You know a marketing channel is effective when big brands are using it to promote their business. Influencer marketing, for example, has been a hit with major brands and small startups alike. Even top ecommerce retailers like Amazon are implementing it to boost their conversions.

But if you feel like you're not getting satisfying results from your own influencer marketing campaign, it's probably a sign that you need to make some changes. And that change lies in embracing authenticity.

To make sure your influencer marketing campaign yields high returns on investment, you need to build strong relationships with influencers. You need to get influencers to genuinely love your brand and products. This will enhance the authenticity of your campaign, making their promotional efforts more trustworthy.

How to build authentic partnerships with influencers

If you wish to build a genuine relationship with influencers, you need to pay closer attention to what they want. Remember that influencers may be excellent marketing channels but they're also human beings. You need to be considerate towards their needs if you plan on making them fall in love with your brand.

Ideally, you should look for influencers who are already huge fans of your brand. But even so, you will still need to carefully garner a strong relationship with them. Check out the following facts about influencers to help build more authentic partnerships with them:

They don't like brands with overly-restrictive editorial guidelines

Are you far too controlling of what influencers post about your brand or products? This could be a huge mistake that's ruining your relationship with the influencers you work with. According to a Julius report, 63 percent of influencers wouldn't work with a brand again if they're too controlling with content creation.

A TapInfluence and Altimeter study also found that almost 40 percent of influencers believe marketers are making a mistake when they're too restrictive with the content guidelines. When you're too restrictive with the content influencers create to promote your brand, it could ruin the authenticity of the campaign.

It's important to realize that influencers too care about authenticity. In fact, the same TapInfluence and Altimeter study found that 71.2 percent of influencers believe their honesty and authenticity are what keeps their fans engaged. A piece of sponsored content in which you control what the influencer says will lack the influencer's true voice.

Instead of dictating everything the influencer has to say, try providing them a few basic guidelines. Let them know what you expect from the campaign and give them the freedom to create something original based on that information.

Example: Dorot

The Dorot influencer marketing campaign is an excellent example of this tactic in action. They work with blogs like Pumpkin and Peanut Butter to promote their frozen spice and herbs. Each blogger uses the products to create unique and original recipes as they wish. The brand doesn't tell them what to create and what kind of dishes to prepare.

They expect fair compensation

Another important step to winning over influencers is to provide them with fair compensation. This is crucial because it's a way of showing your appreciation for the influencers and how much you value them. You might want to know that almost 70 percent of influencers became influencers so they can earn revenue, according to the TapInfluence and Altimeter study.

This is perhaps why 72.2 percent of influencers feel that the biggest mistake brands make with influencer marketing is not offering adequate compensation. A Bloglovin study also found that only 25 percent of micro-influencers feel brands truly understand the cost of influencer marketing programs.

While some influencers may accept partnerships with brands that only offer them free products, you might want to consider offering monetary compensation. You can choose from a wide variety of compensation options such as pay per post, pay per conversion, etc. depending on what works best for you.

Conclusion

These tips will help you build a more authentic relationship with influencers, which will in turn impact the authenticity of your campaign. And the result of an authentic campaign is higher returns on your influencer marketing investment. Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Published on: May 18, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.