Brands are most likely lying to themselves when thinking they own influencers exclusively. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that BMW are concerned that Mercedes might approach the same influencers…
However, in reality it’s a different story and exclusivity might very well be one of influencer marketing’s biggest pipe dreams. Here are four reasons why:
1. Influencers have spent years building their social media presence, reach, brand and audience. Restricting revenues isn’t going to be an option that makes a lot of sense for most influencers.
2. Influencers are very conscious about authenticity and want to make money in a sustainable way. In this sense, the brand should trust that the influencer will make smart decisions around what brands to work with. Any established influencer will most likely choose the long term play, and avoid flip-flopping between competing brands which in the end almost certainly will hurt the influencer brand and credibility.
3. When a successful relationship has been built between brand and influencer, few influencers would jeopardize that relationship. Smart influencers don’t bite the hand that feeds them.
4. Brands are spending an increasing amount of money on influencers and will most likely identify the same influencers sooner or later anyway. Spending time and effort on attempting to prevent this is most likely a battle already lost.
It is short sighted to believe it’s possible to keep an exclusive relationship with influencers by trying to hide them. Brands should rather focus on good influencer relationships and grow these over time.