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Mastering Influencer Management

Mastering Influencer Management: Strategies for Effective Collaboration


Influencers play a bigger role in our day-to-day lives than we realize. Think about it. Looking to buy new headphones? You will likely look up product reviews and comparison videos conducted by tech influencers. Want to try a new Met Gala beauty trend? You’ll find tutorial videos by beauty influencers on social media. 

And of course, when scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, we are all exposed to content created by hundreds of influencers, without even actively looking them up.

So who are influencers? They are individuals who have an influence over a large group of people, who look to them for inspiration or guidance. They can use their power of persuasion to convince their followers to take certain actions – like trying a new product, subscribing to a certain lifestyle or making a purchase.

Brands have rightly recognized the immense potential of including influencers in their marketing strategy and 93% of marketers work with them in some capacity. However, it’s not always as easy as just asking them to collaborate with you – working with them requires an organized, formal process.

Getting to Know Influencer Management

  • What Does an Influencer Marketing Manager Actually Do?

    Managing an influencer marketing campaign is a full-time job – one that requires strategy, planning and execution expertise. That’s where an Influencer Marketing Manager comes in. These are professionals who take over the end-to-end responsibility of a brand’s influencer marketing campaign.

    They essentially form a bridge between the brand and the influencer, making sure the engagement runs smoothly and is mutually beneficial for both parties. It is their job to stay on top of all the logistical aspects of the influencer marketing process – from recruitment to campaign execution to payment and beyond. In doing so, an influencer marketing manager successfully gets a business closer to their goals.

  • Why Smart Influencer Engagement Matters

    It is an undebatable fact that influencer marketing makes for an effective selling tactic. Telling your audience about how great your own product or service is, is not nearly as effective as when they hear it from someone else – especially if that someone happens to be a person they admire and trust.

    Additionally, as per one report, 83.8% of brands surveyed said the leads and customers that come through influencer marketing end up being more relevant than general campaigns.

    With most marketers wanting a piece of the pie, it naturally follows that there’s a very high demand for influencers today. The industry is set to cross $24 billion by 2025, and a whopping 85.8% of marketers say they are setting aside a part of their budget for influencer marketing in 2024, with almost 1 in 4 dedicating over 40% of their marketing budget on influencers.

    So brands cannot afford to miss out on developing a smart influencer strategy.

What's on the Plate of an Influencer Marketing Manager?

  • Campaign building

    The first task for an Influencer Marketing Manager is to identify your brand objectives – for example, are you looking to increase awareness, drive sales or build customer loyalty? Establishing this enables them to figure out what kind of content will get you to these goals – and where the influencers would fit in.

    Defining your objective also enables them to set the metrics that will track the efficacy of your campaign. If your objective is to build brand awareness, an increase in followers or your unique page visitors will tell you that your campaign is working.

  • Finding the right influencers

    Next up, is the crucial task of identifying and recruiting the right influencers. The professionals you choose will need to be from the right industry, and must have followers who would be interested in your offerings. When it comes to their follower count, there is no one right number to go by – for some campaigns, micro-influencers with a 5,000 follower count may work well; for others, you may need bigger influencers with 100,000 followers or more.

    Your Influencer Marketing Manager will know just how to go about scouting and sourcing the right influencers to suit your objectives and your budget – and then they will work to bring them on board.

  • Campaign Management and Execution

    An influencer marketing campaign is only as good as your brief. Your influencers will need to be told what kind of content they will need to create, at what frequency will they need to post and and what their KPIs will be. They will need to have the right insights, to be able to create the most suitable content.

    Your manager will be in charge of guiding them on all these steps. They will also be responsible for reviewing and approving the content that your influencers create – in addition to handling logistical responsibilities like ensuring that they are adhering to the posting schedule.

  • The Art of Building Relationships with Influencers

    In an ideal scenario, you should build a healthy rapport with influencers – paving the way for long-term engagements. Not only does it save you the hassle of finding new influencers each time, it also builds trust among your audience when they see the same, familiar faces representing your brand over the long term.

    Influencer Marketing Managers excel at nurturing relationships by maintaining the right balance of professionalism and interpersonal bonding.

  • Performance tracking

    Once the campaign is live, your Influencer Marketing Manager will track performance metrics and build reports to establish what’s working and what isn’t. This helps you make data-driven decisions. These insights will tell you whether you need to change up your influencer campaign strategy, form new partnerships or anything else. It will also help you give a better brief to influencers – telling them exactly what to avoid and what to do more of.

Traits of a Rockstar Influencer Marketing Manager

Qualities That Make Influencer Collaborations Shine

  • Social media skills: Since influencers mostly operate on social media, having advanced knowledge about the different platforms is essential for an Influencer Marketing Manager.

    This will help at every stage of the process – your manager will put this knowledge to use while developing the influencer campaign strategy, establishing what kinds of results you can hope to achieve on each platform, and even when reviewing content.

