How to Build Long-Lasting Relationships With Creators to Fuel Consistent Sales Growth

Focus on building genuine connections with creators who will become brand advocates.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

July 21, 2023

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You've probably seen the impact of influencer marketing on your DTC brand. You've seen the spike in awareness, the rush of website visits, the increase in order volume.

But how do you keep this going? How do you turn that flash-in-the-pan success into a steady, glowing source of brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales?

How do you build need a network of passionate creators who believe in your brand and will champion it, not just for a single post or video, but over years?

The answer is building long-lasting relationships with your influencers.

In this blog, we're going to share an insightful guide to help you build enduring, mutually beneficial relationships with influencers. We'll dig into strategies that will enable you to understand influencers better, align your brand with their interests, to give them compelling reasons to keep promoting your brand.

🤔 Why do you need long-term partnerships with influencers?

Long-term Brand Advocacy

In an increasingly cluttered digital landscape, one-off influencer collaborations can often get lost in the noise. When you have a long-term partnership with an influencer, your brand is consistently endorsed over an extended period.

This gives your target audience more opportunities to discover, understand, and ultimately, buy into your brand. The consistent repetition of your brand message also helps brand recall.

Authentic Storytelling

The more an influencer interacts with your brand, the better they understand it. This deep familiarity allows them to weave your brand into their content more organically, creating narratives that feel authentic rather than promotional.

Authentic storytelling resonates better with audiences, building more credibility for your brand and leading to stronger audience engagement.

Influencer Loyalty

Just as customer loyalty is valuable, so is influencer loyalty. An influencer who has a strong relationship with your brand is likely to promote your product rather than a competitor's product.

Better ROI

When influencers maintain a sustained relationship with your brand, they can become more effective spokespeople over time.

Their endorsements don't come across as sales pitches, and their followers are more likely to convert into your customers. Ultimately, this can lead to a higher return on your influencer marketing investment.

Ashwin Melwani, the co-founder and CMO of Obvi, beautifully encapsulated their unique approach to building relationships in an interview.

Don’t treat influencers as a source of revenue, treat them as an extension of the brand. Treat them like you would your VIP customers. Keep them updated with upcoming products and launches. Let them be the first to try new products out. If they feel a part of the brand they’ll want to go above and beyond for you and in turn the content they produce for the brand comes across as more genuine to their following. This is where brands will see the greatest returns.

Below, we'll cover 7 ideas for building unbreakable bonds with your creator community

📲 Follow and engage with their content regularly

Engaging with influencers' content goes beyond just hitting the 'like' button. It means looking at their content, understanding what they're all about, and actively participating in their online community.

Here are some thoughts on this:

  • Comment on their posts: Leaving thoughtful comments on their posts is a great way to show your appreciation and engagement. Try to bring up specific points from their content that you found interesting or valuable. It shows you have invested your time to understand their work.
  • Share their content: Share their content on your social media platforms or even in your newsletters. This not only gives them more visibility but also shows that you value their work.

Here's how Pura Vida shares creator content on their social media:

  • Participate in their live sessions: If they're hosting a live video or a webinar, make sure to join, even if it's for a short time. Especially if it's for your brand! Participating actively, asking questions, or simply acknowledging their efforts can strengthen your relationship.

👥 Understand creators beyond work

Knowing an influencer's journey, motivations, and passions helps you connect with them on a more personal level. It also helps in aligning your brand with influencers whose values and journeys resonate with your brand's mission and story.

  • Connect on a personal level: Engage in conversations that are not just about work. Ask about their journey, their motivations, their highs and lows. This demonstrates that you're interested in them as individuals, not just as business associates.
  • Acknowledge their growth: If they've recently hit a milestone, be it big or small, acknowledge it. Congratulate them on their successes and encourage their endeavors.

Influencers are more than just advertising mediums; they are people with unique stories, interests, and passions. Showing genuine interest in their journey helps to create a deeper connection, which ultimately leads to a more fruitful collaboration.

A great example of this is Pura Vida, the accessory brand.

Here's what Griffin Thall, their founder said in an interview with Yotpo:

"I can personally say that I’ve met 90% of our influencers in person and have either gotten food with them, been traveling with them, or done something where it’s not just about a photo or a handshake." ~ Griffin Thall, CEO of Pure Vida Bracelets

Their impressive influencer network hasn't sprung from isolated transactions or mechanical interactions; it thrives on solid relationships. They spend time interacting with their posts, complimenting them, and asking how their day has been.

💌 Send personalized thank-you notes

Acknowledging the influencer's work with a personalized note can make them feel valued and appreciated. This simple act goes a long way in building lasting relationships.

Here are a few ways to go about it:

  • Write a heartfelt note: Take a moment to pen a personalized note expressing your gratitude. Highlight specific elements that you admired in their work and the positive results their efforts have brought.
  • Send a thank-you video: In this digital age, a personal video message can be a powerful tool. Record a short clip thanking them for their work. Your sincerity will come through, and it's a more engaging way to convey your gratitude.
  • Thank-you package: Along with a thank-you note, you can send a small gift as a token of appreciation. It could be an item from your brand or something you know they would love. A physical package creates a more tangible connection and leaves a lasting impression.

