*This series of photos were from a recent shoot I did with Tess Wicks from Wander Wealthy*
Today I decided to throw a little tidbit of knowledge your way. Since we’re in the midst of the holiday season, influencer campaigns are now in full swing. Which means there’s no better time to talk about my personal experience with influencer marketing. I’ve been involved in influencer marketing for the past three years and have seen the landscape slowly change. It’s become a vital part of any brands marketing strategy and with the overflow of influencers all wanting their own slice of the pie, brands have had to become more conscious of the influencers they work with.
Slowly but surely, companies have come to realize influencer marketing is a vital part of a strong, well-rounded marketing plan. Between working with bloggers/influencers on the content creation side, in addition to the brand side, I’d like to believe I have a solid grasp on what makes up influencer marketing. However, since this world is so new and ever-changing, that might change tomorrow. But for now, I want to share my knowledge, mostly from the perspective of someone who works for a small/medium sized brand (you may have heard of a little company called Ello).
So, what do brands look for when wanting to partner with influencers on a campaign? How does one get noticed by a brand? I’m hear to answer all of these burning questions.
Elements brands looks for when partnering with an influencer:
Authentic Follower Numbers:
Today’s influencer marketing landscape is overwhelming. Brands spend countless hours going through accounts checking for a handful of different elements. For example, you will pull up someone’s account and see they have a large number of followers, this might seem enticing at first but once you start to dig deeper there’s a few things they quickly notice:
Likes on a photos: Say someone has 24,000 followers and only an average of 150 likes on each photos — what does this say? Either that their audience is not engaged with their content or they have purchased followers. Buying followers has become a major issue on all social platforms, but more specifically Instagram. Granted Instagram has started to crack down on the sites that allow people to buy followers and likes, it’s still a major issue.
Engagement on a post: It’s one thing to see a bunch of comments on a post but dig a little deeper. Looking at who on those who are commenting on the post, it’s easy to spot if those accounts look fishy…it’s highly likely are they’re bot accounts and inauthentic as well. It’s important to note, brands do their research, especially smaller companies who want to make sure their marketing dollars being spend in the most efficient way.
Content: Does every post include some kind of brand partnerships? How authentic do you think this feels to the audience? If you’re continuously posting brand partnerships, your followers aren’t idiots they realize you’re getting paid by the brands. This makes the partnership feel less authentic, and in return might turn your followers away from your account or the products you’re promoting.
Consistency Throughout All Platforms
It’s confusing to brands when they see beautiful images on an influencer’s Instagram account and then head to their blog, only to see short post with bad grammar and subpar content. If the photos are dark/bad lighting, this doesn’t paint a good picture in the brand’s mind. Not to mention, lessen the chances of them working with said influencers.
Easy Flow of Communication
Okay so you’ve been sent an email from a brand asking for rate, now what? Send them an email as soon as you read it, especially if you’re interested in the project and feel it aligns with your personal brand. Chances are they have a long list of influencers they’re interested in working with. It’s just a matter of who responds and what there rates are.
In addition, when working on a partnership, the amount of emails is insane. In order to make everyone’s life easier, brands greatly appreciate someone who is able to communicate in a timely manner. Yes, we all get busy but it shouldn’t take someone two weeks to respond to a brands email (unless stated in automatic reply email) confirming your go live date. Can you tell I’m speaking from experience? It creates unnecessary stress for the brand, or partnership coordinator who has presented the list of influencers to their marketing team, with contracts signed and the influencers is unable to deliver. It’s simply unprofessional.
Someone Who is Transparent
Make sure you’re upfront with the brand. If you’ve had a different brand reach out regarding a collaboration and they’re in a similar category, check with the brand. If you don’t, post the content. The brands keep an eye out for these things. It leaves a distaste in their mouth. They know that you’re trying to make money off your brand but also they see it as not be transparent. On the other hand, letting the brand know and still post the partnership even though they advised you against it. Yeah, that’s a major “no, no”.
I hope this post sheds a little light on what brands look for when scoping out potential bloggers to partner with. If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way.
Hope you have a great holiday!