Creating and cultivating an affiliate program takes a ton of energy and dedication. Thankfully, influencer marketing has gained significant momentum and prominence, allowing you to build your brand and customer base in a fraction of the time it may have taken you to promote and market on your own.
But, influencers — especially high quality, popular influencers — can be tough to secure. How do you persuade influencers to join your affiliate marketing program? How do you approach them?
In this post, we’ll show you how you can connect with the right influencers and build a rock-solid relationship with them so that your business can rise above the rest!
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What Is An Influencer?
An influencer is an individual with a large, engaged following on their blog and social media profiles. As the name suggests, an influencer has significant influence over the purchasing decisions of their audience.
An influencer has the power to persuade because their following is in a specific niche, and because they’ve built a relationship of trust with their audience. This relationship makes an influencer’s fans willing to trust them when the influencer endorses a product, service, or business.
Influencers can be a substantial asset to you because they make their fans aware of your online business and encourage them to work with you.
What To Do Before You Start Working With Influencers
Before you can successfully approach influencers, you need to have a few things in order. Taking care of some preliminary footwork will make the process easier for both you and your influencers. And it will assure influencers that you’re professional and ready to work with them to promote your business (a major key when it comes to sealing the deal with in-demand influencers).
- Understand your goals. Without a clear goal, your influencer campaign has no purpose. Are you seeking exposure and a more substantial following? Are you trying to promote an upcoming sale? Do you want to promote a new product or service? These are questions you need to ask yourself in order to set goals for your influencer project.
- Determine your budget. Remember, many influencers promote products for a living. That means they may require some form of payment. Some influencers, depending on their expertise and number of followers, will accept free or discounted products. However, other influencers will require some form of monetary compensation. Be sure to consider both options and be prepared to discuss them with the influencers you want to work with.
- Determine your target market. To make sure you approach the right influencers for your online business, do your research and determine your target market. You can check out our step-by-step guide to determine your target market for your affiliate program for helpful information to get you started.
- Research your ideal influencers. As we stated previously, different influencers have different niches and areas in which they specialize. Once you’ve determined your goals and target audience, you can use this information to find the influencers that fit your brand. Doing so will greatly increase the chances that the influencers you approach will be willing to work with you. Check out this post to learn a few ways you can find your ideal affiliates.
Note: Once you're ready to start reaching out to influencers, check out this awesome guide for step-by-step instructions and a couple of great email templates.
Qualities Of A Great Influencer
Not all influencers are created equal. Many different factors go into determining whether a particular influencer is right for your online business. Following are a few standout qualities you should look for when searching for an ideal influencer to work with.
- Authenticity – Look for an influencer who comes across as a real, genuine person online. You want to avoid those who seem to post sponsored content and nothing else. Look for engagement in particular. Authentic influencers are more connected with their audience, engage with them regularly, and are more likely to help your influencer campaign achieve success.
- Consistency – Consistency is an essential characteristic of any influencer worth their salt. You don’t want to deal with someone who never posts on social media or never writes a blog post unless they have a campaign. Look for regular posting and, as mentioned, regular engagement.
- Trustworthiness – It’s vital that an influencer’s audience trusts them and engages with them. There are many people on social media with tons of followers who don’t trust them. Here, again, engagement is the key. Thousands and thousands of followers will do you no good if there’s no interaction between them and the influencer.
- Reliability – Does the influencer have a reputation for taking money or free products and disappearing? Are their promotions inconsistent? Before you fully jump on board with a potential affiliate partner, be sure that you can rely on them. An investigation of the influencer’s profile should give you a good idea of their commitment to the promotions they run.
- Similar Values – Anyone you work with should have goals and values similar to your own. Again, take a careful look at an influencer’s posts and other content to be sure their value system is in line with yours.
Engaging With Influencers During The Campaign
Once you’ve chosen your influencers and launched your affiliate marketing campaign, your work isn’t done! Here are a few things you can do while your campaign is running to keep things on track with your influencers and keep them engaged.
- Never stop communicating. Throughout the campaign, it’s crucial to contact your influencers to make sure everything is going smoothly. Be open to questions, send regular emails to check in with influencers, and give them feedback on their work. This helps your influencers and your business improve.
- Don’t stop researching. Even while your campaign is going, you still need to research how people are interacting with your content, how current and potential customers are interacting with your influencers, and what aspects of your website and promotion need to be improved. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow.
- Track your progress. Don’t wait until the campaign is over to see how you did. There are many things you can track while the affiliate campaign is still running! Monitor your social media following and website numbers, and track conversions and referrals. Staying on top of these minor details will keep you involved in the campaign and give you immediate feedback on what’s going well and what you can improve.
What To Do After The Campaign Is Over
The way you handle things after the campaign is over is just as important as how you start. Your actions afterward can determine whether you get to work with the same influencers in the future.
- Say “thank you.” Above all, be sure to thank your influencers for joining your campaign. Whether the campaign went well or just so-so, they still participated in the campaign and deserve to be recognized.
- Keep their contact information. Be sure to keep your influencers’ contact information, especially if they were excellent participants. You may also want to ask for a secondary way to reach out to them.
- Ask to work with them again. Do you have another promotion already planned? Hopefully, the influencers you worked with will want to work with you again! Before you end the conversation about your current campaign, ask them if they’d be willing to work on your next campaign.
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Creating an online campaign with influencers takes a lot of hard work, but it’s well worth it. If you do your due diligence and seek genuine, high-quality influencers, your campaign will be set up to succeed. We hope the tips above will help you create a great campaign and establish great relationships with influential affiliates.
Have you ever worked with influencers? Tell us about your experience in the comments!