In the era of social media, influencer marketing has quickly grown to become one of the most popular marketing avenues for raising brand awareness and driving conversions. In fact, a 2020 survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that brands earn an average of $5.78 for every dollar spent on an influencer marketing campaign. In order to achieve results such as this, though, there are a lot of important details that need to be covered, from choosing the right influencers to defining your target audience to choosing the best influencer marketing platform.
Once all of these decisions have been made, the next key ingredient to a successful influencer marketing campaign is properly managing the influencers that you choose to work with. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about influencer relationship management, including seven best practices for managing influencers and the top influencer management tools available today.
Recommended Reading: Top 10 Influencer Marketing Best Practices
What are the Different Ways to Manage Influencers?
There are three main approaches that you can take when it comes to managing your influencer partnerships:
- Managing influencers directly: Managing influencers directly rather than working with an agency or managing them via management software is the most hands-on and involved of the three management approaches. However, it’s also one that will give you a great deal of control over your campaign. Managing influencers directly likewise makes it easier to form a personable, long-term relationship with the influencer that you are partnering with.
- Managing influencers through an agency: There are a number of agencies that exist to connect brands with potential influencers, and many of these agencies take an active role in campaign management. Working with an influencer marketing agency is a great way to reduce the burden on you and your staff. With that said, going through an agency will often be more expensive than working with influencers directly.
- Managing influencers with software: One great way to manage influencers directly in a way that is much more organized and efficient is to make use of management software. There are plenty of great influencer management tools on the market today, and we’ll take a closer look at some of the best of these tools a little later. For now, understand that utilizing management software is an excellent way to facilitate better communication between you and your influencers as well as a great way to keep your campaigns organized.
Best Practices for Managing Influencers
Given how important it is for everyone to be on the same page when it comes to producing a successful influencer marketing campaign, it is vital to take an engaged and proactive approach to managing the social influencers you choose to partner with. With that in mind, here are seven best influencer management practices that are sure to make your campaigns more effective.
1. Have the Right Influencer Management Tools
Since almost all influencers work remotely, facilitating effective communication with your social media influencers can sometimes be a challenge. This is especially true if you are working with numerous influencers across multiple campaigns. The right influencer management tools, though, can go a long way toward alleviating this challenge, providing you with a streamlined and efficient platform for managing your influencer marketing campaigns.
With Popular Pays, for example, you are able to construct segmented lists of the influencers you are partnered with, assign influencers to specific campaigns, and easily communicate with any of your influencers through a convenient centralized dashboard. Having these capabilities at your fingertips is something that will make all of the other responsibilities associated with effectively managing influencers much easier to fulfill.
2. Provide a Thorough Onboarding Process With Clear Expectations
Once you have completed the influencer discovery process and chosen the influencers that you would like to work with, it is essential to effectively communicate your expectations through a thorough onboarding process. Discuss your campaign objectives and goals, provide your influencer with as much information as possible about your brand and its target audience, and make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding what the sponsored posts that your influencer creates will look like.
It’s also a good idea to let the influencers you are working with know that you are open to feedback and suggestions during this onboarding process; influencers who have been in the business for a good amount of time may be able to offer a unique perspective and helpful advice that will make your campaign more successful.
3. Treat the Influencers You are Working With as Equals
If you are used to being in a management position, you may also be accustomed to treating the team you work with as employees that are under your charge. Influencers, however, are more partners than they are employees, and most prefer to be treated as such.
While you are the one paying for their services and therefore the one who is ultimately in charge of making key decisions, it is still essential to approach your relationship with an influencer as if you are both on equal ground. Treating influencers as equal partners will help you facilitate long-term relationships with your brand’s influencers that may continue to serve you many years down the road.
4. Allow Influencers to Have Creative Freedom
No one understands an influencer’s audience better than the influencer themselves. While it is certainly important to take an active role in the design of your campaign and the influencer content that will be produced, it is also important to allow your influencers a certain degree of creative freedom. In addition to helping you create campaigns that will best appeal to their audience, providing your influencers with a little creative freedom will also free them up to produce content that is better aligned with their own brand.
Keep in mind that four in 10 millennial subscribers say that their favorite creators understand them better than their friends, according to data from Google. If you want to capitalize on this relationship that influencers have with their audience, you need to provide your influencers with room to create content that is aligned with their brand and audience. For examples of the types of creative sponsored posts that influencers are able to create when given a little more control and freedom, check out this list.
5. Compensate Your Influencers Adequately and Offer Additional Rewards
The pricing for working with an influencer ultimately depends on a number of factors, the most impactful factor being the size of the influencer’s audience. Micro-influencers with just a few thousand followers, for instance, will charge an average of $100-$500 per sponsored post, while a mega-influencer with millions of followers can charge $10,000+ per post.
Whatever the case may be, you will want to compensate your influencers adequately. In addition to paying your influencer a fair rate, you may also wish to provide them with free products or product trials — both as a way to boost their compensation and to better familiarize them with the products they will be sponsoring.
