Influencer marketing is a powerful player in the world of digital marketing: it’s already an $8 billion global industry.
While many people have heard of influencer marketing, execution is another thing entirely. How do you actually make influencer marketing happen?
If your brand is dipping its toes into influencer marketing for the first time, you have to know what to avoid.
Otherwise, you could step into one big, sticky mess of wasted time and money—and who needs that?
Traditionally, influencer marketing worked like this:
Set business and campaign goals with your team.
Scour Instagram for legit influencers.
DM dozens of influencers. Hear back from just a few.
Spend weeks negotiating terms and payment with your influencers.
Feel overwhelmed with DMs.
Bang your head on your desk, unsure how to prove your influencer marketing actually generated sales.
Fortunately, the influencer marketing industry has matured over the last few years.
That means there are plenty of tools to help you do influencer marketing without hours of backbreaking research.
There’s no need to do things manually when you’ve got a trusty influencer relationship management service behind you.
But guess what?
Influencer relationship management ain’t a picnic. And the dozens of tools on the market might sound similar, but there are huge differences that will affect your campaign.
The way you manage influencer relationships plays a huge part in how your campaign unfolds. After all, influencers are people, not robots.
Learn what to avoid in influencer relations and follow Trend’s 3 tips to do influencer relationship management right.
Data doesn’t equal relationships
Well, there’s a big difference between a database and a proper platform. There are huge downsides to choosing just an influencer database, especially if you need to create better relationships with your influencers (and you do).
Avoid influencer databases for these 3 reasons.
1 - Databases don’t vet influencers—at all
Databases are repositories of data. And these databases are only interested in one thing: quantity.
When you go with an influencer database, there’s no guarantee that the influencers in their system are legit.
Their “the more, the merrier” approach means you’re paying for low-quality influencers that might not even be real.
You also don’t know if the influencer’s followers are real. Brands lost $1.3 billion in 2019 to fake followers, so this has terrible ramifications for your budget.
Yes, databases make it seem easy to contact and partner with influencers, but if the information is junk, you’re back at square one.
2 - Databases are too transactional
“Requesting a partnership is half the battle!”
Ever heard that before?
Well, a DM or email to an influencer doesn’t guarantee they’ll work with you.
When you work through an influencer database, there’s a good chance influencers will straight-up ignore your emails.
Because they don’t know you. Influencers don’t have a deep connection with you or with the influencer database.
This transactional environment means influencers aren’t excited about brand fit or mission. All that has been done is reducing the relationship to dollar signs.
3 - Databases don’t care about fit
Influencer databases connect you with every influencer on the platform. They incentivize influencers with money—and to heck with brand-influencer fit.
If you hire influencers through a database, nobody’s ensuring this is a good fit. You could hire a low-quality influencer who doesn’t care about your brand or mission and be none the wiser.
Influencer databases just aren’t sustainable. They’re an attractive, cheap solution that seems like a cure-all, but databases won’t get you more sales.
3 steps to do influencer relationship management the right way
Databases aren’t for ROI-focused marketers like you.
So what does work?
The thing is, influencer marketing has always been about relationships. To tap into the relationship influencers have with their audience, you need a relationship with the influencer, too.
Databases are ineffective because they don’t foster authentic, long-term relationships with influencers. They’re too transactional for that.
But when you choose a platform like Trend, which pairs influencers and brands based on fit and relationships, sparks fly.
Follow these 3 tips to do influencer relationship management in an authentic, convenient way that sells more product.
1 - Choose an exclusive influencer marketplace
Influencer marketplaces are better than influencer databases because they encourage:
Platforms like Trend make it easier to find trustworthy influencers that love your brand. They also include workflows, so you never have to guess about the next steps.
Trend is the only invite-only influencer network. You could say we’re an exclusive club, reserved for cream-of-the-crop influencers.
We vet every single influencer who applies for a Trend account with human eyeballs, not bots.
Our team checks to see not only that the influencer is a living, breathing human, but that their content is high-quality and they have a real connection with their followers.
Trend does our best to vet against fake followers. We don’t claim to be foolproof because the struggle against bots is real, but we still get better results than the folks who don’t even check.
2 - Partner with authentic, relevant influencers
After joining an influencer network, it’s time to connect on a real level with influencers.
It’s not like you can ask them out for a cup of coffee, so you’ll want to lean on the network to make the magic happen. With a platform, there’s no need to spend hours sourcing influencers.
Trend does the matchmaking for you. Our influencers apply to your campaign which gives you a hand-select a shortlist who are a good fit for your:
You sift through the shortlist and work with the influencers you love. That means there’s no need to hunt for influencers manually, saving you hours of time.
3 - Focus on relationships, not invoices
What’s different about Trend’s process is our authentic relationships.
Since authenticity fuels influencer marketing, it’s key to forge a connection and shared mission with your influencer.
You need a platform that helps you manage the minutiae of influencer marketing but in a human way.
Trend does this beautifully. We’re on a first-name basis with every influencer in our platform.
Yes, that means we have a personal relationship with every influencer listed on our platform.
Unlike anonymous, questionable influencer databases, Trend influencers are more likely to partner with brands. That’s because they are the ones applying to the campaigns rather than you being the one to reach out in the hopes of them joining your campaign.
This means you significantly minimize the time spent finding and negotiating with influencers.
We also allow for in-app messaging, so you’re never flying into these relationships blind. Check out an influencer’s work history to see which campaigns they worked on in the past.
Trend empowers brands to focus less on the transactional stuff and emphasize your relationships with the influencer.
We take care of negotiations, pricing, and content rights so both you and your influencer can focus on what matters.
The bottom line
Strong influencer relationship management is the key to influencer marketing success. But relationships are challenging, and that’s why you need an experienced platform supporting your campaign.
Connect with engaged, vetted influencers in a structured way that saves you time. Get the sales you need by partnering with a trustworthy influencer through Trend.
Ready to get your feet wet? Give Trend’s influencer marketing platform a test drive right now.