The RIGHT Way to Build Influencer Relationships

The RIGHT Way to Build Influencer Relationships

Kayla Graham

Taylor Lagace co-founded Kynship, an influencer marketing agency focused on revenue growth—not just likes. But what does influencer marketing look like these days? What is the best way for a brand to build relationships with influencers? Is the return on investment worth the cost?

The “Pay for post” model is dead

According to Taylor, the “pay for post” model of influencer marketing is dead. Taylor’s gone the route of paying for organic posts and emphasizes that you just don’t get a return on your investment. What’s the alternative? Whitelist that content. So instead of allocating $1,000 for one micro-post or $5,000 for five, use that money to give 100 free products to different influencers. You’ll get 20+ organic posts instead of five. It’s 4x the reach at no cost to you. Plus, you’ll find authentic lovers of your brand.

Why take this route instead? You’ll be able to see who of the influencers becomes adopters and authentic lovers of your brand. Authenticity may be the most oversaturated term in the space, but it remains true. Those are the people that will be able to create great content on behalf of a brand. Kynship’s goal is to show these brands in people’s lives in an authentic, genuine, and seamless way. You don’t want it to be produced or staged.

Influencers are an incredible resource

Influencers just happen to be professional content creators at a very effective cost. When you have that at your disposal, it’s an incredible resource for your brand to take advantage of. You can determine what lifestyle is scaling on behalf of your brand. It solves all of these paint points in a genuine and authentic way native to social feeds. But how do you find an influencer that’s a good fit? Do some detective work.

What is the content outside of the sales post? What does the rest of their feed look like? Do they align with the values of your brand? Just because someone is popular does not mean that their values will align with yours.

Secondly, aim to start with a small collaboration, and if it works, you build from there. If you dive all in, it would be like sliding into someone’s DMs and saying, “Do you want to get married?” versus “Yo, your picture is cute.”

It’s about building relationships

Kynship will start relationships with influencers by giving them 100% free products with the hope that they become authentic lovers of the brand. If so, they may get the organic post without the high price tag. Kynship is careful to point out that they’re giving them a gift because they’re a great fit, and it makes sense—no strings attached.

They are absolutely clear that they think the influencer would a) love the product and b) be a great brand fit. It’s not a transactional beginning to the relationship. Some brands send the “gift” but require multiple posts for it. An influencer without a moral compass may just say, “Yeah, I’m in,” and then they don’t post.

If you start a relationship the right way, they want to give you something in return free of cost, especially if they love your brand. If you get your product in their hands, you’ll likely get a shoutout at some point.

Out of the influencers that become brand adopters, they go in and see how good they are at what they do. Are they good speakers? Do they articulate the value-add? Those are the people they end up engaging with for expansive deals. If they just started the relationship by asking for an influencer’s pricing, it’s usually double the amount it is than if they start with their tried and true strategy: building relationships.

To learn more about the new era of influencer marketing—for B2C or B2B brands—check out episode #41 of the Content Callout podcast!