Social media are the main tool to discover and research new products and services. And influencer marketing is necessary for brands that want to establish themselves. While crafting and executing influencer marketing campaigns is quite simple contacting and partnering with influencers can be hard and complicated, at least the first few times.
In this article, we will present 7 tips for you to partner with influencers confidently and with a valuable offer for both parties.
Influencer marketing campaign workflow
Influencer marketing campaigns are born out of the drawing table of a brand or an agency. Starting by individuating an area that would need improvements, often sales or brand awareness. The team will come up with a strategy to tackle the issue that involves collaborating with influencers. The strategy should also outline what are the KPIs that mark its success.
Creator research and outreach
After having shortlisted a few potential influencers to collaborate with comes the outreach phase. The campaign idea is pitched to them and it can develop into a negotiation around compensation and objectives.
Once an agreement has been reached is time for the content creators to prepare the deliverables for the campaign. This moment generally includes a series of revisions of the content from the brand or agency in order to make sure the content fits with the brand image.
When the content is satisfying for all the parties it gets published and comes the time to track the campaign.
Monitoring results and engagement in order to evaluate KPIs accomplishment.
Based on the content performances many brands will start considering certain influencers for long-term collaborations.
How to create a killer influencer marketing campaign?
In a sense influencer marketing campaigns truly embody McLuhan’s famous phrase “The medium is the message”. Because they connect customers, and brands through influencers these campaigns need to take into account the specificities of each influencer.
Differently from every other advertising medium-influencer have their own preferences and style. And they should all be taken into account when deciding about the collaboration.
The unique style of a creator should never be seen as a detriment to the campaign but as a strength to empower the message.
If a brand understands the unicity and potential of the creators they are partnering with they can easily incorporate it into their influencer marketing campaign. Creating a more engaging and captivating experience for potential customers.
Why partnering with influencers can be difficult
Influencers per se are not difficult to find, just looking at the discovery page of Instagram you may see tens of them. But finding the right ones for a brand is a more complicated task. Following numbers are not enough, there is a need for a convergence of values, fields of expertise, and much more.
And after having found the right ones, many influencers may be reluctant to partner with a brand that they are not sure they can trust. They are going to present it to their audience and one wrong collaboration can break the trust that is established between them.
1 – Find common values and interests
When partnering with influencers, the first aspect to look at is shared values.
Before considering partnering with any influencer a brand should do its due diligence. Look at the content the influencer has created. Have an idea of their style and tone, and evaluate how it fits with the brand image.
By getting familiar with the creator’s content is also possible to individuate common values and interests. Having overlapping interests is a great starter for collaboration.
Once the common points are found be mindful to include them in the pitch and explain how they are important for the campaign, this is going to make the partnership feel the fruit of a common vision.
Gabi DeMartino is a beauty influencer with 4.4 million followers on Instagram and 3+ million on YouTube. She is outspoken about her passion for self-care, plastic surgery, and luxurious items. Her vlog after her third nose job was the perfect occasion for Gabi to bring up her love for Fraîcheur Ice Globes. The collaboration not only felt natural because of the situation she was in, with her discomfort mitigated by the Ice Globes, but also because the product fitted perfectly with her style.
2 – Collaborate with experts
Prominent members of an industry or experts on a specific matter are often also influencers who have created a following around themselves. By partnering with them, it is possible to foster a deep relationship between thought leadership and the brand.
Sponsoring industry-related events, papers, and research is a long-established practice that can help to bring a brand’s name to the forefront.
Similarly, this can be done on social media through partnerships with industry leaders and experts.
Organizing virtual panels and roundtables is a great way to offer not only brand exposure but also influencers the possibility to present their expertise and network.
While unconventional, it offers the possibility to present the brand as dedicated to the furthering of the industry and wanting to engage in serious discussions.
When Yakult wanted to highlight the value of its products, it partnered with doctor and YouTuber Ricky’s Time. Ricky is an officially certified nutritionist and clinical scientist. Through his YouTube channel, Ricky helps people stay informed about health and well-being. A doctor’s approval is a powerful endorsement for a product like Yakult which is targeting a health-conscious audience.
3 – Include social value
Leaving a positive impact is always a great incentive. Connecting a campaign to a tangible and positive impact in the real world is going to provide ulterior incentives to the content creators to participate.
