping up with them. By doing this, you show support and audiences can see that there is not just some paid advertising, but also a professional relationship.

All of these forms of influencer relationship upkeep are crucial to having a successful influencer marketing campaign. Companies need to realize the importance of positive relationships with their collaborators so that the campaign can run smoothly. By checking that you are doing all of these things, you are guaranteed to make connections while also promoting your business or product. If you want to see why influencer marketing is such a growing trend– consider trying it out for yourself!

By: Stefi Giordani, Marketing & Public Relations Intern