Another great influencer marketing strategy is to offer performance-based incentives. Providing bonuses if your sponsored posts hit a certain engagement rate or offering your influencers a commission on the sales they generate is an excellent way to ensure that they are motivated to produce a successful campaign.
6. Respect Your Influencer’s Time and Provide Realistic Deadlines
Creating compelling content for sponsored posts is a process that often takes a lot of time and effort. Depending on the type of content being produced and the social media platforms where it will be posted, you may have to provide your influencers with plenty of advance notice regarding the deadlines for your campaign. Producing videos that will be published on YouTube, for example, is one instance of content that is going to take much more time to create than a text-only post for Facebook or Twitter. Keep these factors in mind when it comes time to set deadlines for your campaign, and be sure to set deadlines that are realistic and respectful of your influencer’s time.
7. Strive for a Long-Term Relationship
Working with the same influencer across multiple campaigns is something that offers a lot of benefits. In addition to helping you streamline your campaigns by eliminating the need to onboard a new influencer, developing a long-term relationship with an influencer can also help you establish a high degree of trust and familiarity with their audience. These benefits make it worthwhile to seek out influencers that are worth partnering with for the long haul and to do everything you can to make sure that your influencers value a long-term working relationship as much as you do.
Influencer Management Tools to Consider
We’ve already mentioned the fact that the right influencer management tools can go a long way toward facilitating better communication between you and your influencers and streamlining the influencer management process. If you would like to utilize influencer management software to make your campaigns more organized and efficient, here are the top influencer management tools to consider. For an even more comprehensive list of the top influencer management tools, check out this article.
1. Popular Pays
Popular Pays makes the influencer discovery process easier than ever before by connecting you with a massive database of influencers and matching you with influencers based on a wide range of criteria. Once you have found the influencers that you would like to work with, Popular Pays streamlines the influencer management process via a centralized dashboard for communicating with influencers, assigning influencers to specific campaigns, paying your influencers, and beyond. Popular Pays also provides plenty of useful metrics and insights that you can use to both evaluate potential influencers as well as the results of your campaigns.
Traackr is another popular influencer management platform that likewise allows you to discover the ideal influencers for your needs based on a range of criteria and influencer insights. Traackr also provides a number of useful metrics and competitive insights/benchmarking that you can use to evaluate your campaigns as well as a convenient platform for centralizing influencer management tasks.
GRIN is a creator management platform that covers all of the essentials, from influencer discovery to campaign and influencer management to analytics and reporting and finally compliance, payments, and taxes. With GRIN, you are able to work directly with influencers without them even knowing that you are using the GRIN platform. GRIN also provides a number of workflow templates designed for a wide range of use-cases that can further streamline your influencer management process.
With the Upfluence influencer marketing platform, users can find and recruit influencers, manage multiple influencers and campaigns from a single dashboard, build customized influencer workflows, measure campaign ROI, and easily make payments to influencers. This all-in-one influencer marketing platform is one of the most well-known influencer management platforms available today and is even used by major brands such as Amazon, Verizon, and Kayak.
Peg is another influencer management platform that offers many of the same benefits and features as the platforms we’ve already discussed. With Peg, you can narrow down your influencer search using Peg’s advanced search algorithms, access essential campaign metrics such as views, sales, and ROI, and automatically retarget your campaigns to audiences who have already engaged with past influencer content from your brand.
In addition to offering all of the influencer marketing basics such as influencer discovery tools, workflow tools, and campaign insights/reporting, Sideqik also offers you the ability to integrate the platform with your existing CRM system, email system, affiliate network, and beyond. Sideqik may not be as well-known as some of the other entries on our lists, but its well-polished platform and broad range of possible integrations make it worth considering.
Have a Transparent System of Metrics and ROI Goals for Influencer Management
Whichever influencer management platform you end up choosing, it is essential to develop an efficient and transparent system for measuring your campaign’s metrics. It is also essential to define clear expectations for the results that your campaign will produce and communicate those expectations to your influencers. With that said, some of the most important metrics to set goals for and track during your influencer marketing campaign include:
- Impressions (the number of times your content was displayed) and reach (the total number of unique people who see your content)
- Engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares, and follows
- Conversion rate
- Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
- Return on investment (ROI)
By setting goals for these KPIs and utilizing an influencer management tool that automatically tracks them, you can easily evaluate the results of your influencer marketing campaigns, determine where there is room for improvement, and make data-driven decisions regarding future campaigns.
Recommended Reading: How to Measure the ROI of Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Need Help Managing Influencers and Content Creators?
When it comes to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, few things are more important than choosing the right influencer marketing platform. If you need assistance finding and managing influencers, we at Popular Pays are able to help.
By matching you with the ideal influencers for your brand via advanced search algorithms and insightful criteria, streamlining the influencer management process through a convenient and easy-to-use dashboard, and providing timely insights on all of your campaign’s key performance indicators, Popular Pays makes capitalizing on the benefits of influencer marketing easier than ever.
If you are looking for an all-in-one tool for finding and managing influencers and content creators, be sure to try out a demo of Popular Pays today!