Your company has spent ample resources identifying influencers that are relevant to your brand. You’ve chosen a few key individuals that would elevate your marketing efforts and you are ready to jump in.

So, what’s next?

During the Fall CMO Club Innovation and Inspiration Summit, panelists during our Brands and Influencers in Today’s Digital Ecosystem and Branding, Social Media and Content Influencers What’s Really New? sessions gave CMOs several things to keep top of mind when forging a relationship with brand influencers:

  1. Align Your Vision

Collaborations are all about teamwork, aligned goals and authenticity. The marketer’s goal is to engage a new audience, while the influencer must present the brand message without losing their own voice. To avoid a missed connection, establish a relationship with an influencer who matches the culture and vision of your brand, while resonating with your desired audience.

  1. Present a Lifestyle

Incorporate the traditional endorsement with the experience vehicle. An example of this is Red Bull – they’ve expanded their marketing to include not just a drink, but the entire lifestyle of the Red Bull athlete and consumer. Similarly, by leveraging an influencer and the lifestyle that they depict to their followers, brands have the ability to create an entire experience that lives far beyond a product or purchase.

  1. Let Them Do Their Thing

An influencer has risen to digital fame because they are doing something well. Maybe they have millions of followers on YouTube, or a loyal fan base from a recent film – either way, they know how best to talk to their audience. So, let them do what they do best. Encourage an influencer to deliver content in an entertaining way, engaging viewers with contests or polls.

  1. Read the Numbers

A relationship with an influencer is just one part of a larger marketing strategy. Brands still need to be testing, tracking and responding to data across the entire consumer journey. Don’t be afraid to try different mediums and platforms – new apps such as SnapChat and Periscope are ideal for creating buzz and are being dominated by savvy influencers.

  1. Engage Them

Today’s influencers are developing a more entrepreneurial spirit and many are learning how to leverage their own fame to launch a business. In order to create a relationship with longevity, brands need to make sure the influencers themselves are engaged with and excited about the brand and the vision.

Brands and Influencers in Today’s Digital Ecosystem & Branding, Social Media and Content Influencers What’s Really New? panelists included: Omar Epps, Actor, Songwriter and Producer, Sean Finnegan, Co-Founder of Brandish, Adam Lilling, Founding and Managing Partner of Plus Capital, Greg Benson of Mediocre Films, Matthew Patrick, of The Game Theorists, Meghan Rienks, YouTuber, Actress and Lifestyle Influencer and Larke Paul, VP of Partnerships at MOFILM.