Take a look at your social feed, and you'll find many posts that feature some sort of influencer marketing. People listen to influencers when they tweet, speak, and blog. Think of the latest fashion, breathtaking lifestyle imagery, beauty products, health products, and more all squeezed between photos of your friends and family on your social feed. These posts by influencers have probably grabbed your attention and influenced you to buy something.

But is influencer marketing worth the hype? Read about Old Navy and Lessa and their influencer campaigns, and decide for yourself:

For Black Friday, Old Navy partnered with retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA). Being an alumnus himself of BGCA, Rodriguez's digital video promotion helped raise $1 million on Black Friday alone.

Lessa, a luxury mattress manufacturer with only an online store, decided to try word-of-mouth advertising with the help of influencers. For the campaign, the company worked with key bloggers specializing in DIY, interior design, and style spaces. The influencers provided unbiased reviews of Lessa mattresses. They also ran reviews on relevant niche blogs, posting reviews of the mattresses, discount vouchers, and additional useful information. Through this influencer marketing campaign, Lessa generated more than 100,000 clicks to its website and 400 mattress sales.

A strong relationship between businesses and influencers is central to the success of influencer marketing. This good relationship can be established, managed, and maintained in the following five ways.

Select Influencers Who Align With Your Brand

A key to fruitful relationships is to ensure that the brand and influencers are a proper match. Ask the following questions when selecting an influencer for a brand:
  • What audience does the influencer have?
  • Is the influencer's online persona right for the brand?
  • Is the influencer reputable?
  • Is the influencer collaborative and easy to work with?
  • Does the influencer have a proven track record of successful campaigns?

Have Good Communication 

Image via Flickr by Delwin Steven Campbell
Good interaction and communication with influencers is key to building and maintaining good relationships. Since each influencer campaign is unique, a business will need to maintain frequent communication with the influencer, giving him or her the resources and necessary tools to promote the business. An open dialogue throughout the process is vital.

Reach Agreement on Considerations

For positive influencer relations, all considerations need to be agreed upon. These include terms, compensation, hashtag preferences, and other details. It's important to be on the same page.

Plan Ahead

Failing to plan causes stress and confusion and ultimately damages relationships. It's important for the brand and the influencer to work together to create a campaign execution plan. This will include briefs regarding content creation approval and scheduling.

Give Influencers Creative License

Influencers are creatives with their own personal styles and voices. This individuality is often the reason a specific influencer is so popular on social media. Top influencers know the type of content their followers enjoy and engage with. Businesses often have their own ideas with regard to campaigns. However, when they want too much creative control, this can negatively impact the business-influencer relationship.

Having a good, positive influencer relationship is essential for creating and executing successful campaigns. It's also proactive, allowing for the growth of a brand within the marketing space.