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Tips & Guides — 10 Aug 2022
10 Tips for Influencer Management
By the end of 2022, the influencer market’s size is predicted to have already reached about $15 billion—a massive increase from its previous size of $8 billion in 2019. It’s clear, then, that influencer marketing is a valuable and consistently-increasing new approach to marketing.
However, influencer marketing doesn’t just happen on its own.
For sustained success, you need influencer management. That’s why we’re going to go into detail and look at all the ins and outs of influencer management right now. On the way, we’ll show you how to get the most value out of your influencer content through effective oversight and offer 10 handy tips.
Let’s start with the basics. Influencer management is essentially the handling, overseeing, and directing of influencer-based marketing strategies.
That means influencer management strategies are created with the aim of guaranteeing that any partnered influencers consistently put out high-quality content that furthers your company’s goals.
Influencer management also relies on balancing the needs of the influencers with the company.
In practical terms, influencer management involves regularly communicating with influencers to ensure everything is progressing as it should. Influencers can be seen as an extension of the company’s native marketing team in this regard.
Influencer marketing on its own has the potential to be a potent driver for success when it comes to achieving your company’s goals. In particular, the overwhelming majority of companies that use influencer marketing find it to be great at boosting brand awareness and sales:
These excellent results of using influencer marketing don’t happen spontaneously, though. That’s where influencer marketing management comes in.
The best influencer in the world can’t increase your sales if they don’t know which products to advertise, what the target audience is, and which types of content they should be producing. Influencer management provides this necessary direction, among other things.
When you actively manage your influencer marketing, you can ensure that your brand’s marketing strategy is unified and cohesive across all channels, including influencer channels. This helps you deliver a consistent message to anyone who interacts with your brand, no matter which means they use.
Influencer management is also crucial because it helps you make sure your company is responding appropriately and speedily to any changes as they happen.
Marketing strategies should develop as the market and its trends do, which means managers need to be ready to make adaptations and ensure your influencer marketing approach keeps heading in the right direction.
Overall management of any campaign or project works best with someone in charge of things, and that’s exactly what an influencer marketing manager is.
These types of managers are typically in charge of overseeing all influencer-related processes, policies, and campaigns. That means they’ll be involved in the process of choosing the right influencers, as well as the creation of any influencer marketing campaigns. They also actively work to provide influencers with the right conditions they need to do their jobs properly.
Often, influencer marketing managers will also be there to provide real-time feedback and guidance to influencers. That’s especially important at the beginning of a collaboration, when the influencer might not be as well-versed in your company’s products as they will be later.
These are broader descriptions of the kinds of responsibilities an influencer marketing manager deals with on a daily basis. We’re going to dive deeper into individual ones next.
Influencer marketing managers have five key responsibilities. Each of these contributes to forging a stronger influencer marketing strategy overall, while also creating a great work environment for the influencers and the marketing team alike.
Of course, individual companies might decide to allocate them some additional functions, but these are the core responsibilities every influencer marketing manager performs:
Handling the management aspect of an influencer marketing campaign involves a lot of the same responsibilities and workflows that managing a conventional project does. As a result, campaign management (or project management) and all its associated skills are a key responsibility for influencer marketing managers.
Those project management workflows are many and varied. Some of the most prominent ones are also those that are in high demand:
Technical skills, in this case, would refer to being able to handle the day-to-day processes associated with managing influencer marketing.
For example, as we discussed already, influencers need to be given appropriate direction for the content they produce. A technical skill would be the ability to learn about a new marketing strategy and then turn that information into actionable insights that influencers can then base their content on.
This combines nicely with the idea of having good leadership skills. Influencers need creative freedom, and they also need to be guided in the right direction for the brand. Striking that balance takes strong leadership skills in addition to the technical ones we already covered.
We’re going to cover digital skills in more detail later. The short of it is that influencer managers need to have a firm grasp of the demands and requirements that different social media sites have. They also need to understand how to assess the quality of influencers’ content.
