Influencer marketing is a hot topic right now. That's hardly surprising. Organic search remains an enigma. Facebook has downgraded Page posts in favour of your friends and family.
So the hunt for influencers, especially long-tail 'micro-influencers' is on. But all too often, businesses see their relationship with these social superstars in limited terms.
They pay a fee and boom, the influencer trumpets the advantages of their product or service to thousands or millions of followers who hang on their every word.
But what if you could add value to the influencer and their channel instead of just handing over cash? It makes sense when you realise that many businesses have greater marketing resources than these one or two person bands.
In fact the most successful influencer strategies occur when your in-house marketing team plays the agency role to the influencer-client.
Most recently I've seen an in-house team pitch, project manage and help execute an event that helped an influencer boost her audience and double engagement on her content that came out of the project.
Adding value in this way inevitably cuts costs and helps attract new influencer talent. If company X can help influencer Y spread their wings, then you can be sure that influencer Z will want a piece of the action too and come knocking at said company's door.
In short, your influencers need you as much as you need them. You'll still need to write the cheques, but the more marketing intelligence you add to the mix, the deeper and richer that influencer relationship will be. Get your thinking caps on!
So, think of your influencer marketing engagement strategy akin to picking the best possible baseball team. Pulling in flashy celebrities is going to be expensive, especially considering the fact that they may strike out in the first month. Thus, the real opportunity lies in finding the up-and-coming stars who consistently engage with their crowds and are trusted to deliver, time after time.