In the past, we’ve covered topics regarding how brands and influencers can succeed in influencer marketing, and we’ve provided tips on how to plan and execute a great campaign strategy. However, so far we have only briefly touched on the subject of long-term strategies for influencer marketing, and since it’s an important and highly relevant topic, we decided to dedicate this comprehensive guide to it.
If you’ve planned to start implementing long-term goals in your marketing strategy, this article is perfect for you. In fact, even if you haven’t considered working with long-term influencer marketing, you probably will after reading this.
What Is a Long-Term Influencer Marketing Strategy?
For the longest time, brands have hired influencers with the purpose of promoting one product or running one set of ads for a short period of time. The campaign is usually well-planned and executed, but as soon as it’s over, both the brand and the influencers will move on to new projects.
This type of influencer strategy tends to produce great results, and we encourage all of our readers to continue doing that, especially if it’s working for you. However, we want you to consider the benefits of combining your campaigns and shorter strategies with long-term goals that span several weeks, months, or even years. In fact, using a long-term strategy is a well-known and tested concept in other forms of marketing, and there is no reason why it shouldn't be used in influencer marketing. You see, long-term influencer marketing opens the doors for numerous opportunities that short-term strategies don’t allow for. It also allows brands to come off as more authentic while helping to create a feeling of continuity.
Better yet, working with a long-term goal can be as easy as using a similar theme, setting, or certain colors in every ad. It can also involve you hiring recurring influencers that promote more than one product, similar to brands that use the same actors and models for their commercials and ads. Another option is to be creative and design a sort of series with a storyline that mirrors your brands goals and engages your customers over an extended period of time.
Long-Term Influencer Marketing To Improve Trust
One of the main benefits of long-term influencer marketing is that it helps you build trust among your customers. Consumers have a tendency to like brands better when they can associate that brand with a running theme, and it’s a great way to improve conversion rates.
People tend to like routines, comfort, and familiarity, and if they already have an idea of what to expect from your brand and the ads you run, they will feel more inclined to trust you. It’s all about creating a connection with your customers and allowing them to believe that they’re one step ahead of you even if they’re not. Also, if you really want to succeed in today’s incredibly competitive online world, you need to create a strong brand, and if you’re constantly running new ads based on new concepts, you will confuse your consumers and hurt your brand.
Finally, long-term marketing efforts come off as more authentic, and we all know that authenticity is the backbone of all successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Brand Ambassadors Come with Many Benefits
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to get started with a long-term influencer marketing strategy is to hire a brand ambassador. In turn, the right ambassador will help strengthen your brand. A brand ambassador is basically an influencer that you have an ongoing collaboration with. Instead of only using the influencer for one or two campaigns and maybe a handful of posts, you work with the same influencer for several months or even years. The idea is to associate your brand with an influencer that your target group is already looking up to or that matches your brand’s identity. This is already a well-tested and popular strategy in regular marketing. For years, brands have been matching themselves with celebrities to change the way we perceive them.
For a great example of how effective a brand ambassador can be (although it's not really influencer marketing), we’ll take a look at Nescafe. For decades, Nescafe was known for instant coffee and most people associated them with a subpar coffee experience. They were selling convenience and affordability, but there was nothing exclusive about their brand at all. However, a few years ago when it was time to release their new and innovative Dolce Gusto coffee capsules, they needed help selling themselves as an exclusive coffee brand.
The solution? Hiring George Clooney.
Today, most people associate Nescafe with high-quality coffee capsules even though most people have no idea what coffee Nescafe uses or whether it’s high quality or not. Instead, consumers assume that Nescafe is exclusive and high-quality because why else would George Clooney endorse them? It’s pretty genius and it definitely works, both in regular and influencer marketing.
Optimize Campaigns and Maximize ROI
Besides improving your trust and brand awareness, focusing on a long-term strategy can help you streamline your marketing efforts. There are many benefits of working on a marketing concept over a longer period of time such as being able to tweak and perfect your strategy. Moreover, working with long-term goals will give you the option of promoting from different angles. Likewise, long-term influencer partnerships can also help you save money.
You see, most influencers have a flat fee of what they charge per post or campaign, and if you only hire them for one campaign, you have no room to make a deal. However, if you’re planning to hire the same influencer for several campaigns over a longer time frame, most influencers are willing to negotiate, thus giving you a cheaper price per post.
Long-term Benefits for Influencers
But what’s in it for the influencers?
Well, similar to the brands, long-term partnerships provide an opportunity for influencers to really show off their skills and optimize their work. Instead of being looked at as one-off product promoters, brand ambassadors are considered to be content creators, and they are given the opportunity to create organic and honest posts about products and brands that they actually care about.
Additionally, long-term collaborations provide influencers with the stability of continuous work, and it eliminates the worry of having to always be on the look-out for new opportunities. In other words, long-term partnerships are a win-win for both influencers and brands.
Is Long-Term Influencer Marketing the New Norm?
In the past couple of years, there has been a shift in the influencer marketing industry. Brands from all over the world are realizing the benefits of running long-term marketing campaigns and especially the benefits of working closely with influencers over a longer period of time. Likewise, the benefits for influencers are numerous, and instead of looking for one time collaborations, influencers want to associate themselves with brands that they already like. This has resulted in it becoming more common for brands to approach influencer marketing with long-term goals, and it almost seems like long-term influencer marketing is becoming the new norm.
And now we ask you: what are your long-term goals and would you consider working closely with influencers over a long period of time? If you haven’t, it might be time that you do, because as you’ve just seen, the benefits are too many to be overlooked.