In 2021, collaboration software was the second-most popular source of spending for companies:
This shows that effective collaboration is a top concern for companies, since they’re keen to make room in the budget for tools that promote effective collaboration.
Relationship building is one of the most important aspects of successful collaborations, especially when it comes to influencer marketing. That’s because it’s much easier to work seamlessly with groups and individuals with whom you’ve already built a strong relationship.
Your influencer marketing managers need to be skilled relationship builders for this reason.
When your company partners with a successful influencer, most of the time, that influencer will be sourced externally. They won’t know many people within your company, and they won’t be familiar with your company culture. This can be isolating and even intimidating.
To counteract that feeling of isolation, your managers have to be great at connecting on a personal level with influencers. This helps both parties feel they’re valued as people, which in turn promotes better collaboration and easier communication.
We’ve just established that building strong relationships is absolutely crucial to effective collaboration. Now it’s important to consider the role that influencer communications play in great influencer management.
An influencer marketing manager needs to be very, very good at communicating with influencers. Great communication reduces the chances for misunderstandings, speeds collaborations up, and ensures each influencer program yields great results.
So, what makes influencer communication different from other types of business communication?
One major difference is the channel(s) through which that communication happens. Influencers mainly reach their audiences through social media:
That means it’s going to benefit your managers to be skilled at communicating via various social media platforms. After all, it’s harder to effectively communicate with social media influencers if you don’t know how to reach them on popular sites like TikTok.
It’s also important to note here that your influencer marketing managers need to know how to evolve and adapt their influencer communications as the collaboration develops. It’s a great idea to reach out via social media, but trying to plan out detailed campaigns on Snapchat or Twitter is going to create some unnecessary challenges.
To that end, your managers need to be ready to move communications to professional platforms, and to help influencers make that change.
In an ideal scenario, influencers should be seamlessly integrated into your overall marketing efforts and strategies. Influencer marketing managers help make that happen.
It’s inefficient to ask the marketing team to sit down and manually coordinate marketing programs with each individual influencer your company wants to partner with. Instead, your influencer marketing managers handle the cross-team coordination efforts.
Managers need to be able to sort through information coming from either group. When influencers report on how things are progressing, managers need to know which parts of that report to highlight to the marketing team. Likewise, they’ve got to know what information to give to influencers so they can keep working effectively towards the overall marketing goal.
It’s also crucial that the influencers have a clear idea of the target brand image. This image should be consistent across all channels, and it should be aimed at the right demographic. Influencer marketing managers would be responsible for communicating this image from the marketing team to the influencers.
In this way, managers streamline the coordination process. This, in turn, helps your company implement marketing strategies that include influencers much more rapidly.
An important part of any marketing strategy is knowing the market inside and out.
This is a lot easier to achieve when you regularly do market research. As a bonus, frequent research leads to more growth and profitability for the company on the whole:
Of course, to make the most of that research, you’ve got to synthesize the data you gather. In other words, it’s necessary to do trend and statistics analysis so you can understand the full implications of all the information you collect, and respond accordingly.
Statistics analysis is also immensely useful when it comes to campaign reporting. It can help demonstrate the effectiveness of the campaign management strategies that were used, for example.
The ability to adapt to real-time changes in the market is another key responsibility for influencer marketing managers. They’ve got to be able to pick up on new developments and make plans based on them, so the company can stay one step ahead of any new trends and influencers can continuously produce relevant content.
We’ve seen what influencer marketing managers need to be capable of doing, but how do you know whether someone has the right characteristics to do those things well?
The characteristics compiled below are some of the most important ones to look for in potential candidates.
Social media marketing is an absolutely vital component of most influencers’ outreach strategies, as we’ve established. Most influencers work as content creators on multiple social media platforms as well, tailoring their content to the demands of each one.
Consider, for example, the difference between Instagram and YouTube, the first and fourth most popular influencer marketing platforms respectively. Content on Instagram can take the form of photos and videos, while YouTube only allows video uploads. The aspect ratios of videos are different across those two sites.
