• Tiffany

Top Things Brands Should Consider When Partnering With Influencers/Content Creators

If you are a content creator, you will love this post. If you work with content creators/influencers, I hope that you take away something new about this growing area in Marketing for your brand.

Influencers on social media are fast becoming the go to for brands that want to get their message out to a large dedicated audience quickly and with a return, even being chosen over celebrities. By influencer I don't mean celebs or athletes, I'm actually talking about YouTubers, bloggers, Snapchatters (is that a word?), Viners and Instagramers.

In 2015, Variety magazine shared a list of the top social media influencers and how their fan engagement exceeded top celebs in Hollywood. From the list below, you can see that social media influencers like Smosh and Jenna Marbles get more engagement (comments, likes, retweets, etc.) than Jennifer Aniston and Will Smith on their social channels. In my current work in Digital Marketing and PR strategy for brands, I am excited to share that I have worked on campaigns with 3 of influencers in this list plus many more that see high engagement with their dedicated audience.

Having the numbers to back up such a quickly growing industry is helpful. Adweek (yes, I am going all research on you) recently shared information about a study released by Dr. Jonah Berger from the Wharton School, Experticity and the Keller Fay Group showing that, "82 percent of consumers polled said they were highly likely to follow a recommendation made by an influencer and influencers were seen as more credible and believable than average people (94 percent vs. 83 percent), more knowledgeable (94 percent vs. 84 percent) and better at explaining how the product works or is used (92 percent vs. 83 percent)."

I recently enjoyed organizing and moderating a panel event on why influencers and brands should partner to see success. On that panel were influencers, The Style Editrix, Strawburry17 and Swoozie and below is their take on what makes a great influencer and brand partnership.

Key takeaways that all brands should consider when partnering with influencers include:

Identifying What An Influencer Is

The Style Editrix: Someone that can move the meter in lots of different forms.

Strawburry17: A trendsetter. We are the people looking at things differently because Marketing can't be done the way it's always been done.

Swoozie: At the core, we influence people through our thoughts on things or when we say 'go buy this' thousands of people go buy it.

Why Should Brands Partner With Influencers

Me: The Industry perspective is, consumers have created deep connections with online creators and personalities that they follow and when marketers partner with these influencers, people see the brand through the eyes of someone they trust.

How Brands Should Partner with Influencers

Strawburry17: It has to be collaborative... I don't just want to sell something, I want to work together to sell something. If we [the brand and the influencer] can create something and come together, that sells way more and makes the brand look cool... You have to be able to trust what I'm doing and that's how we are going to be able to accomplish something together. We aren't kids in the bedroom filming videos, we are business men and women ready to go to bat for your company.

Swoozie: At the end of the day, we want to help sell units...we want to help connect our audience with the things that we are involved with, when you give us 100% creative control, it makes it easier. We know what our audience wants.

How Influencers Balance Authenticity When Disclosing Paid Partnerships With Brands To Their Audience?

Strawburry 17: It helps break down the wall of being a sell-out to the audience. We aren't just trying to sell you something, we are being honest about it and we like it. I have been sharing with my fans that this is how I work, how we are funded, this is how good ideas get to happen so now when they see a brand video they get more excited. It's all about how you present it and fans are getting on board knowing that's how you are making a living.

The Style Editrix: It's about making it authentic to your brand because it's an easier sell to your fans. As long as it's something you like and believe in it's more authentic as a partnership.

Having these open forums and hearing from content creators directly helps Digital Marketing and PR professionals like myself be better at what we do. To watch the entire video including examples of brand partnerships that the influencers enjoyed and how they are collaborating with other influencers, click here.