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Tips for Managing B2B Influencer Relationships

We asked our own influencer, Cole Williams, about his good and not-so-great experiences interacting with businesses as an influencer. He offered a few tips for how to manage B2B influencer relationships and build a profitable partnership.

Tip 1: Keep Direct Messages Short and Professional

Our own influencer, Cole Williams, said that most companies reach out to him through a direct message on Instagram. These messages usually include a sales pitch about why Cole might want to work with them.

Do: Keep your message professional and authentic.
Don’t: Message from your personal profile.

Keep your message short and to the point. One paragraph is usually about right. If you do message from a personal account, make sure your content is professional-looking. Your relationship with the business should be clear.

Be authentic. Leave the internet slang and memes to the TikTok stars, unless that’s really how your brand communicates.

Tip 2: Communicate and be prepared

Cole says influencer relationships can move quickly. The influencer already has a robust follower base and is a pro at creating content for them.

The bottleneck usually comes from the business. If they’re slow to respond or aren’t clear about what they need the process bogs down. If messages are being passed through a marketing agency, that can slow things down too.

Be ready to answer emails and offer approvals quickly if you want your campaign to roll out in a timely fashion.

Tip 3: Have realistic expectations

Even though influencers can move quickly, you should expect the creation process to take time. Getting your message and tone right may take a few iterations. Assume that the influencer doesn’t have a huge team ready to help with scriptwriting, recording, and editing. They’re likely doing all of those things themselves.

Recognize the difference between an influencer who just says, “Hey, try this product” and one who creates thoughtful and interesting content. The first type may be faster, but the second is more likely to offer real results.

Tip 4: Get involved, but not too involved

When you work with an influencer, you’re not just borrowing their audience. You’re also getting the benefit of their creativity and style. Get involved in the creation process, but leave the creator space to put their personal stamp on the content.

If you’re looking for full control over the creative process, you’re probably better off hiring a production company. Or you could try guest blogging, hashtag challenges, or paid ads.

Measuring Campaign Results

Just like any other marketing campaign, you should track results to decide whether influencer marketing is working for you. It takes a few days for the full impact of a social media post to be clear.

Your influencer can give you social media analytics to help track the success of your campaign. If you want a clearer picture, include a keyword or special link in your campaign. You’ll be able to link new customers to the campaign. You can also use Google Analytics and other tools to track how visitors are getting to your site.

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