  • Communication skills: When selecting your Influencer Marketing Manager, pay close attention to their communication skills as this directly impacts how well they’ll be able to do their job.

    To start with, they will need to bank on these skills to reach out to influencers, successfully convincing them to collaborate with you. There on, they will need to brief them, manage the project without micromanaging, and offer feedback in a positive way. It also determines how well they’ll be able to build relationships that last.

  • Tech skills: A Influencer Marketing Manager wears many hats, so being able to use different software and tools is crucial for them to be able to juggle different responsibilities.

    For example, they will need to be comfortable with different partnership and outreach platforms. During the engagement, they’ll have to navigate project management tools, time tracking software, reporting software, and more. Finally, they’ll also need to be familiar with how digital payments work, so as to be able to compensate influencers in a timely manner.

Your Go-To Guide for Nailing Influencer Management

  • The Secrets to Long-lasting Influencer Relationships

    Long-term relationships can only come about if the influencer engagement is beneficial for both parties. Choosing the right influencers is the first step to creating such win-win relationships. Your offerings must be relevant for the influencer’s audience; they in turn, must have clout over consumers your brand is looking to target. If your brand sells camping gear, collaborating with beauty or tech influencers won’t make sense.

    Ensuring that your values are aligned is another great indicator of long-term success. An influencer who is a huge advocate for sustainability and responsible consumption would be the perfect fit for a slow fashion brand.

    The way you engage with influencers also matters. Influencers are creators in their own right, so they value the creative freedom of being able to develop content they are passionate about, and engaging with their audience in their signature style. Unsurprisingly, 77% of influencers say they would continue working with a brand that allows them creative freedom – in fact, they prize this even ahead of financial motives.

    Finally, as with any professional, respect is key. Influencers value brands that operate in an organized, professional way – respecting their time, purpose and their audience.
  • Why Fair Compensation is Key

    A big part of treating influencers with professionalism involves how fairly you compensate them. Influencer compensation depends on their audience size, engagement and view metrics, performance and more. The greater these numbers, the higher their collaboration rates would be – expecting an influencer with 1 million+ followers to work for under $1000 is unreasonable.

    It is important to do your research, identify influencers within your budget and negotiate a fair rate with them. Do also establish how they’d charge you. While some influencers charge a flat rate for every promotional post, others prefer affiliate marketing partnerships where they earn a percentage of every sale they help you make.

    Have a frank conversation around compensation, and agree upon what works for both parties. Low-balling them, expecting them to work for free, or just offering them your products as compensation may not get you very far in today’s competitive market. Don’t forget to pay your influencers on time, no matter where in the world they are – being as busy as they tend to be, they are unlikely to appreciate having to follow up about payments.

  • Chatting it Up: Effective Communication Skills

    Being in high demand, influencers’ inboxes are flooded with collaboration requests. Being able to communicate your pitch in a way that catches their eye and makes them feel like they can truly connect with your brand is the first step to long-term relationships.

    But good communication skills are extremely important in creating a smoother engagement throughout. Influencers appreciate clear briefs that tell them exactly what you are expecting and by when. It means less time spent going back and forth on details, less effort expended on rework and a better output overall.

Tools of the Trade for Smooth Influencer Management

  • How Tech Helps You Manage Better

    Today, managing influencer campaigns manually through spreadsheets is not sustainable – with the number of steps involved, you’d lose track of your progress fairly easily. And this only gets compounded as you bring a greater number of influencers on board.

    The right technology can help you streamline large data sets and insights, thus contributing to the success of your campaigns. From sourcing relevant influencers, having visibility on how the campaign is progressing, tracking KPIs and metrics, and more, you will need the right tools and software to aid you, every step of the way.

    Aside from the tactical aspects of the campaign, innovations like AI, virtual reality and AR are adding new dimensions to the creative possibilities of influencer marketing, and offering elevated experiences for audiences.

  • How TalentDesk Streamlines Influencer Management

    A tool like TalentDesk helps you streamline influencer engagements, integrating many of the different functions of the process through one comprehensive platform. To begin with, it helps you build organization-wide talent directories. This lets you keep track of all the influencers your brand has worked with in the past – rather than having all this data spread across multiple spreadsheets on different managers’ systems. This makes it easy to reach out to trusted influencers again for upcoming campaigns.

    TalentDesk’s custom database capabilities gives you the added advantage of sorting influencers by skill, industry, audience size, rates and more, with just a few clicks. Given the quick trend lifecycle on social media, this proves invaluable for those times when you need to get a campaign underway, and simply do not have time to sort through a huge talent database.

    As you onboard new influencers or start new engagements, the platform’s cloud storage capabilities help you store all necessary contracts and documents securely in one place.

    Once the campaign begins, TalentDesk’s project management feature comes in handy. It gives you a quick overview of each campaign, and helps you track progress and budgets as you go along.

    The time tracking and invoicing features make it incredibly easy for influencers to send their invoices with just a click, saving them time and effort. The process gets streamlined for your managers too – rather than receiving different invoices from each influencer, you receive a consolidated invoice, which you can process with a single click.