Marketing managers have to know all about each of those social media sites.
If they underestimate the power of Twitter, for example, they’d be missing out on a platform that over one-third of influencers use (as per the graphic above). That’s a dangerous mistake to make, especially if a significant portion of their company’s target demographic uses Twitter.
Great social media skills also help managers assess the quality of influencers’ content. Managers should know why specific pieces of content get higher engagement rates, and which hashtags help make posts go viral.
An influencer marketing manager needs to be someone who’s good with people for a few reasons.
Firstly, it’s at least partially their responsibility to find influencers, and then convince them to partner with your brand. Someone with great people skills will have an easier time connecting and then working with influencers, which increases the chances of successful collaborations.
Next, it’s important to bear in mind that managers will be practicing influencer relationship management on a daily basis. This is like CRM, only the customers are influencers.
Maintaining a good relationship with influencers ensures they’ll be open to future collaborations, and that they’ll continue encouraging their followers to flock to your products.
The last reason is that people skills help create seamless transactions. Your influencer manager has to communicate with lots of teams and individuals. The better they are at this, the more smoothly those workflows will proceed.
This is in line with the previous point, your influencer marketing manager has got to be able to communicate clearly with marketing teams and influencers alike. That’s easier when they’re a master communicator.
A top influencer marketing manager needs to understand what’s needed of both teams, as well as what those teams need. They’ve also got to know how to ensure the marketing groups synergize with the brand’s influencers, which happens more easily through effective communication.
Business communications with clients often happen over email:
This means most managers will already know how to communicate well over email. However, consider the fact that one in 12 communications with clients alone takes the form of online meetings. This shows that it’s important for business people to be skilled communicators who can adapt to the medium instantly. You may wish to consider using a meeting notes template to help you keep track of all the important developments in your meetings.
The same is true for influencer marketing managers.
Great influencer marketing managers will know exactly how to bring their points across, regardless of the format that the communications take. They can communicate well with influencers on social media, just as they’re good at in-person meetings.
The world of ecommerce is constantly growing and evolving, which makes digital marketing a particularly fast-paced field. In order to keep up with that pace, it’s a good idea to make sure that any prospective influencer marketing manager has the ability to multitask.
For example, if a manager is working on influencer discovery, they might have to spend time watching influencers’ videos. They might also respond to non-urgent emails during this time.
This is incidentally also a useful way to screen influencers. After all, if their content is gripping enough to draw a multitasker’s full attention, that’s a good sign that you’ve found an influencer who really knows how to capture an audience.
In the strictest, most technical sense, you can make do without an influencer marketing manager. You could hypothetically partner with influencers and simply hope everything goes perfectly according to plan, without anyone monitoring the collaboration or coordinating the influencers’ efforts with the marketing team.
The question is, would that be worth it?
Influencer marketing managers can take a potential connection between a brand and an influencer, and transform it into a successful and highly profitable business partnership.
They can eliminate the risk of miscommunications thanks to their excellent communication skills. Also, they can ensure both parties are happy throughout the collaboration, which is the key to securing future collaborations with the same influencers.
In other words, they elevate your influencer marketing strategy significantly. With an influencer marketing manager, you can create strong and lasting influencer marketing strategies.
It’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of successful influencer management and look at how to bring it about.
These 10 tips are helpful in improving and honing your approach to influencer management. By following them, you can ensure that your company gets the most it can out of each collaboration with an influencer. As well as learning how to boost the quality of your influencer management on the whole.
Every company has different priorities. That’s no less true when it comes to setting business goals, meaning that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the question of which goals your influencer marketing strategy should adhere to.
In terms of content strategy, the most common goal in 2021 was to improve consistency among content and marketing, with attracting more leads taking a close second.
These two goals can be aligned, but are not always necessarily so. Additionally, they’re only two of the many goals that businesses set for themselves in 2021.
What that means for influencer management is that it’s vital to put in the extra effort to make sure that your strategy is aligned with your business goals.
