Influencers shouldn’t be used as one-off faces for a brand. Building and maintaining a meaningful relationship with an influencer and ultimately their audience, can result in lifelong return customers who are invaluable to a business. We interviewed Suleman Kudus from Suls World on the importance of valuing influencer content and the importance of long-term partnerships.
1.) How did you start as an influencer?
Wow, how much time do we have – haha! Truth be told, I don’t refer to myself as an influencer because think about it, we’re all influencers in our own right. A friend recommends another friend to buy a product, he/she has influenced their decision irrespective of how many followers they have. I’m more of a content creator. So, I come from a sporting background but when things didn’t work out I found myself drawn to TV ads and marketing. I ended up starting a small online magazine, which led to me developing my own personal blog/social platforms that grew from there.
2.) How do you think the Influencer industry is evolving?
I think it’s a very exciting time to be an influencer, content creator or creative. We are seeing more people using their passions to build a loyal community, help people, and make more money than a basic 9-5 from influencing. It’s an industry which is still new and needs to be explained at a networking event, but in the next 3-5 years, it could become the norm.
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3.) What kind of brands that you work with and why?
I work with two types of brands, the so-called major players who are well known and produce trustworthy products/services. But, I really enjoy working with the smaller independents who have a really cool story or USP. It’s hard to start a brand or anything for yourself so, if it aligns with my brand and I can help bring people or brands up in any way, I’m happy to do it. I always loved the story of the guy who rides over the hill and comes back to tell everyone its safe to move forward – that’s me haha.
4.) Do you have any tips for brands looking to work with influencers?
Find the right influencers for you, micro or macro. Then build a proper relationship with them whether through an ambassador program or regular work. The thing I see so many brands fall down on is finding the right influencers for their campaigns. Plus, what often happens is that it will be a one-off campaign which is even worse in my opinion. Ok sure, you may get some ROI on a one-off campaign but the whole point of working with an influencer is so people associate that persons face/social platform with your brand and become a consumer. Some consumers are like naughty children you’ve got to tell them once, twice and even three times before they get your message. This is how brands should approach working with influencers.
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5.) What are the mistakes brands make when working with influencers?
I’ve pretty much addressed this in the question above, but in summary, it’s not working with the right influencers, not building long-term relationships, and not valuing the work influencers produce (although this is getting better).
According to a study by Twitter, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making a purchase. If an influencer has built a trusting audience, that trust is transferred to the brands they partner with. So building that relationship is key to running a successful influencer campaign, Unsure of how to go about finding your perfect influencers? Read our guide here.
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