    When it comes to payments, our portal has proved indispensable, time and again. It equips you with the capability of processing payments across the globe in just seconds – without having to worry about exchange rates, bank fees or international delays. In fact, our customers report that the platform has cut down time spent on administrative tasks by up to 70%.

Once you set your payment milestones, the money will be automatically disbursed on the dates you choose. This makes it a great influencer payment solution – enabling you to set expectations with your partners, cutting down on unnecessary follow-ups.

A Peek at Other Top Tools

  • Traacker: This influencer marketing tool helps with various aspects of influencer management. Traacker has advanced discovery capabilities that enables marketers to find creators who are best aligned to their brand – thus enabling diverse partnerships. Additionally, it is also known for its sophisticated reporting and benchmarking capabilities that generate insights at a granular level, helping brands make data-driven decisions.

  • Influencer This is an AI-driven influencer management platform that uses innovative algorithms to conduct an in-depth analysis of a brand’s target audience, based on demographic and psychographic factors. It then offers the ability to filter and search through 300M+ influencers based on characteristics, keywords and more – to shortlist the ideal partners. Aside from discovery, it also offers sophisticated brief generation, influencer management and campaign tracking capabilities.

  • Meltwater: Meltwater offers a robust suite of features, spanning from discovery to campaign management, insight generation and more. Beyond this, Meltwater is known for their cutting-edge social listening feature that utilizes AI capabilities to gauge audience’s reactions to different influencers. This empowers brands to make decisions based on data and human intelligence.

  • Upfluence: This is a great tool for affiliate programs, creating powerful workflows, generating unique promo codes and tracking ROI, among other features. Its integrated payment capabilities let you pay partners, send them free products, and process multi-currency payments with ease.

  • Influencity: This tool integrates workflows, content, insights and more, all through a single platform. It has sophisticated discovery features that help you find influencers within specific geographic locations, even giving you predictive insights on how each of your shortlisted partners are likely to perform. This makes the decision-making process simpler than ever before.

Navigating the Bumps: Challenges in Influencer Relationships

  • Cultivating Trust and Meeting Expectations

    A majority of campaign hiccups happen because influencers do not know your brand well enough. They have likely been told what to do – but not what the objectives of your brand are or how their content will fit into it.

    Ensure that your Influencer Marketing Manager acts as a bridge between you and the influencers – guiding them on your greater purpose and your vision so their content is aligned to your brand goals.

  • Reviewing Their Work and Offering Feedback

    Take the time to review your influencers’ posts before they go live – even if they are experienced professionals. If their work is not in line with what you were expecting, find out what went wrong. Was your brief unclear? Did the influencer not understand it correctly? Or was it some other factor altogether?

    If the issue was at their end, any professional would take the chance to make things right. But do help them along by offering clear and consolidated feedback. Remember – it takes time, effort and money to shoot new content, so influencers will not appreciate if feedback from your team comes to them in bits and pieces.

  • Take data-driven decisions

    Given that you are likely to be dedicating a good portion of your marketing budget on influencer campaigns, it wouldn’t make sense to keep working with creators who are simply not working well for your brand.

    Keeping a close tab on your performance metrics will give you these insights early on, so you can pivot with your strategy as needed. 

Final Tips for Top-Notch Influencer Relationship Management

  • Making a Great First Impression and Keeping the Momentum 

    Having the right influencers on board can make or break your campaign. But what do you do when you find the perfect fit, ensure they’re well within your budget, reach out to them – only to have your request go unanswered?

    The key is to stand out with your campaign pitch. Rather than a generic message, form a personal connection right away. Tell them what about their work caught your eye, and why they fit in with your brand. This shows them that you’ve actually put in the effort to get to know them first before making your ask.

    Then, go on to highlight the value of the partnership. Outline what’s in it for them, their audience and their brand – instead of just focussing on yours. Finally, be clear about your proposal. Make sure they know what you’re asking of them, and what kind of commitment you are looking for. Writing a great outreach message is an art, so do spend time and effort getting this right.

  • Timely Payments: Non-negotiables for Success

    At the end of the day, influencer engagements are business partnerships – so they must be honored with fair compensation and timely payments. Not having this step organized can risk souring the relationship. Your influencers can take any unexpected delays to mean that you are trying to renege on payments, especially if such delays happen more than once. Given that they have a huge following, it can also lead to your reputation getting damaged!

When planned well, influencer campaigns can and do have huge payoffs. Using the right tools and platforms to streamline the process, lets you enjoy the fruits of these engagements while leaving minimal scope for human errors.

    Frequently asked questions

    What is influencer marketing?

    Using influencers to promote products or services effectively.

    What does an Influencer Marketing Manager do?

    Manages influencer campaigns from start to finish.

    How do you find the right influencers?

    Identify influencers relevant to your industry and audience.

    Speak to us to find out how we can help you manage your freelancers more efficiently