Being in the business of partnership, we understand the value that external partnerships can drive. The challenge for CMOs, however, lies in how to approach this as a long-term and integral part of a marketing strategy to deliver continued growth and brand exposure while not inflating marketing budgets. Here’s how you can elevate your sponsorships and social stars into strategic partners.
Why Are Brands Investing More in Influencers?
We have observed a number of external partnerships emerge over the last 12 months. Some of the factors that contributed to this were operational necessity, changing consumer behavior, the rise of the influencer, and ultimately brands willing to try new approaches in an uncertain world.
According to the Deloitte 2021 Marketing Trends Report, the outlook amongst marketing executives is that 2020-born partnerships have ongoing potential thanks to their success in:
- Addressing customer needs
- Customer engagement
- Entering into new Geographic markets
- Expanding product offerings
- Entering into new industries
However, as the partnership buzz continues, many brands are now looking to continue embracing partnerships as part of their core marketing plan, but contemplate how to strategically leverage them to drive growth. Having facilitated external partnerships from some of the world’s leading brands, transforming your sponsorships and influencers into strategic partners comes down to the right approach and tools at your disposal.
Having facilitated external partnerships from some of the world’s leading brands, transforming your sponsorships and influencers into strategic partners comes down to the right approach and tools at your disposal.
Step Up Your Influencer Campaign Strategy Through Strategic Partnerships
CMO’s can play an integral role by ultimately spearheading the success of the partnership. The brands we have seen be most successful when it comes to partnerships, are the ones that understand that this is not and should not be a siloed channel. Cross-team collaboration amongst influencer, brand, affiliate, and sponsorship managers allows for transparency and the ability to act on growth opportunities when they arise.
A CMO can be a powerful driver for successful external partnerships by providing clear directives on company growth goals, aligning teams and resources, and communicating and conveying the brand value proposition when approaching external partners.
Here are the 5 ways to transform your influencer campaigns into massive growth drivers for your business.
1. Look at Influencers Like Affiliates
To generate incremental growth, prove ROI and scale your marketing activity is going to require more than a broad brand exposure agreement. That is why it’s important to look at your influencer and sponsorships through the lens of affiliates. Transform these agreements into performance partnerships and payout only when the desired outcome has been achieved.
2. Strategic Commissioning
One of the most powerful capabilities of partnership automation is variable commissioning. This provides your marketing team the ability to incentivize partners with different commissions and offers based on specific objectives.
When applied to your influencer and sponsorship activity, marketers can look beyond flat-fee payments and implement structures in accordance with your growth goals. This is a strategic way to improve the profitability and revenue of your existing sponsorship and influencer campaigns.
3. Leverage the Transparency of Tracking
The key to investing in high-growth opportunities for a CMO is going the be the ability to first identify them. Thanks to advancements in affiliate technologies, there has never been better transparency into understanding your influencer and sponsorship activity.
Start leveraging tracking links to attribute who is driving your sales and the reporting suite of your partnership automation platform to understand the overall performance of your campaigns.
4. Look at the Long Term
Only 22% of brands find it easy to source influencers that are appropriately matched with their business. This matched with the time and resource investment that goes into setting up campaigns and sponsorships highlights the need to seek out long-term or on-going partnerships.
Before embarking on the partnership, map out with your internal teams every possible opportunity that can be leveraged with the sponsor or influencer and make it known early on you are looking for a long-term partnership.
5. Keep the Customer in Mind
To deliver a high impact, innovation and growth in 2021, will require brands to approach partnership opportunities always with customers in mind. In fact, 79% of CMO’s expect growth to be fueled by their existing customers.
Consider what is important to them and what behaviors they might have adopted or changed in the last 12-months. Explore sponsorships and influencer partners that can address these very consumer needs and challenges for your brand. Remember, your influencers and sponsorships can add authenticity to the campaign where a generic brand message might not succeed.
Whether it’s brand to brand collaboration, taking a performance approach to sponsorship, or scaling up influencer-led social campaigns, growth can be unlocked in surprising places. Take the wheel of your partnerships to ensure success. Align resources, set targets and make your objectives known so that partnership opportunities are not missed.
- Our Guide to Influencer Marketing
- Learn Why Micro & Nano Influencers Deserve More of Your Time
- How To Make Retail Influencer Marketers More Accountable
- 7 Tips To Make Influencer Partnerships Successful
- Unlocking Influencer Growth Through Your Partner Marketing Program
- How to Protect Influencer Marketing Programs from Affiliate Fraud
- Maximizing the Benefits of Influencers by Platform