Creating Meaningful Relationships with Influencers by Jon Kendall

by Cruz Alvarado on October 9, 2018


Summary: In a cluttered field of potential influencers, how can you carve out your niche and turn conversations into conversions?

As we zoom towards holiday season, it’s worth taking time to revisit your influencer strategy and how it can best capitalize on consumers looking to purchase online during peak. Even if you have yet to leverage your brand enthusiasts, now is the perfect time to take the plunge.

And if not, you risk your competitors chipping away at your market share during the most important time of the year.

Find the Right Influencers

What differentiates an influencer from any layman with an Instagram account or content blog? We define an influencer as a social media user with true credibility within their community, so authenticity is key. Look at the existing content of the pages you’re considering working with and determine if the tone, feel, and subject matter will be a good fit for your brand’s story.

Also consider the size of the influencer’s following. Top-tier macro-influencers (think celebrities) may command a high price tag, and typically have audiences less likely to be engaged on a single subject or product.

Smaller influencers may not have much of an audience and, though they may be willing to promote in exchange for free product, ultimately may not prove worth the effort. We find the sweet-spot to be within mid-tier influencers that play within a relevant vertical, as they often have a following that looks to them as experts in that space (positioning the influencer as a true steward of your brand).

Find the Right Cadence

When influencers emerge on marketer’s radars, many advertisers cast a wide net, trying to cover as much online ground as possible through small one-off campaigns. This can lead to a bit of wheel-spinning and unproductive efforts. Instead, we have found more benefit in identifying a core group of meaningful influencers and working with them on long-term campaigns that would slot exposure a few times each year.

This focuses efforts on the influencers that matter most and fosters the type of brand reinforcement (keep in mind the old “Rule of Seven” adage) that enables an advertiser to better resonate in a cluttered space. Within influencer marketing, quality truly prevails over quantity.

Find the Right Tools

Now that we know who to work with, how can we best utilize their potential during Q4? These relationships are rarely plug-and-play, so it’s best to discuss how to proceed on a quick kickoff call.

Beyond educating them on the value propositions and nuances of your brand, suggest some ideas on how to configure the relationship. Some influencers will be hesitant to work via a standard commission, as their exposure is more of an upper-funnel/introductory tactic.

Understand you may need to incentivize these folks with an enhanced commission rate, or flat-fee-per-post structure. Some will be willing to offer exposure in exchange for gratis product. Get a sense of what the influencer is comfortable with and be flexible.

Also, consider providing them an exclusive deal or discount to give their audiences an additional incentive to buy, and complete the commerce circle from awareness to purchase.

Jon Kendall is a Vice President of Affiliate Marketing at Gen3 Marketing (

This article appeared in issue 44 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in October 2018.

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