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Should You Have Long-Term Relationships with Social Influencers?

Through influencer marketing, brands leverage the authority and the sway of social media movers and shakers, from bloggers up through Hollywood superstars. As you begin on your influencer marketing journey, a common question is this: Is it better to facilitate long-term relationships with influencers, or stick to one-time connections?

There is no right or wrong answer, and it really comes down to the preferences of your brand. Cultivating a long-term relationship requires more of an investment, to be sure—but that investment can pay off big dividends. At the same time, one-offs have their place, and plenty of advantages to offer.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and the cons of long-term influencer relationships.

The Pros of Long-Term Influencer Relationships

We’ll start with some of the positives.

  • When you work with one influencer over the long haul, you develop a certain repetition. You and the influencer create some comfortable patterns, which makes each campaign easy and efficient.

  • Generally, working with the same influencer over the long term yields consistent results. You will always know roughly what to expect from your influence partner.

  • Once you establish a relationship and find the influencer to be trustworthy, it eliminates a lot of the risk and uncertainty from the influencer marketing process.

  • Working with a single influencer can really reinforce brand recognition; your target audience will be exposed to your brand not just once, but repeatedly.

The Cons of Long-Term Influencer Relationships

In addition to these benefits, it’s also important to be aware of a few potential drawbacks. The cons of long-term influencer relationships include:

  • You have a lack of variation among influencers. If you know exactly what kind of influencer you need for your campaign, that’s great; if you’re not yet sure of the best approach, it might make more sense to work with a few different influencers before committing to anything long-term.

  • Along the same lines, you have a lack of variation in your target audience; you’re effectively marketing to the same group over and over. Again, that’s fine if you know who your ideal audience is, but can be problematic if you’re still figuring that out.

  • When you know you’re investing in a long-term relationship, it’s doubly important to lay a solid foundation for success—which means that the initial campaign setup can be just a little bit more time consuming.

Which Option is Right for You?

Again, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution here. There are merits to both approaches, and it really comes down to what your brand is hoping to get from the influencer marketing process. (Additionally, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to choose just one approach; many brands invest in some long-term influencer relationships, but augment those with some one-time collaborations.)

As you consider the way forward for your brand, make sure you weigh the potential benefits of influencer marketing—and also the different ways in which those benefits can be achieved.

Author: Kelly Hall