Influencer growth is gathering momentum and is expected to grow at a great pace in the coming years. As a consequence, the focus should now shift to how to get the best from your influencers and collaborate throughout the partnership life cycle.

Your active engagement will not only increase the effectiveness of your influencer campaigns — but it will also strengthen your relationship with the influencers you choose. But finding the right influencer is only the beginning; in order to achieve the aim of laying the foundation for successful influencer marketing, brands need to leverage other features to enhance the influencer management process and ensure influencers deliver on their potential.

Worryingly, 80% of influencer marketers have no idea what the actual ROI is in their programmes and brands need to be able to look at the rich consumer journey insights to deliver the full picture; from awareness to purchase, even when it’s across multiple devices.

Given the reality of increasing time spent on social media platforms, influencer marketing is more popular than ever. In fact, brands are now ready to make an even greater investment in their influencer campaigns and programmes – by 2022, spending on influencers will surpass $10B annually. 

This will put global influencer spend on par with global affiliate spend so it is essential to look at best practices to deliver successful influencer partnerships.

So how do you get the most out of your influencer partnerships? Here are a few tips to optimise your programmes:

1. Don’t try to make one size fit all

Influencer partnerships are not set-it-and-forget-it. Like any relationship, they require communication, collaboration, and nurturing to thrive and grow. Yet too many organisations focus all their energy on finding high-profile influencers and think their work is over.  Customise and adapt content and assets to suit each influencer, their audience, and their market and constantly communicate with your influencers in the same way that you would with any successful partnership. 

2. Be hands-on

Given the investment enterprises are making in their influencer programmes, the degree to which they are hands-off is somewhat shocking. Only 18% of companies feel able to measure the ROI of influencer campaigns, and 86% don’t even understand how influencers calculate their fees. Be clear on what metrics will give you an accurate picture of your campaigns based on your objectives, and use the right tools to track the full customer journey across devices.

3. Nurture your relationships

Drive authentic relationships by creating a smooth onboarding process that will help each influencer to feel connected to the brand and provide them with the tools they need to create powerful content. Good communication is important to maintain influencer partnerships; keep them in the loop at every step of the way with customised and relevant updates. 

4. Build to grow

You need to understand what works and what doesn’t in order to ensure that your partnerships deliver to the maximum potential. Of course, managing and optimising an influencer partnership programme requires good tools, workflows, and processes, but there are also some very basic actions for growth that can point you in the right direction. Don’t just focus on finding influencers — have a clear workflow for each stage of the lifecycle so you know what to do with them once you find them. Once you’ve found them, get automated to give you an end-to-end view of the full partnership lifecycle. After all, manual influencer campaign management is exceedingly time-consuming, inefficient, and often inaccurate, so invest in tools that will automate the process and give you an end-to-end view of the full partnership lifecycle.

5. Diversify and scale up— or down

Implement a mix of micro- and macro-influencers to make sure your impact is both targeted and wide-reaching. Starting with simple elements such as audience size, geographical location, and promotional channel, but also including sophisticated metrics on engagement rates and fake followers, 

This is where Influencer Partnerships shines and gives marketers actionable insights into the KPIs that matter, whether it’s branding, revenue, new customers or more. Rich consumer journey insights deliver the full picture — from awareness to purchase, even when it’s across multiple devices.
It is essential to move away from limited programmes with authenticity problems, poor partner experience and low-quality followers. 

The reality is that influencer partnerships are a critical piece of a mature partnership programme and deliver authentic engagement, trustworthy quality, a premium partner experience and boundless scale. The good news is that if you do this right, research shows your organisation will grow twice as fast and you’ll open up significant growth opportunities. At a minimum expectation, you’re going to double your channel and experience the uncapped growth potential of influencer partnerships; and when you get it right and implement these best practices,  you will achieve branding and revenue goals faster and more efficiently and reap the full rewards that influencer partnerships truly offer.