In its youth, influencer marketing was a poorly understood marketing tactic with no coherent strategy and a “free-for-all” mentality. Companies were only just beginning to realize that promotions & reviews from popular internet personalities could generate some buzz, but were still uncertain of just how effective it could be. Since then, influencer marketing has evolved into one of the most powerful ways for brands to reach and engage with potential customers and grow their business.
In today’s market, talented content creators are everywhere, and their audiences range in size, demographics, and loyalty. As the number of high quality creators continues to grow, research is showing that marketing budgets for influencer partnerships are scaling up accordingly. This space in the digital sphere isn’t exactly intuitive, though — it involves a great deal of strategy, especially as more high quality influencers emerge and consumers become smarter.
Now that influencer marketing tactics are becoming vital in brand marketing plans, we are seeing more deliberate approaches come into play. Ultimately, influencer marketing is about building real relationships and creating brand awareness & loyalty, which is why the best campaigns are long-term partnerships or ‘always-on’ ambassadorships. The entire industry is gearing towards this approach, which – if executed successfully – leads to drastic increases in brand ROIs over time.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to longer-term partnerships — so here are our Top 5:
It’s obvious when a trusted influencer genuinely likes a brand and its products. Both the influencer & the brand, in turn, gain more credibility as it becomes clear the brand has at least one honest fan – and both are seen as more trustworthy.
- Content Alignment
Say you’re the head of marketing at a brand, and you partner with 4 influencers for a year-long collaboration. Each creator will be sent the latest products before they launch, creating content 3 times a month that directly aligns with your brand’s sales and marketing calendars. By the end of the year, you’ll have 144 pieces of content created specifically for your brand.
- Simplified Money Management
Has anyone ever had dozens of invoices to deal with at once? Yeah, it’s stressful. Each influencer has a different rate for a one-time collaboration, and the more influencers you partner with, the more invoices you have to deal with. With long-term partnerships, there’s an opportunity to set up a simpler payment process that can benefit both the brand and the creator.
- Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty
The more times audiences see the name of a brand, the more likely they are to at least check out their social media and/or website. If they are loyal followers of one of their long-term partners, chances are, they’ll associate that sense of loyalty to their favorite influencer with loyalty to the brand.
- Creative Freedom
The longer the partnership lasts, the more the content creator(s) will get a sense of a brand’s voice, tone, style, and products. This will allow the creator to maintain their own individual style and continue to engage their own audience, while also creating specific content for the brand that will engage their consumers.
Finally, here are 5 long-term partnerships we’ve seen and love.