Cultivating Long Term Partnerships with Influencers

May 6, 2024
Ingram Associate
Cultivating Long Term Partnerships with Influencers

Working with an influencer can be a great way to get your book out to the masses and start making your publishing company a household name. One of the biggest considerations for influencer marketing is finding and cultivating a long-term partnership with an influencer, instead of one-off collaborations. Those short-term experiences can still be beneficial from a marketing standpoint, but they aren't going to give you the strong results that longer-term efforts will provide.

When you create an ongoing partnership with an influencer you increase your brand awareness and audience reach, both of which can be important. You also enhance credibility and trust among readers. Here's what to think about as you structure and nurture your influencer partnership.

Structuring the Partnership

The first thing you need to do when you're building and cultivating long-term partnerships is to make sure you structure them in a way that works for you and the influencer you're working with. While it's possible (and sometimes necessary) to make changes during your collaboration, structuring the partnership the way you and the influencer want from the very beginning is the right choice. This reduces the chance of creative dissent later.

Content Cadence and Consistency

Planning a content calendar is important when you have an ongoing partnership with an influencer. The calendar should align with the timeline for the book launch and the influencer's posting schedule to get the biggest benefits from it. Another valuable part of having a long-term collaboration is that you can work with the influencer to maintain a consistent presence all throughout the campaign. That will build anticipation and momentum for the book.

Be sure to integrate organic social media mentions and influencer stories alongside the paid promotions if you can, because this will help you have a well-rounded strategy. If everything is always promotional it could be a turn-off to potential readers of your book as well as the influencer's audience.

Alignment With Influencer Style & Expertise

By respecting the influencer's established content style and niche you provide them with more creative freedom within the boundaries of the campaign's goals. That helps them present your book in the best way for their audience. You can certainly offer guidance and support, though, such as suggesting discussion topics or providing them with talking points for interviews.

Content Variety & Audience Preferences

Book reviews are important, and they're very common. However, they aren’t the only format to consider. You can also work with your influencer on a number of other format options that might interest their audience. Mixing it up a little and making sure you're keeping the audience's interest can mean better sales for your book and a stronger following for your influencer.

For example, consider author interviews in different styles, such as written Q&A, video interviews, and live streams. A lot of readers want to know more about the authors of the books they enjoy, and being accessible can help them consider your book when making their next purchase. You can also work with your influencer on interactive content such as polls, quizzes, or challenges related to the book's themes, to keep readers interested and thinking about the book.

"First Look" excerpts that provide behind-the-scenes glimpses into your writing process are good options, too, because they show readers how you go about creating characters and scenes. They'll understand more about your process and get a better feel for the ways you look at the world you're building. As they see how you go about the story you're telling, they'll feel more engaged with what you have to offer.

Social media takeovers by an author are another great way to get audience attention, as that allows authors to directly connect with the influencer's audience. They can get to know the author and publisher, and that can make them more interested in the offered book, along with other books from the same publisher. Live events or online discussions co-hosted with the influencer to generate buzz for your work follow along those same lines and can also create a lot of interest.

Co-creating content with the influencer is another good way to add variety to what that influencer offers. It leverages their unique voice and audience insights while also helping you get your own voice heard and show audiences the value of your book. There are a lot of ways to co-create content, and the kind of content will depend on what the influencer typically offers, the niche and themes of the book, and other factors.

Nurturing the Partnership

After you set up a partnership with an influencer you may feel like the hard part is over. You can just let them do their thing now, and you don't have to spend any time on it. That's not quite true, though, and you want to make sure you're nurturing the partnership you have with your influencer. It's a collaboration for as long as you work with them, not just when it's getting set up at the very beginning.

Open Communication & Collaboration

Once you've gotten your long-term partnership set up and properly structured, you need to make sure you're nurturing it carefully. Since you want it to last, you must work on it. Regular check-ins can help you do that. When you schedule regular meetings or calls to discuss campaign progress you can address any concerns and brainstorm new ideas.

Don't be afraid to provide constructive feedback on the influencer's content, either, while making sure you're still valuing their input on future campaign strategies. When you work together to jointly develop creative content formats and explore new ways to engage the influencer's audience, you can both come up with options that will increase audience interest.

Maintaining Flexibility & Adaptability

Be prepared to adjust the content calendar or campaign strategies based on audience feedback and performance data. If you find that something isn't resonating with the audience, changing it should be a priority. Also, stay updated on new social media trends and explore incorporating them into the influencer partnership. You want to work with an influencer who's interested in trying new things.

Coupling those experiences with what has consistently worked well in the past is an excellent way for you and your influencer to change and adapt to the audience, the market, and the demands of a strong and healthy social media presence. If you're too rigid you could miss out on a lot of opportunities with your influencer and their audience.

Building Long-Term Value

One of the great ways to build value in the long-term is to extend invitations to exclusive author events or industry conferences. You may also want to consider offering opportunities for the influencer to collaborate with other authors you represent and advocating for the influencer within your network to help connect them with other potential brand partnerships. That increases the value you offer to your influencer and can sweeten the deal in getting them to collaborate with you.

Long-Term Partnerships Provide Shared Value

When you have a long-term, ongoing collaboration with an influencer, both of you gain value. That's a big reason why it's important for you to cultivate these kinds of partnerships and make sure you nurture them over time. You'll see more people interested in your book and the influencer will gain more of a following, which can help increase their compensation opportunities. When you "click" with an influencer who can help grow your book's audience, it's a win for both of you.

Cultivating Long Term Partnerships with Influencers
Ingram Associate

Ingram Associate

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