Brand Partnerships Through the Influencer Lens

Posted by Alex Ditty on May 17, 2016 2:30:00 PM

In Influencer Marketing, Planning Campaigns, Moment Marketing, Snapfluence

Influencers Talk About the View #FromWhereIStand

Content_Creators_fromwhereistandWe’ve written lots of material guiding marketers to find the ideal content creators-- like our post about what to look for in your dream influencer. But what about the content creators? How do they evaluate the brand opportunities that come their way? The best creators are inundated by brand pitches daily—sometimes as many as 40 pitches per day-- and we got curious about how they sort through the spam and decide which partnerships are worthwhile. So we asked them.

Karen Lao, Noel Besuzzi and Nathan Ochoa, talented expressionists who have worked on campaigns with us in the past, were nice enough to answer our questions and give us some insight from the creator’s perspective. Gaining an understanding of the influencer side of the equation can benefit every step of your campaign—from planning and strategy to approach, recruitment and execution. Here are their pieces of advice:

 

Look for creators who provide an authentic audience match for your brand (not just the people with the biggest following)

Content creators provide brands with an opportunity to reach specific audiences with unique, specialized content. Finding someone with a big following doesn’t mean that they are necessarily a good content or audience fit. It’s about community.

Community means engaged followers who are interested in that specific content and who listen to the content creators like friends. Noel thinks that the community she has built is her most valuable asset for brands. She knows that her recommendation is valuable: “You are more likely to listen to or watch what someone you know is talking about.” Karen echoed this sentiment: “I endorse certain products that fit well with my personality [...], and that gets my friends and other followers to actually try out the products.”

 

Look for creators who may already love your brand and want to work with you.

Additionally, just because an influencer participates in branded promotions on their channels, doesn’t mean they are going to want to partner with you. The best creators know the importance of an authentic match and seek it out before joining any program.

We asked our content creators about the top quality they look for in a brand partnership opportunity… And their answers sounded more like dating profiles than financial transactions. Noel asks herself: “Will this fit into my feed? Will my followers enjoy what is posted if I take that job?” And when it comes down to it, it’s about matching lifestyle, “any brand that aligns with my lifestyle of adventure, outdoors, and parenting” will be a good fit for her feed.

Nate wants to know whether or not the product fits with his “Values, beliefs, and ideals.” He drives home the reason that a good match matters—the quality of the content produced: “Collaborating is brought to another level when there is passion behind the product.”

Noel suggests that brands “spend some time looking at great fits in personality and style. It is amazing to see how many creative people are out there, and when I see a good connection, I am thrilled. Like when Laura Pritchett was partnered with Downey! Seriously? Genius!”

 

Get Creative.

When we asked them about their favorite brand collaborations, a few themes emerged. The programs that were well planned and creative were their favorites. Noel mentioned an exciting challenge presented by Boathouse juices to reinvent the bake sale. Bolthouse Farms encouraged schools to have “no bake” sales using fruits and veggies. She said, “it seemed like such a good use of their efforts in campaigning for their brand to promote healthy eating in children. It was also fun trying to create my own healthy snack that my toddler would eat!”

Similarly, Karen has been excited to work with brands like Deon Dane, On Que Style, Banana Republic, J. Crew and Google—echoing the importance of brand match. She brought it back to the idea of community again, saying that she loved the campaigns that allowed her to do giveaways : “I really liked the chance to give back to followers.”

One thing that none of them mentioned: a boring, plain-old product placement.

This is best summarized in Karen’s opinions that brands “let the influencer be creative because posts that sound like generic ads don't get much response.”

 

Creativity, Authenticity, and Clout—Value Provided

We wanted to know what value these content creators think they bring to the table. They’re very self-aware. Nate knows that the biggest value he brings to the campaigns he works on isthe human element.” When he recommends a product, his audience knows “this is not just some ad but a product that is worth you taking a look at.” Noel brought it back to community again. She said: “A connection to others is the most valuable asset I offer. Over the past five years I have met and connected with so many wonderful people that I call ‘friends’.”  And Karen knows that her recommendation holds weight with her followers: “I endorse certain products that fit well with my personality (fitness, health, etc), and that gets my friends and other followers to actually try out the products.” 

 

Get help from an experienced partner.

Executing successful influencer marketing programs with top creators like this isn’t easy. We know that. (Remember when we mentioned that these content creators can receive up to 40 brand pitches each day?) If you’re not making an effective pitch right away, you might get filed away with the junk mail. This fact can discourage brands from experimenting with influencers. But that’s where we come in, to help you realize the full potential of influencer marketing without taking capacity away from the many initiatives on your plate. We wanted to know if our content creators preferred working direct with brands or through a third-party partner and we found that these creators prefer to have established relationships with partners like Snapfluence.

Nate says he likes “having a platform where creators and brands can come together on an equal playing field without one or the other being taken advantage of.”  Because we represent both sides of the equation—like a realtor representing the buying and selling parties—we’re able to mediate expectations and make sure that everyone has a fruitful partnership. The creator is able to gain the creative control they want, the brand can get access to that audience while ensuring that the program is built on an authentic match.

Now that you know how these influencers view the marketing landscape and what they prioritize in a partnership, you can build smarter influencer marketing strategies. If your marketing team is considering influencer marketing to get better connected with your audience but you’re not sure about what it takes to do it right. Download our influencer marketing planning guide or get in touch with a member of our team to learn how you can execute these program effectively.

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