Within just a couple of years, I have seen as many brands that have failed with influencer marketing as I've seen brands succeeding with it. The one thing these failed brands have in common is that they fail to build a relationship with their influencers.
They want influencers to make money for them but fail to see why they should help influencers make money. They think that it's enough to pay them and that's it; the money will start rolling in. While this is true in some cases, it's only a short-lived benefit.
To benefit from influencer marketing in the long run, brands need to actively help influencers in further benefiting from their partnership. This will also work out in their favor.
Think about the Influencer Program that Amazon recently launched, for instance. This new program helps influencers by providing them with a customizable page where they can compile all their product recommendations.
It directly combats the issues with affiliate links not being clickable on Instagram photo captions and video content. They've made it easier for the influencers' audiences to quickly move from the discovery stage to the conversion stage.
This is just one example of brands and influencers working together for each other's benefit. Let me show you some more ways in which influencers and brands can help each other make money.
1. Free product samples
I strongly recommend brands to share free samples of their products with their influencers. This can help to foster better relationships with your influencers and encourage them to try your products.
As an influencer, in turn, you must share your personal reviews and recommendations on your social channels. You can even combine such recommendations with a discount code or an affiliate link from the brand. When your followers use them to make a purchase, both you and the company will make money from it.
Jacob True, a micro-influencer in the travel and photography niche, often shares such posts on Instagram. In one of his recent posts, he's collaborated with an apparel brand UNTUCKit. In the post, he is seen sporting one of their shirts and it includes an affiliate link on his bio.
However, influencers must reveal their brand associations clearly. Not only is this a best practice but also a mandate by the Federal Trade Commission. On any promotion or endorsement, make sure that you have clearly stated your compensation (monetary or nonmonetary) clearly.
2. Content Sharing
Bigger brands generally have a broader reach when compared to a non-celebrity influencer. When you share your influencers' content on your own social channels, it helps your influencers be more visible. This can help them in getting more followers as well as partnerships with other brands.
So, what's in it for you as a brand, to share your influencers' content? For one, sharing readymade content will boost your content strategy further. And since these have been created by your influencers, you will benefit from creative, high-quality content.
Not only will this help you get more audience engagement but also win your customers' trust. Hence, I strongly recommend brands to share their influencers' content on social channels.
As a brand, you can even partner with some of your influencers for an extended campaign. The obvious benefit for you from such endorsements is increased brand awareness. Simultaneously, it will also help to enhance the brand image of your influencer so that they can land more collaborations.
Here's a great example of how partnerships can mutually benefit brands and influencers.
Airbnb partnered with Jack Morris, a famous travel blogger for a series of posts on his social media channels. Throughout the campaign, his stay and travel were sponsored by Airbnb. This helped in boosting brand awareness for both the influencer as well as the brand.
Another easy yet effective way in which brands and influencers can mutually benefit is from networking. As a brand, I suggest you promote your influencers at press conferences or other PR events. This will help in enhancing your influencer's visibility and connections.
This will also help to foster better relationships so that your influencers are naturally more interested in promoting your brand.
The relationship between brands and influencers can never be a one-way street. If the benefits aren't mutual, the relationship is likely to be disrupted easily. So use the tips mentioned above to improve how you work with influencers to reap long-term benefits.
Can you think of any other ways in which influencers and brands can help each other make more money? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.