Showing interest and support for causes a creator sides with is going to create a more favorable image in the minds of the creator and its audience.
Arts and crafts content creator DIY Danie has a history of scoliosis and knows the danger of bad sleeping posture. Thanks to her background, she was a great choice for Derila and their optimized sleep pillow line. By connecting the product to her condition, she could transfer credibility and trust in the brand and its pillows.
4 – Make a compelling offer
Content creators and influencers, as many others don’t want to work for free. Be sure to be respectful of their time and craft by offering fair compensation for their job.
Many expect content creators to work in exchange for free products or services, and while this is true in some cases it is not the norm.
Compensation for influencers can follow a few different models:
- Flat rate, where the total price is established beforehand and performances are not going to affect it.
- Results-based, which can use indicators like views and likes multiplied for a flat rate to price the content the base of its achievement.
- Commission-based, the creator is going to receive a percentage for each sale that is directly traceable to them.
- A mixed rate is generally configured as a flat rate plus a results bonus for reaching of certain levels on the likes, views, or conversions.
Monetary incentives are the most direct and obvious but in certain cases focusing on other perks can also be powerful motivators.
Exclusive access to products, custom modifications, and other similar approaches can be very enticing for creators in your industry.
Here is why you should not use an affiliate program when it comes to influencers.
Sometimes, after the creators know a certain brand is interested in sponsoring them, they will develop ambitious content ideas. This is the case for Jbao and World of Tanks: being an engineer in his previous career he proposed to put together a homemade tank for promoting the game. The project was more costly than a simple playthrough video, but it also reached a much higher level of notoriety and views.
5 – Creative Content Synergy
Don’t limit yourself to integrations or standard content formats. Each creator has their own voice and a way to express themselves and integrate them into your marketing campaign.
By proposing ideas that fit the influencer content style is going to be more likely to be accepted and to have delivered a campaign that is truly effective.
Combining the influencer’s style with the brand goals is going to deliver a campaign that resonates authentic and genuine.
Artisans de demain is a traveling duo always on the move that creates extremely high-quality content from their travels around the world. When Acer wanted to promote its newest compact line of PCs there was no better matchup than with Artisans de demain. Both their situation and history and their artistic quality were perfect to highlight the value and characteristics of the new laptop line.
6 – Long-Term Relationship Building
The possibility of long-term collaboration is going to show dedication and support to the influencers involved
While many companies prefer one-off collaboration, the real value of influencers is in the long game. Showing true interest in partnering with them, not just for brief access to their audience, is going to be a great signal about your brand’s commitment.
Developing long-lasting relationships is not only cheaper but is also a strong signal to the audience of those influencers. It shows commitment to the collaboration beyond immediate sales and support for the creator’s values.
Not every influencer a brand partners with should become a brand ambassador, but there should be a clear idea of what would constitute a good candidate.
Benefitbug is a Korean Maplestory streamer with over 250K subscribers. Many may expect that a VPN sponsorship would be almost a mandatory step in such a streamer career. Benefitbug was able to include advantages specifics for its audience in the ad read making it very successful and pushing NordVPN to extend the collaboration to other 8 integrations and obtain extra exposure and conversions at a lower cost.
7 – Staying open about expectations and deliverables.
Content creators may have ideas about how to deliver your message in the best possible way.
They know their audience better than anyone else and their whole career is based on creating content that resonates with them.
By discussing expectations and deliverables details is possible to obtain concepts that better fit the specifics of a creator’s audience.
It can also be a very important part of how KPIs are identified and calculated.
Softcore erotic ASMR video may not be the first medium that a marketer would think of for promoting a videogame but in the case of Arrukai and Erolabs, it was a match made in heaven. The content creator specializes in ASMR roleplay that revolves around male figures being flirty. By adding a twist about distraction were able to create a seamless ad for NU: Carnival.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that can help most brands to establish themselves. To do it correctly is important to consider the influencers themselves for what they are: people passionate about certain topics and able to gain attention around them.
Finding influencers with common values, including a social value in the campaign, and establishing a content strategy that is mindful of their unique characteristics are great steps to make it easier for an influencer to accept a partnership and see the value for themselves in it.
Fair remuneration, the possibility of long-term relationships, and openness to inputs on the campaign results and contents are all aspects that will help to have good and healthy connections that not only promote sales but also boost the brand image.