The influencer marketing industry is exploding, and companies are investing heavily in this strategy, which promises to earn an ROI 11X higher than all other forms of digital media.  In fact, 84% of marketers said they would be investing in the strategy.  Why wouldn’t they? It’s a clutch tactic if you consider the stats:

In 2017, influencer marketing is reaching a tipping point.  If it is expected to reach $5-10 billion by 2020, how can the human side of the equation manage this explosive growth?  While profits and bottom line dollar are significant, at the end of the day this is a people business.  Influencers are not merely images and content, just as brands are not facades behind a wall but rather they are made of individuals.

This “tipping point” I am talking about refers to the relationship piece of influencer marketing.  Influencer marketing works because influencers are exceptional at building trust, communication, engagement, and loyalty with their followers.  

The Influencer rules, and it’s crucial we learn about their needs in the brand-influencer relationship.  In order for the delicate eco-system of [ brand -> influencer -> consumer -> brand -> profits ] to continue.  That is why I thought it crucial that in the second part of our Influencer Playbook Series, we focus on the brand-influencer relationship.

INFLUENCER PLAYBOOK INSIDER SECRETS, PART II: Influencer Tips for Brands

“The first thing I ask a brand is to send me their product so I can try it out. If I find it isn’t a good fit for me, then I’ll let them know, but if I fall in love with their brand/products, then I’m more than happy to help promote it. My followers are eager to hear about the next best thing, and I’m more than happy to share the best brands and products with them!” – Jamie Otis, Reality TV Star | (Spotlight Interview)

“My community keeps coming back because I write about my own personal experiences and opinions, which has shown to be more trustworthy than traditional advertising. I take that influence very seriously, which is why I only work with brands that I use and trust.” – Marissa Sutera, Travel Blogger | (Spotlight Interview)

“I’ve had many brands ask to work with me via social media. I have chosen a few that I felt fit into the dynamic of what I’ve created and those instances have been incredibly fun, and successful.” – Todd Carey, Musician | (Spotlight Interview)

I’m really specific whom I will work with, even which brands.  My biggest thing: if it works for me I’m going to promote it.  On social media you have your grandma, your aunt, your mom, I mean you’ve got a lot of people following you and you have to stay true to your brand.  I would never promote something just to promote something.” – Christie Cash, Glutes and Gloss | (Spotlight Interview)  

“I see myself endorsing brands that I can relate to. Marketing things I can use in my everyday tasks or at a one-time event. I am sponsored by Mixcder Headphones and part of our deal is for me to market their product on my Facebook page.” – Anthony Rodriguez, Musician | (Spotlight Interview)

“It’s been a pleasant surprise to see brands and agencies value influencers. We’ve come a long way from mere ‘mommy bloggers’.” – Selena Kohng, How About Cookie | (Spotlight Interview)

“When I find a company that I am passionate about I want to promote them, I spread the word about them to other people.” – Jessica, Gone to the Snow Dogs | (Spotlight Interview)

“Being a brand influencer? Once again it’s all about my readers. When I am approached by a brand, I consider whether the product is something that will benefit my readers. I love sharing new ideas, new ways of doing things, and new products with them.” – Mary Audet, Restless Chipotle | (Spotlight Interview)

“[I] never collaborate with a brand [I] don’t believe in just for money. You could lose loyal fans through this.” Chiara, Culture with Coco | (Spotlight Interview)

“Rather than using traditional banner ads to make money, I prefer to organically incorporate sponsored content onto my site (whether it’s a blog post, social media, or both). I like to do sponsored content because it’s more organic.  This is how I make money; sometimes sponsored blog posts and social, or sometimes just social.” – Jenna Gambicci, Chic City Fashion | (Spotlight Interview)