A long-term influencer marketing partnership with one influencer is one of the most powerful types of campaigns. Partnering with one influencer not only increases sales but generates authentic content and sustained brand awareness. Selecting the long-term influencer marketing partnership campaign model is a strategic method to capitalize and leverage the influencer relationship because they provide consistent fresh visual content, brand awareness, and SEO keyword relevance through their blog.
There is no question among marketers that influencer marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of getting products and brands in front of consumers. Due to the power of influencer marketing it is rapidly becoming a competitive and crowded marketing arena where brands shine and thrive! Not long ago, influencer and celebrity marketing campaigns were a sub-tactic to support and drive brand awareness but now they are a standalone tactic for savvy brands. However, this popularity comes at a price. With more and more brands competing for room on influencer’s content calendars, the entrance cost is on the rise. According to Forbes, one amazing influencer marketing statistic is that 84% of marketers planned on working with influencers in 2017.
For decades, brands relied on traditional marketing and a core customer base. However, with the development of buyer personas, the fragmented consumer is now increasingly unique. Additionally, marketers struggle with defining what a successful influencer collaboration means and defining ROI per campaign. How does one define a successful partnership? Is it a boost for social media followers? A spike in sales? Alternatively, more eyeballs on the product in front of a target audience. Influencer marketing can achieve all of these goals and then some!
Entering into a long-term collaboration and partnership with an influencer or celebrity includes many benefits: increased brand awareness, content creation, influencer and celebrity appearances to support product launches or retail stores, and of course SEO keyword relevance through fresh blogs and earned media placements with integrated public relations. Fresh and evergreen content continues their reign as king, it often takes weeks or months to create engaging content. Between brainstorming, conceptualization, research, drafting, and the approval process, brands often miss out on trending opportunities.
However, hiring an influencer as a long-term brand ambassador enables brands to tap the authentic creativity and an engaged audience base. The beauty of long-term partnerships is it provides brands continued access to the influencer’s creativity for the term of the contract. Experienced influencer marketing agencies catalog all of the content from the influencer campaign or program and create a library of vetted marketing materials that can be repurposed with ease when internal workflows become bogged down. That is why using a strategic influencer contract is vital. Depending on the contract verbiage, it provides brands the right to repurpose and use any of the content created for many years after the campaign has ended.
Launching an influencer or celebrity brand ambassador for the long-term repeatedly exposes their audience and your product and brand message to their audience base. For over 20 years, Dreamweaver Brand Communications, CEO Cynthia Srednicki has been at the forefront of influencer marketing before it even had a formal name. She believes: “Seeing their favorite influencer or celebrity associated and more importantly engaging with your brand on a regular basis will help you stand out among the crowd rather than a one-off influencer collaboration that is just a ping on the social media and content radar.” Through repetition, creative content, and the proper pairing of the brand and influencer, the brand gains increased credibility within an influencer’s dedicated following in an organic and authentic manner when compared to one to five, poorly executed and designed one-off posts. A long-term influencer campaign that incorporates written content on their blog, video on YouTube, and of course social media posts optimizes SEO over the long-term.
Brands obviously voice concerns when entering into a long-term influencer partnership. To overcome some of those concerns, first and foremost, an iron-clad contract for the brand with specific exit clauses are a must. Brands often are concerned about creative control over influencer content, content quality and of course pricing. Again, these concerns can be alleviated by working with an experienced influencer marketing agency, a firm contract, a defined scope of work, and a transparent content approval process.
Influencers know and understand their audience base, so it is important to listen and let them be part of the creative process since they know best what resonates with their followers. Keep in mind; it is in their best interest to create content that is in demand with their followers. Social media content trends come and go so dictating how and what an influencer come off as insincere to their followers. Part of the allure of social media influencer marketing content is the fact that they are not Madison Avenue designers, so lower quality content sometimes is part of the influencer’s brand. (Yes, influencers are brands themselves.) Since influencer marketing continues to expand into brands large and small, it is no surprise that influencer pricing is increasing. Although some of the pricing and subsequent sticker shock is real, an experienced influencer marketing agency can negotiate better rates than when a brand approaches one directly. Again, any upfront costs pale in comparison to the lasting results and collateral library from a well-executed long-term partnership in the form of a catalog of imagery and videos to pull from, long-term SEO value from backlinks, and of course content.
Trust is the sole social currency influencers and celebrities have. Long-term partnerships speak to your audience and the influencer’s target audience because it highlights the level of trust and time the influencer is willing to invest in your brand and vice-versa.