Ever wonder what an influencer has to say about brand collaborations? We’ve compiled a list of things influencers want you and your brand to know when it comes to working with them! Read below for their exact words on communicating, setting up campaign guidelines, and content generation in the influencer marketing process. After working with thousands of influencers, Lifo has been able to gather many insights: we have compiled this into information for brands to highlight and keep in mind when collaborating with influencers.
Authenticity is the Key
We were able to interview Destiny, a mom day to day life: from bonding time with her
sons to how she balances pamper time for herself amidst her everyday schedule, Destiny started her journey on Instagram just a year ago and has amassed thousands of followers. When it comes to working on brand collaborations, she notes that authenticity is the biggest and most important factor she looks for.
For newer influencers, it cannot hold more true that there must be variety and almost purely influencer-generated content within their online platforms. Followers are especially keen on picking up changes in their favorite influencer’s platform, so a sudden change to their normal content would inevitably throw them off, potentially affecting the influencers’ following and relationship with their audience.
Whether it is rooted in work, the household, or even travelling, influencer platforms are a space to create genuine dialogue and discourse over their life and the content generated from it. Thus, brand collaborations are a big deal, especially for a smaller influencer just getting their footing and grasping their online persona on their platform. As a brand, understand and get creative based on the type of discourse the influencer normally cultivates with their audience. Formulate your campaign based on that, and negotiate with the influencer about what type of brand campaign content you both think will work best for them. After all, the influencer knows best on what will do well on their platform.
Keep in Touch!
After your campaign with an influencer, you may think your work is done with them but that’s often not the case! It may be hard to believe, but influencers will actually appreciate it if you continue to follow up with them after you both finish your collaboration on a campaign. This applies especially to smaller influencers, who could really use some support here and there and more opportunities to collaborate if they are looking to do networking.
Whether it is shooting a follow-up DM asking how they’re doing or even what other type of content they’ve been creating recently, influencers will appreciate the gesture. A little can go a long way.
Commission-Based Campaigns Are Harder Than They Seem
This is a surprising one, but campaigns that involve influencers promoting a custom coupon or promo code that most likely has their name attached to it is difficult and usually only turns out to be a hit if that influencer has a highly niche and loyal following. In this case, your job as a brand would be to accommodate that niche community and determine what type of campaign narrative would fit into the influencer’s platform.
It makes sense that the everyday consumer would much rather lean towards a better deal for themselves than an influencer’s special code for the product. Moreover, the success of commission-based campaigns ultimately lies in the hands of consumers, something that influencers themselves cannot inherently control. There are many factors, such as the brand’s appeal (website design, accessibility, reach), that must be taken into consideration when planning out this type of campaign. Therefore, do your research as a brand and understand your partner’s follower base before deciding on the type of campaign you will have them participate in.
Below is a list of different types of campaigns that are guaranteed to be conducive to your chosen influencer’s platform:
Affiliate marketing: a marketing strategy that encourages individuals, or affiliates, to promote a brand in exchange for commission
Social media takeovers: an influencer is given full access to a brand’s social media accounts and is enlisted to help promote their message
Contests & giveaways: an influencer asks their followers to perform a certain task (comment on a post, answer a question, like a post) and is automatically entered into a random raffle where winners receive the brand’s products for free
Brand ambassador programs: a brand reaches out to an individual who is ready to promote them at any time by sharing images, posts, videos, or articles related to the brand -- ambassadors essentially represent or are the “essence” of the brand and are meant to embody the brand’s message in full
Sponsored social media content: one of the most common types of influencer marketing campaigns, a brand pays for an influencer to post about or mention the brand in one of their social media posts
Gifts: a brand sends influencers a package of products for free in hopes of gaining free publicity -- also called product seeding
Sponsored blog posts: a blogger mentions a brand in one of their blog posts so the brand can gain publicity or an entire post is dedicated to the brand
Guest blogging: a brand sends ready-to-post blogs to various blogs or websites known in their industry for them to upload and hopefully garner public attention
Discuss these options with the influencer and mutually agree on what type of campaign would not only mesh seamlessly with your brand’s message and mission, but also weave into the influencer’s platform and audience base’s interests as well.
Polish Those Campaign Briefs But Don’t Be Overbearing
This was a big one, but campaign briefs are key when negotiating collaboration with your chosen influencer. Kay-Dee is a mom influencer documenting life with her daughter and husband and shows daily life doing tasks around the house or family outings where her daughter gets to explore the outdoors. She notes that one of her worst collaborations was a result of poor communication regarding content creation. The brand wasn’t specific about their content guidelines, and she ultimately had to recreate her work, which is both inefficient and time intensive as influencers invest a lot of time and resources into creating unique content.
Many brands often overlook this step, but having a concise yet comprehensive campaign brief to hand off to your influencer is crucial: not only is it a quick and easy reference that the influencer can always look back on, but it also sells the pitch even more. As an influencer, a brand with a put together campaign brief detailing all the steps to the campaign and what the collaboration would entail would dispel much of the apprehension and questions when it comes to working with brands especially for the first time.
For reference, the following are some major points to be included in any campaign brief that your brand should not miss:
Name of your advertiser/brand
The social media account(s) the influencer should be posting the sponsored content on
Description of the sponsored content an influencer has agreed to publish (and corresponding dates for when the influencer should anticipate to complete the content creation by)
A brief synopsis of the campaign goals
A list of messaging/takeaway points that an influencer should include in their posts (and a list of messaging points that an influencer should not include)
The specific call to action the influencer should include
Any contest or giveaway rules, if applicable
The tracking link and/or landing page that an influencer should use
Any brand assets (logo, slogan, etc.) that helps the influencer’s followers remember your brand
While it is important to note that there are many factors that go into campaign planning for influencer marketing, the biggest turnoff for most influencers may just perhaps be the overbearing campaign guidelines. As a brand willing to collaborate with them for a campaign, the importance of the relationship between an influencer and their followers throughout this process must be understood before anything else.
We understand that there is a lot at stake when it comes to a campaign for your brand, but our biggest piece of advice for you as a member of a brand is to trust the influencer. Trust that they know what type of content would generate the most engagement, highest conversion, and most positive feedback from their audience base. After all, it’s their platform and their audience -- they know them best.
Pay on Time
You’ll be surprised by how many influencers noted this when discussing the challenges
of collaborating with brands. Brands, end your collaboration and partnership on a good note, and pay your influencer on time and accordingly! This is all part of the relationship building process, and leaving on this foot could serve you and your brand more in the long run as you might come back to reconnect with this influencer.
At the end of the day, enjoy this process! This is an amazing opportunity to discover influential figures in your brand’s field or industry, and definitely holds many creative outlets for generating a positive message for your brand image and its industry at large. Make sure to subscribe to Lifo’s newsletter to learn the latest tips and news in the influencer marketing industry!
Brands, capitalize on these insights and see a side to your influencer campaigns like never before with Lifo! Lifo leverages advanced AI and technology to help you run influencer campaigns at scale – searching, collaborating and tracking, so that you can grow your brand and business rapidly and effortlessly.
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