Keeping your fashion influencer affiliate partners happy in a strong relationship will take some planning. To avoid planning would be to weaken your relationship and have the influencer lose interest in your campaigns, but there is a way to go about it.
Nurturing your affiliate relationships, in general, won’t take a day. It will take long-term commitment from influencer discovery and continuing through collaboration. But if you do it well, your affiliate influencers can grow and blossom into a lucrative revenue stream. Keep reading to understand how to maintain and nurture your relationship with your fashion influencers.
Only approach relevant influencers
Relevancy, unlike how YouTubers tend to fling the term around, isn’t about how famous an influencer is, but is more about how relevant their brand and content is to yours. Is your product or service something the influencer you are targeting actually something they will use and can sell? For example, a fashion influencer may use a hoover, but a hoover is entirely irrelevant to their brand and therefore isn’t likely to appeal to their audience.
This is a two-way street, with influencers’ number one motivation is brands who are relevant to their audience when they are seeking out or accepting brand deals.
Other motivations to keep in mind are the opportunity for the influencer to provide an exclusive or new experience for their audience, or even themselves, the fact that they like the brand, and if the deal will aid their own promotion. Try to hit at least one of these when selecting your influencers. Make sure that if you are pitching to a fashion influencer, you are pitching a product or service that fits their brand, like clothing, or make-up.
If that isn’t possible, create a campaign around the same ideals. How does your product affect fashion, or women, or beauty standards, etc.? For example, Special K created a campaign around strong women, featuring influencers like activist and fashion blogger Molly Burke, implying that their cereal makes women “strong”. If your product is niche or obscure, fit it into a wider concept and market that.
Put forth a friendly demeanor
When you are approaching influencers, throw the generic cold open email that is sent to thousands. This is enough for an influencer to assume that at best, you’re not particularly interested in them, and at worst, you are a scammer or inept.
It won’t guarantee you a response, but a good boost to your chances is personalization. Open with their name, not their username, tell them you love what they did with this particular piece of content, and be sure to follow them on their available social media platforms. Make sure to put across through all interactions that you respect them and their content.
Offer fair compensation
However, an illusion of respect can shatter if your influencers see too low an offer on the table. After all, your respect, or exposure, or any other friendly ideal won’t pay their bills.
For example, don’t insult them by offering only freebies. It is an, unfortunately, very common mistake that brands are still making today. In fact, a TapInfluence study showed that 72% of influencers have reported that they have not been offered adequate compensation for their work.
When you provide adequate compensation, not only is your influencer paid a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, but they will feel safe enough to work with you again and again.
Provide creative freedom
Understand that between the two, the influencer and your affiliate team, your influencer is going to know their audience better.
Creative freedom means a lot to influencers, who have spent their entire online career cultivating their audience. They will know their tastes, preferences, and opinions and will know for sure what will get them engaged.
There is no harm in offering a guideline, or something you’d particularly like pointed out about your brand, but don’t offer a script or a million demands. Some products rightfully need some regulation, like gambling, alcohol, etc. but as long as they know what to avoid you should be able to trust them to create freely. Much like commissioned artists, influencers will appreciate an outline for them to colour in whichever way they chose.
Offer adequate time
Influencers are busy people and make no mistake, your brand won’t be the only one working with them.
The life of a fashion influencer, in particular, is a busy one, full of hours of shoots and editing that takes a deceptively long time. Also, take your influencers’ private lives into account. Some of them could be running this part-time, around a regular 9-5 job. What content they create is also a priority. If they make long-form video content, the research alone could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
For more information on managing your influencers, you can take a look at our AffiliateINSIDER guides. Or for a more personalised experience, book a free call with a member of our team for more assistance in this area.