In other words, if your aim is to draw in more customers, your influencer marketing strategy needs to reflect this. Your influencers might offer discounts to first-time customers, for example. They could also tailor their content to show how competitive your pricing is.
On the other hand, if you’re focusing on streamlining business processes, the focus of your influencer marketing strategy would change. You might implement more automation, for instance.
The main thing to keep in mind is that your strategy should reflect your goals. The direction that your managers steer influencers in should also be aligned with the same business goals.
Each year, more people become influencers. On the one hand, that’s a very good thing. It means you’ve got more potential candidates to choose from, and it means a greater number of influencers will be a great fit for your company. There will be more micro-influencers to choose from, too, for those looking for them.
On the other hand, there’s the question of how to craft a shortlist from the long list of names in any given influencer database.
Of course, your business goals will play an important role in your choice of influencers. If you’re hoping to draw a lot of tech-minded customers to your business, for example, you wouldn’t be likely to approach an influencer who focuses mostly on healthy eating and wellness.
In more practical terms, there are certain criteria you can set to compare prospective influencers. This helps with both narrowing down a list of candidates and assessing any influencers you encounter.
Some of the most popular criteria used to determine which influencers to work with include the quality of their content, which audiences they target, and what their engagement rate is:
Regardless of which criteria you choose to use, it’s important that you ensure influencers meet them before you approach those influencers. This saves you time and effort, and ensures that if the influencer responds favorably, you can move straight into negotiations.
One-off collaborations have their uses. Sometimes, you need to run one-time promotions, and a specific influencer is just right for that kind of strategy.
However, these types of short business relationships should be the result of a conscious choice not to continue the relationship.
Instead of bringing a new influencer on board for just one collaboration, consider investing in building a strong connection with them. Alternatively, you could look to the influencers you’ve already got long-term relationships with to fill that spot in the collaboration you want to do.
Long-term relationships offer a wide array of benefits. For instance, if you keep up a great relationship with an influencer, you can ask them to collaborate with you once or many more times in the future. This boosts your flexibility and shows the influencer’s followers that you’re as loyal to your customers as you want them to be to you.
By seeking out long-term business relationships, you can open up new avenues of opportunity, all while showing customers that you’re an authentic brand that cares about the connections it makes.
To increase your chances of initiating more successful influencer collaborations, you’ve got to put work into getting in touch with influencers. In other words, you’ve got to use a good outreach strategy.
Great strategies are built on research and data. You’ve got to know which channels are most likely to yield positive results.
For example, consider the difference in effectiveness for different methods of outreach. Over half of businesses whose outreach relied on email or organic search found those methods successful, while less than one third said the same about display advertising:
It’s also a good idea to reach out to other companies, particularly ones that can put you in touch with great influencers. Tools like Affise Reach are hugely useful when it comes to this. Affise Reach is designed to bring brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals together in business partnerships, meaning you can rely on it to connect you to just the right agencies or influencers.
Your influencers fulfil a key role in your marketing strategy. They perform a unique functionality and provide you with things like new customers, sales increases, and boosted brand awareness.
In other words, they’re working for you. That means they should be fairly compensated.
As it turns out, not a lot of people seeking work feel they’re being paid at or above market value. A mere 34.2%–just barely over one third—of those looking for a new job feel their work is being rewarded fairly.
A new collaboration with a brand for an influencer is analogous to a new job for a non-influencer.
That means that when influencers go looking for collaboration partners, you don’t want to count yourself among the companies that won’t offer their employees fair compensation. Instead, you can stand out and demonstrate the authenticity of your brand by rewarding influencers’ efforts with appropriate payment.
This also improves your relationships with influencers, encouraging them to keep up friendly relations with your company and motivating them to promote your brand.
Your influencers need room to work to the best of their ability. Creating content that suits the needs of your brand while being in line with the influencer’s own personality (and audience) is an absolutely crucial skill in their line of work, so you need to give them the space they need to use it.
