Consumers trust and confidence now lies through the authentic opinion of influencers. Yet, brands still struggle to communicate and find the best way of working with these influencers.

In a bid to understand what makes a perfect relationship between your brand and the influencers you work with, here are the top tips we took from a recent web session with Louise Roe.

Louise Roe began at Vogue.com as a news editor. She has since written for the likes of Elle UK, In Style UK, and has recently published her book, Front Roe in 2015. Now residing in LA, Roe travels the world for work.

Use an influencer who influences!

Which is more valuable: an influencer with a high following but no audience engagement or an influencer with a lower following but high engagement? An influencer can have a million social followers, but it they don’t know what they are talking about, those numbers are irrelevant. Audiences want to engage with the influencers, seeking advice on topics related to style, beauty, travel, and food. Audiences see influencers as friends.

Reports show that mid-tier influencers – those who have a social following of less than a million – tend to have a higher audience engagement level. Since they are usually still building their niche and making a name for themselves, they also tend to show lots of appreciation for the brands they work with. The essential point is – work with bloggers who really love your brand and who engage with their audience.

Be creative with campaign ideas

Don’t be afraid of trying something new! If every campaign approach is the same, it gets boring for the brand, the influencers, and the audience. Explore the full potential of influencer campaigns – social channels, blog creation, guest posts on brand editorial sites, videos, events and more. Tailor it to the influencer, so you play to their strengths and create a genuine interesting result.

Build real relationships

Don’t wait until you have upcoming campaigns to contact your influencers. Meet for coffee, lunch, dinner, or drinks. Roe has been working with TRESemmé for five years now and loves the long-term relationship she has with the brand and the individuals within the team. By creating a relationship that is worth it, Roe feels like part of the TRESemmé family through formal events such as London Fashion Week and informal meetings and Q&As. Show the influencer that you are interested in their life, work, ideas…everything. The more personable the relationship is, better the influencers understand the brand they are representing.

Be organised and allow enough time for campaigns

Quality of the brand is everything. If you are a high-tier brand, your communication and organisation should mirror that. Roe expressed that too often brands hurry influencers to turn around a campaign piece as quickly as they can, leaving them feeling pointless and misused. Both parties want to release the campaign as soon as possible, but realistic timings and clear communication are key. Roe gives two examples of one brand sending a completely different outfit to the one she had selected and another sending the clothes in poor condition. Not only did this give her a negative impression of the brands, but it also reduced the time she had to shoot. The result wasn’t as good as it could have been and she didn’t feel proud of the collaboration. Keeping your communication with the influencer clear, organised, and professional helps to build a solid relationship and ensure an amazing campaign.

Be clear on budgets

Money can be a touchy subject, but working with influencers is a business relationship. Influencers prefer for brands to approach budget first! No campaign is the same, even if with the same brand, therefore budget isn’t either. Every influencer will have set/rough budgets in mind, but often this can be negotiated. Upon your first meeting, lay out all the components of the campaign and a suitable budget can then be agreed upon.

Know the value of influencers

Keep in mind that a lot of influencers work with some amazing creators and the influencer acts as a creative director to create a campaign that is suited to both the brand’s audiences and their own. Involving an influencer from the initial process guarantees that the influencer is personally invested in the campaign, generating better content.

4Ps isn’t just another SEO agency. To discuss how your brand could use content, digital PR and social media to grow a loyal customer base, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and technology across all inbound channels. What could a 4Ps content marketing strategy do for your brand?