The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth $13.8 billion this year. Even during a turbulent year that, in many cases, necessitated budget cuts and consolidation, 66 percent of brands plan to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2021.
With the rise of short-form video platforms like TikTok, as well as audio-only apps like Clubhouse, there’s a community and influencer to distribute just about any and every type of brand message. The key to having that message stick is choosing the right talent to partner with.
To help brands maximize their influencer partnerships, Brittani Kagan, head of talent, associate partner at Portal A, recently shared with Campaign a few things to avoid when working with creators. Read on below for her best practices.
Influencer deals are a two-way street. For a partnership to work, Kagan points out the importance of aligning the expectations and requirements of the influencer and the brand. Factors like budget, brand requirements and terms of the deal heavily influence the creator’s decision to proceed, Kagan writes. On the other hand, audience reach and demographics, creative formats and brand affinity are some high brand priorities.
As per Kagan, two mistakes that some brands make is one, viewing a creator’s taste as an indicator of creative fit rather than target audience, and two, finding creators on the high-end of their reach goals without the budget to pay them. The latter misstep results in production delays.
The takeaway here is to approach each influencer partnership with the brand’s goals and budget top of mind.
Next, Kagan advises against asserting too much control over the creative process. For an influencer to feel excited about a partnership, allow them to do what they do best–create content that they know their audience will like. That means avoiding setting unrealistic expectations and creating tedious reviews.
“Creators are savvy, so marketers need a clear sense of their must-haves, early buy-in from key stakeholders and a trust-the-process mentality before putting them on a campaign,” writes Kagan.
Lastly, do not underinvest in quality. Here, Kagan is referring to both under-budgeting and under-indexing on quality. Content that feels disjointed usually stems from messaging or product shots being disconnected from the influencer’s voice and style. To avoid that outcome, brands can support creators via a “healthy production budget” and through causes they care about.