The idea here isn’t to leave your influencers without guidance, but rather to communicate your business needs clearly, and then step back to give them the creative freedom they need.
Providing creative freedom (alongside necessary guidelines) helps influencers see that you value their individual voice. It shows that you trust them enough to let them create content for you without feeling the need to breathe down their neck. This further promotes strong, lasting relationships between your company and the influencers you work with.
By the time you’ve reached the stage in a partnership where you’re ready for an influencer to create content, you should already be familiar with their personal style. It’s bound to be a good fit for you—otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen that influencer.
The short of it is that you need to find a balance between providing too little guidance and being too controlling. Trust influencers to do their job, while clearly communicating your business needs with them.
It’s not always feasible, or indeed advisable, to try and handle all your influencer management processes internally. Instead, it’s well worth considering a partnership with an influencer marketing agency.
These types of marketing partnerships are great for boosting brand awareness, sourcing new influencers, and building lasting business relationships.
Choosing to enter into a partnership is also often a better use of your resources than trying to handle everything internally. This is doubly true for small or medium businesses, startups, and businesses with limited budgets.
Plus, partnerships come with a lot of useful benefits.
To take that idea one step further, you can use flexible and versatile outreach platforms like Affise Reach to partner up with relevant agencies in the first place.
Communities are integral to the success of influencers.
After all, influencers get their title from the fact that they’re part of a group over which they have influence. When they’re removed from the context of their community, they could make the best content in the world and still not have the impact they’d otherwise be able to achieve.
The exact nature of the communities that influencers are part of varies from one influencer to the next, though they all tend to share at least one key demographic.
For example, an influencer might be part of a community that values eco-friendly solutions to modern problems. They could also be a member of a community based in a particular location. Yet another influencer’s community might consist of fans of a particular genre of movies, or even a specific franchise.
Regardless of which types of communities your chosen influencers are a part of, your influencer managers should know the nature and values of those communities inside and out.
This includes understanding what makes the group into a community. Additionally, it means knowing everything about the hashtags, content types, and other factors that make particular pieces of content more popular within that community.
We’re living in the digital age. New technology is being developed all the time, including useful tools to improve the way you run your influencer marketing campaigns. That means there’s no excuse not to leverage that technology to your advantage.
Which pieces of tech you use depends entirely on your approach.
For example, let’s say you’ve recently started to gather data on your marketing channels. This is a good idea—it’ll help guarantee that your approaches stay current and that your influencers are performing in the ways you expect them to.
You’d be generating large quantities of data, and most (if not all) of it would be raw and unprocessed. That can lead to information overload.
That is, unless you’re using a tool like Affise BI. It’s designed specifically to help you manage unstructured data effortlessly, ensuring that all of the data you’re gathering gets put to good use.
Different situations require different tools, of course. There’s no reason to limit yourself to just one piece of technology to help you be more productive and work more effectively. After all, you wouldn’t sell your computer just because you’ve got a smartphone. In the same way, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got all the tools you need to streamline as many business processes as you can.
The most important thing is that you choose the right tools for the right jobs, and that those tools keep you in line with your business goals.
As mentioned above, gathering data is a great way to improve the way your business runs. That’s why it’s always a good idea to measure your chosen metrics regularly, and often.
For example, let’s say you want to measure your influencers’ Twitter engagement levels. The graphs you could draw up based on that data might look something like this:
Knowing how your influencers’ posts’ performance stacks up against both each other and the industry median is incredibly valuable. This information would tell you whether your influencers’ content is performing as well as it should, within its context.
Twitter engagement is just one example of a metric that’s valuable to measure regularly. Others include engagement on other social media sites, number of views for a given piece of content, number of new followers, conversion rates, and many more.
The more metrics you track, the easier it becomes to ensure you’re always basing decisions and plans on data.
Affise is a versatile and multifaceted tool that will help you keep up with the needs and demands that come with influencer marketing management.
