Top brands work with influencers differently than small ones.

The main difference is that large brands have a long-term strategy for developing their community and monitor community health metrics, while small brands are mostly focused on one-time sponsorship campaigns.

1. PR not media buying.

If we will check influencer posts with Instagram mentions of top-tier brands we will see that only about 2% of posts are sponsored, and the other 98% are organic and it is good.

People talk about the brand because they love the brand and not because they were paid for that.

The brand influencer marketing team does not buy posts in large quantities, but builds relationships with influencers: sends gifts, invites to events, makes collaborations.

Top brands work with small influencers until they get big.

It’s much easier to mend a relationship with a creator when he is not spoiled by brand offerings and has only a few thousand subscribers.

A recent study by HypeAuditor showed that as the number of subscribers grows, so does the average number of incoming collaboration offers from brands: on average, a nano-influencer receives about 3 offers per month, while a mega-influencer gets from 20.

Top brands work on a large scale not with hundreds of influencers, but with thousands.

2. Influencer retention is critical to long-term success.

Brands that influencers write about constantly receive more Earned Media Value and have a more stable community.

It’s easier to work with influencers who have already written about the brand.

Influencer retention is a very important metric for measuring the health of a community.

Influencer Retention refers to the proportion of content creators that mentioned your brand in a given period, who also mentioned you in a corresponding time before that

If 100 creators mentioned your brand in Q4 and 50 of those same creators posted in Q3, then your brand’s retention rate for Q3 would be 50%.

In a healthy influencer community, retention increases over time, because more influencers demonstrate a genuine brand affinity.

Retaining influencers maximizes both the volume and quality of content creation about your brand over a sustained period.

Top-performing brands in Earned Media Value(EMV) also have better retention than their competitors.

Retention is the greatest indicator of long-term influencer marketing success. Influencer relationships tend to appreciate over time, so brands that retain a large proportion of the influencers they work with are well-positioned for sustainable, long-term growth in EMV and other key community metrics.

Retention is a primary indicator of both EMV growth and community health.

How to increase retention?

Assign a team lead for influencers who have already posted.

For example, give one employee 500 and the second 500 influencers. Then look after half a year at the percentage of repeated posts and understand who is doing well and who is bad.

Develop an onboarding program for influencers when an influencer writes about your company for the first time. Contact, thank, send a gift, etc.

Develop an influencer return program. Track influencers who haven’t written about your brand for a long time, contact them and find out the reason and try to motivate the mention of your brand in their future content.

3. Keep track of the correct metrics.

Top brands monitor community health metrics. One of them is Influencer Retention, two others are Brand Posting Frequency and Post-performance.

Keep track of Brand Posting-frequency metrics – the frequency of mentions of your brand by an influencer.

It is important to understand that these metrics will be different for brands from different verticals. For example, for beauty brands, it is normal for an influencer to change them 3 or more times a month, since a creator can post his beauty routine and mark the cosmetic brands he uses.

At the same time, alcohol brands can be changed no more than once a month, otherwise, the audience may misunderstand the influencer. Everything is very individual here and the starting points of the metrics should be taken after the initial collection of information.

Prioritize influencers with good Brand post-performance. Usually, posts with brand mentions receive a lower Engagement Rate(likes and comments), than regular posts.

If you see an influencer with good Brand Post-Performance it can mean that the influencer’s audience likes the way the influencer talks about your brands. That is why you should prioritize such influencers.