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Five Tips for Influencer Relationship Management

Much like a solid CRM strategy, targeted influencer relationship management helps build strong relationships with KOL and a resulting edge over competitors. Follow these five tips to optimize your IRM.

notebook with the inscription “CRM” and several icons around it as well as a hand and pencil
notebook with the inscription “CRM” and several icons around it as well as a hand and pencil

Key takeaways

  • IRM helps improve communication with influencers and track progress.
  • The five tips to improve your IRM are:
  • Identify the right influencers
  • Communicate authentically and transparently
  • Give and take
  • Contracts and creative freedom
  • Measuring success

Influencer marketing is booming, with 61% of people trusting KOLs with their purchasing decisions. 82% have even bought, researched or at least considered buying a product or service after being recommended by influencers.

Accordingly, you should include KOLs in your marketing strategy. However, keep in mind that you cannot simply profit from their influence, but that you have to choose the right influencers, maintain relationships with them and communicate transparently. As promising as a collaboration is, it can also go wrong. Consequently, Influencer Relationship Management offers itself so that you and your KOL can profit through targeted management of the partnership.

What Is Influencer Relationship Management?

In classic marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) means the management of lasting and profitable customer relationships. Basically, this understanding can also be transferred quite simply to IRM. Consequently, Influencer Relationship Management describes the management of lasting and profitable relationships with influencers.

While CRM addresses the loyalty of customers, IRM cultivates your company’s relationships with influencers. Accordingly, the goal is to establish an authentic collaboration that is nourished in the long term by trust and sympathy on both sides.

The following graphic shows how you need to proceed for a successful and profitable IRM: choose your influencers wisely, follow a precise strategy, be unique in the way you communicate, be respectful and interested in creative input, track results and prioritize accordingly.

Graphic by Storyclash

This results in the five Kolsquare tips for optimizing your IRM, which we will now discuss in more detail in a moment. But first, speaking of optimization, have you ever considered an influencer marketing platform to support your Influencer Marketing? Satisfied customers recommend Kolsquare on OMR’s review page, a “platform for online marketers.” As Teamlead Influencer Marketing at Performance Marketing Agency Stephanie writes, “Can’t imagine influencer marketing without it. Practical, time-saving, helpful!”

IRM Tip One: find the Right KOLs

No matter what type of collaboration you are aiming for or what type of influencers (nano, micro or macro) you choose, who customers associate with your brand is essential.

Therefore, be careful when searching for your KOL and manage your research in a cost- and resource-saving way: maybe one influencer doesn’t have time right now but doesn’t rule out collaboration at a later date, or the other influencer has already declined twice and doesn’t want to be contacted by you again – you want to keep an eye on all that. Kolsquare allows you to tag each of your KOLs with a specific tag, giving you an overview and upper hand over your communications.

It can be quite difficult to find the right influencers. Start from your brand’s values and marketing goals: this will help you find the right KOLs for your next influencer marketing campaign, for example on TikTok or Instagram.

Transparent and Authentic Communication Is IRM Tip Two

Once you have identified the right influencers, the first step is to make contact. It probably doesn’t surprise you that popular KOLs with high reach and engaged audiences don’t just get one request. Consequently, you need to stand out among the crowd (of competitors).

Make sure you have a friendly, professional tone. Authenticity and personalization are also important. In addition to content, the channel also matters. What is your preferred medium? On which social network do you want to launch the campaign?

Of course, you can also contact KOL directly via email. To do this, use the Kolsquare extension, which enables synchronization with the Gmail address on the platform.

IRM Tip Three: all For One

Everything is always a give and take. This applies to both internal and external communication. First, improve cooperation internally. Structure and organize the work in the marketing team through common tasks, shared calendars and regular communication. Are your employees satisfied with their tasks? What ideas, wishes and suggestions do they have?

While you are of course allowed to demand something from your KOLs, you must be careful to accommodate them enough as well. Of course, it is out of the question to treat each other fairly, but you must keep your influencers happy. The competition never sleeps.  

Make influencers feel valued. This works best through regular communication. Of course, a gift or two won’t hurt to reward or motivate KOL. However, be sure to read the basics of free gifting on the Kolsquare blog.

The Fourth IRM Tip Are Clear Guidelines and Creative Freedom at the Same Time

You are looking for faces for your brand, but what is the genius of influencer marketing? That’s right, influencers not only get a lot of attention, but also convince with their expertise in the respective niche. Take advantage of the knowledge, insights and have an open ear for feedback and ideas.

It’s important to communicate your marketing campaign ideas and goals clearly and directly, but you also need to remain realistic with your expectations and, above all, respectful. Some projects are more complex and time-consuming than others. This can only be discussed through open dialogue. This is the only way to create a fair and long-term partnership that is sustainable through fair compensation and a clear contract.

Learn everything about secure price negotiation and appropriate compensation for influencers on the Kolsquare blog.

IRM Tip Five: the Overview is Key

No success can be measured without data. Accordingly, it’s important to keep track of your influencer marketing campaigns. So track KPI and reports on content posts, total spend, revenue, or conversions for each of your KOL.

As usual for CRM, any IRM strategy also includes analyzing and segmenting your influencers. Which KOLs bring in the most sales? The highest ROI? The best media value? Who is not performing as you would like? Broadly speaking, you can then evaluate who you want to continue working with and which influencers you should part ways with.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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