One aspect of Affise’s platform that makes it universally useful to anyone looking to either get started in influencer management or upgrade the way they handle that management is its high degree of customizability.
Affise itself provides its users with a platform that comes with every necessary function already integrated into the software. Alongside things like built-in fraud prevention components (more on those later), Affise comes with a feature-rich API that lets users implement custom integrations for any features the native platform doesn’t already provide.
Let’s take a closer look at some of Affise’s most useful features for influencer management.
Affise offers reliable analytics that you can generate rapidly based on data gathered in real time.
This means you can get insights into the performance of your marketing partnerships while they’re happening. In other words, Affise offers you the chance to collect and synthesize data quickly enough that you can use it to upgrade your partnerships while they’re still ongoing.
Affise’s data synthesis functionalities are also immensely useful when it comes to making informed business decisions. Since the data is gathered and turned into actionable insights in real time, you can confidently rely on Affise to provide you with all the information you need to guarantee that your choices will be founded in data and facts.
You can do all of this from Affise’s dashboard, ensuring you’ve got easy access to the data, graphs, and charts you need to make the most of each of your partnerships.
Affise also offers useful integrations that further help with data processing and handling. One important one is CPAPI, which is a data transfer platform designed specifically for partner marketing. It helps you transfer relevant data and make it accessible where and when you need it to be.
Tracking your customers’ behavior is a sure way to improve your sales and adjust your approach to the company’s sales and engagement strategies. That’s why Affise offers a wide range of functionalities to help you with all your tracking and attribution needs.
The main three events to measure are the number of clicks your site(s) receive, impressions, and the conversions you’re generating.
Getting more clicks and impressions means receiving more opportunities to drive conversions and boost revenue. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that you’re keeping track of the number of clicks or impressions your website and specific landing pages (particularly those associated with influencer marketing campaigns) are getting.
Whenever you make a change to an aspect of your website, you’ll want to know if that change is increasing your clicks. That’s easy to do with Affise’s real-time insights.
Conversions are generally the goal behind increasing exposure and site traffic. You’ll want to know all about the number of visitors you’re converting, and what’s driving those conversions, so you can keep pushing the number up. Affise is there to help you with this thanks to conversion tracking.
Fraud is a serious issue that businesses all over the world have to reckon with every day.
In fact, as per PayPal’s findings from 2020 and 2021, the average organization loses over $4 million to online fraud each year.
Performance marketing is unfortunately not immune to the dangers of digital fraud. That’s why you’ve got to make sure that your company has sufficient fraud prevention measures in place, and that you’re using the best anti-fraud protection tools available to you.
This is another one of Affise’s areas of expertise.
You can arm yourself with information thanks to Affise’s eBook all about the subject of fraud. The more you learn about the methods and tactics used by fraudsters, the easier it’ll become to spot attempts to scam you and your company. This is a valuable method of self-protection.
Affise also offers comprehensive insight into both in-house and SaaS-based fraud protection software. This helps to demonstrate why Affise’s fraud protection software is bullet-proof and ready for any kind of threat.
All of this means that by investing into Affise’s fraud protection plans, you can keep your business safe and give the whole company peace of mind knowing you won’t become the targets of the next big fraud scheme.
Influencer management is vital to getting the most return on investment you possibly can out of every collaboration with influencers.
With effective influencer marketing management, your company gets to reap more benefits—including boosted sales and improved consumer engagement—without expending extra resources. In other words, you’ll see better results per influencer post thanks to effective management.
Influencer marketing management is a multi-faceted responsibility. It involves several distinct processes and many varied daily workflows, and requires managers to interface with both influencers and marketing teams on a regular basis. That’s why influencer marketing software or other management platforms are essential.
Partnership marketing tools like Affise are hugely helpful in putting you in contact with potential influencers, as well as being indispensable influencer marketing management tools.
Affise helps you keep track of your metrics and KPIs and to generate analytics in the process. This lets you ensure that your influencer marketing strategies are working as intended, which is crucial to effective influencer marketing management.
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