The most powerful marketing tactic that has worked wonders for small and large businesses alike is word of mouth. Online influencers have gained instant popularity as they can spread the word about a brand to a large number of people immediately.

This is why it’s predicted that, by 2020, influencer marketing will become a $10 billion industry.

Finding and collaborating with influencers for your business is a big task by itself but establishing a relationship with them is as important. Making influencers your brand loyalists is an achievement you should aim for.

Follow these practices to build a good rapport with online influencers.

Finalize the platforms

There are many online marketing platforms like social media, blogging sites and online magazines that you can choose for your business. Choose the platform in which your target audience is present and then start looking for influencers from there.

This will help the influencer to be aligned with your business needs and for you to understand what to expect from them. But, there is one more criterion to consider before choosing the platform for your business: the number of influencers that are present in the platform for your business type.

Know their audience

Collaborating influencers with a large following is not always going to help your business. Understand the follower base of the influencer before reaching out to them.

For example, you have an e-commerce store that sells clothes and accessories. Your target audience is teenagers and high street-fashion enthusiasts. But, if you find a fashion influencer who has followers that are in their mid-30s and prefer sustainable fashion, then this collaboration will surely fail.

Also, micro-influencers work better than macro influencers for small businesses. Micro-influencers have niche follower bases and the conversion rates are higher here.

Believe in the Influencer’s judgment

Influencers know best about their audience and they do influencer marketing for a living. Hence, it is best to assume that influencers know what will work and what won’t for their brand.

Give the creative freedom to your influencers and treat them as partners instead of service providers. Check up the influencer’s work history and the quality of the content they provide. If the content is excellent and brings amazing results, then plainly trust them.

Also, money can be a problem if you are looking for quality influencers as their base cost can be high and the expenses (videographer, location, etc.) to create content can also be more. But, you can opt for small-business financing for these immediate expenses.

Set the expectations clearly

If you have reservations on the ways in which an influencer can promote your business, then mention it to them directly at the beginning of the collaboration.

Similarly, keep it simple when it comes to all your other expectations:

  • The count of the pieces of content they should provide platform-wise (if you have signed them up for more than one platform).
  • The formats in which the content is expected (influencers usually charge differently for different types of content).
  • The brand message and value that they should keep in mind while producing content for the business.

Create an affinity with the brand

It is a known fact that influencers get paid for the brands they promote. But creating an affinity between your business and the influencer can make your promotions a huge success.

Tell the influencers your brand story and the values that you stand by. Find influencers who share the same values as your brand to make your marketing even more authentic.

Reach out creatively

Hundreds of brands reach out to influencers regularly. If you want them to take notice, then you must stand out in the way you reach out.

Instead of emails and direct messages, try innovative ways in which you can organically make them take notice. Involve in conversations on their comments section of their posts and even attend the same events that they are scheduled to be a part of.

Here are a few more ideas that can further help you in influencer management:

  1. Do your background checks and give reasons on why you want to work with a specific influencer. This will be a more personal way of interacting with influencers rather than sending out a mass email blast.
  2. Bring closeness by checking if you have common connections with the influencer. This will also help you score on genuineness and trust.
  3. Go after organic influencers. If an influencer is already using your product or service, it is easy to convince them to promote your brand. The authenticity with which these influencers will promote will also be doubled.

Online influencer marketing is not restricted only to social media channels. Blogs, webinars, podcasts are some of the other options you can explore.

But the ratio of influencers on social media is going to be high. Hence, balance out your spends for influencers in different platforms to get safe returns.