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Influencer Marketing: understanding Influencer Relationship Management (IRM)

It's no secret that Influencer Marketing has become more important than ever for professionals in all sectors of activity. Estimated to be worth 15 billion dollars by 2022, this performance lever is becoming more professional, more structured and has been entering a true phase of maturity for several months now. In this strong growth dynamic, many brands want to control all aspects of their Influencer Marketing campaigns. Starting with the management of their relationships with the influencers they activate to gain efficiency, proximity and trust. A key point that we will study and dissect with you in this article.

MRI of the Kolsquare application
MRI of the Kolsquare application

What is Influencer Relationship Management (IRM)?

We outlined it above, and now it’s time to get to the heart of the matter to understand this essential strategy of Influencer Marketing. It is now a fact and the figures prove it, the lever of Influencer Marketing has become, over the months, a strategic must-have for brands since 90% of professionals consider it to be effective (source: Oberlo). But for brand campaigns and collaborations with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to really reach the objectives set up in advance, it is essential to position content creators as real strategic partners. This is where your relationship with them and the links with influencers come into play.

In the same way that Customer Relationship Management (also called CRM) focuses on customers, Influencer Relationship Management focuses on influencers and on your increased knowledge of the profiles you want to activate. A sort of influencer CRM, then. It should also be noted that IRM is mobile and can be constantly improved and strengthened to enable you to create a real relationship of trust with KOLs. This is made possible thanks to Influence Marketing technology solutions such as Kolsquare, but we will come back to this point later in this article.

As we know, the time has come to internalise Influencer Marketing. Indeed, in recent months, 77% of companies have chosen to internalise this strategic lever, the remaining 23% have preferred to use agencies (source: Meltwater). Numerous positions and divisions dedicated to Influencer Marketing have been created in all companies to allow brands to have full control over their Influencer campaigns (from identifying KOLs, to measuring campaign results, to managing the relationship with influencers). In Europe alone, there are already more than 2,700 job offers dedicated to Influencer Marketing and the management of all its aspects in-house. Senior Influencer Marketing Specialists” and “Influencer Managers” have made their grand entrance into the recruitment landscape to enable professionals to make Influencer Marketing a fully-fledged, cross-functional and sustainable area within each organisation.

In order to develop an effective and sustainable Influencer Relationship Management strategy, there are certain key points to keep in mind. These points will allow you to implement strategic actions to achieve the objectives of your Influencer Marketing campaigns.

The importance of Influencer Relationship Management and its advantages

It is essential to understand that an IRM strategy is structured and built well in advance of the launch of an Influencer Marketing project. Why is this? Simply because by optimising your actions and organising your campaigns step by step, you put all the cards on your side so that they run smoothly.

And this is particularly true when identifying the KOL profiles. Indeed, during this recruitment phase, it is important to target the most relevant content creators for your brand, in other words those who are most aligned with the mission and values of your organisation. And yes, if certain profiles can, according to their follower data on different social networks, appear to be ideal for your brand, the elements of values, universe and style are also important to take into account. Don’t forget that the KOL you are going to activate is going to influence the buying decisions of his followers who are, if the identification has been correctly done, your target audience and therefore your potential customers. Finding and activating the content creators who are most in tune with your brand is therefore an element that should not be neglected.

Once the KOLs have been identified, what are the concrete benefits of an Influencer Relationship Management strategy for your brand? Fully integrated into your daily Influencer actions, IRM allows you to :

Establish a relationship of trust with KOLs

By getting to know their worlds, their styles, their communication habits with their followers and by exchanging with them, you create a close link with the profiles you want to activate. They will thus be more inclined to speak positively about your products and services to their followers, all the more so if you have given them all the necessary ingredients to do so (commitments and vision of the brand, values of your company, creation process, etc.).

Create long-term collaborations with KOLs

Trust between a brand and content creators also means long-term collaborations with them. And for good reason, by having identified the most relevant KOL profiles for your brand, you are certain to reach the audiences of the latter that correspond to your target audience in the long term. If the latter finds your brand interesting and if the collaboration between the KOL they follow and the brand they have identified makes sense, there is a good chance that the KOL will mention your brand several times on their social networks to meet the needs of their audience. A long-term collaboration can thus be created with, to crown it all, a bond of trust already established between the content creator and you.

Analyze influencer data more effectively

One of the key benefits of an effective IRM strategy is the ability to track and verify influencer engagement data. When identifying influencers, it is essential to look beyond the number of followers on a KOL’s social account. This is because some profiles can exhibit malicious behaviour and skew the results. Once identified, your IRM strategy allows you to track the actual performance of a content creator. This can be done by analysing their engagement rate (depending on the social networks on which you activate them) and all the influencers’ KPIs to measure the real impact of a KOL in the context of an Influencer Marketing collaboration.

As you can see, implementing a solid Influencer Relationship Management strategy that is in line with your strategic objectives is essential to really benefit from your Influencer Marketing collaborations. In addition to creating unique, trusting and long-term relationships with KOLs, all of the actions you implement will enable you to increase your brand’s awareness, the trust of your audiences (in this case, your target audience) and, ultimately, your ROI.

Kolsquare's Influencer Relationship Management solution

Carrying out all of the above actions can quickly become time-consuming for brands that run several Influencer Marketing campaigns at once throughout the year. This time limit is particularly noticeable when a brand sees the positive results and performance of these KOLs and wants to develop these Influencer Marketing projects more efficiently. To enable you to go further and fully activate this marketing lever over the long term, Kolsquare offers professionals the most advanced IRM solution on the European market.

Indeed, our technological solution of Influencer Marketing allows you to :

  • Identify the most relevant KOL profiles for your brand based on: their audience data (age, gender, country, city,…), their community size, their credibility scores, their interests and those of their communities, their latest publications to know their universe and their communication habits with their followers,

  • Manage all aspects and challenges of your Influencer Marketing campaigns from A to Z: from building your KOL address book (via favourites, personalised notes, labels, etc.) to collaborative management of your Influencer Marketing projects, including influencer briefs,

  • Measure the performance of your campaigns and activated KOLs: in a single, dedicated location, access all of the analytic data of influencers and key KPIs of the Influencer Marketing market to view, in just a few clicks, the complete reporting of your various actions.

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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