🎉 Publicly appreciate their contribution

Public recognition not only strengthens your relationship with the influencer but also conveys a positive image to their followers.

Here's how you can do it:

  • Social media shout-out: Dedicate a post to the influencer on your social media channels. Tag them and briefly describe what they do and why someone should follow them. This public display of appreciation can boost their reputation among their followers and your audience.
  • Feature them on your website: Create a dedicated section on your website to acknowledge and appreciate the influencers you've worked with. Highlight their story, what they do and how they use your products. When making something dedicated, you can check the look and appearance with computer mockups.
  • Include them in your newsletters: If you send regular newsletters to your customers, you can feature the influencer in one of them. Discuss the successful collaboration and express your gratitude for their hard work.

📚 Provide resources for growth

Supporting influencers in their personal and professional growth is all about encouraging their aspirations. This not only helps them but also strengthens your relationship with them. Here's how you can do it:

  • Online training: Offer access to online courses, webinars, or workshops that can help them enhance their skills. For example, you can reimburse their subscription to platforms like Skillshare or MasterClass, where they can learn from experts in various fields.
  • Offline training: While online training is convenient, face-to-face interactions can offer a richer learning experience. If possible, consider hosting workshops or training sessions that are specifically catered to the influencers' needs.

You can arrange for sessions with professionals in your industry. This could be a top make-up artist if you're a beauty brand, a renowned chef if you're in the food industry, or a leading designer for a fashion brand.

For example, Sephora hosts sessions with top make-up artists to teach influencers new make-up skills.

  • Provide tools and software: Help them improve their content creation process by offering access to premium editing software, graphic design tools, SEO tools, or other tools that your company might be using and find helpful.
  • Mentorship or consultancy: If your brand has experts in certain areas, such as content creation, SEO, or marketing, offer influencers some hours of consultancy or mentorship.

🎯 Actively seek feedback, & identify opportunities to improve

By being a good listener and actively seeking their feedback, you're showing them that their opinion matters to you and that you're keen on improving the relationship for mutual benefit.

This can be done in various ways:

  • Automated feedback emails:

Set up an automated email system that sends a message to influencers after a specific milestone or collaboration is completed. The email can ask for their experience, thoughts, and ideas for improvement.

You can do this easily with SARAL. Set up your email, choose when the email should be sent and you are done.

It also automates follow-ups, so if influencers miss your initial email, you automatically write back to them.

You can embed survey forms in these emails to collect structured feedback. Ask them about their experience working with your brand, their thoughts on the campaign, and areas where they believe improvements can be made. Use a form builder with strong formatting options to make sure your survey doesn't appear too long or complicated.

  • Dedicated communication channels:

Create a dedicated email address (for example, or even a separate chat group on messaging platforms where influencers can express their thoughts, ideas, or concerns.

  • Scheduled virtual meetings:

Regularly schedule video calls using a reliable video conferencing solution or in-person meetings with your influencers. Use this time to ask them about their experience working with your brand, their feedback on the campaign, and any ideas they might have for future collaborations.

🤝 Product collaborations

While product collaborations might not be the initial step in establishing influencer relationships, they certainly mark a significant milestone in this journey. It's a powerful strategy to strengthen your bond with influencers once you've fostered a solid rapport with them.

While it may require a larger investment, this strategy can offer substantial returns — both tangible and intangible. It can bring in more sales, give a PR boost, & elevate your brand perception.

Several brands have leveraged this approach to their advantage:

  • Gymshark: This fitness apparel brand collaborated with its top influencers to create personalized product lines. This not only engaged the influencers more deeply with the brand but also attracted their dedicated followers.
  • Glossier: The beauty brand teamed up with singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo to create custom packages featuring her signature. This strategy successfully harnessed Rodrigo's massive fan base and further elevated the brand's appeal.

Such partnerships allow influencers to infuse their style into your brand, making the collaboration more authentic and appealing to their followers. The influencer is more likely to promote a product they had a hand in creating with enthusiasm and authenticity.

Final thoughts

As a brand marketer or owner, you're juggling countless responsibilities. Managing influencer relationships effectively, while also keeping an eye on your other priorities, can be a challenge.

Like any other aspect of your business, there are tools designed to simplify this process for you.

One such tool is SARAL — an all-in-one influencer marketing platform for DTC brands that want to grow their revenue and not just likes and comments.

SARAL simplifies influencer management, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of building your brand. It eliminates the need for messy spreadsheets and takes away the monotony from routine tasks. All of this is without getting tangled in complex processes or extravagant costs.

Experience it for yourself.  Sign up for a free trial of SARAL today. Test out every feature, reach out to influencers, and see the speed & ease of running your influencer marketing program.

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