Brands should review the way they communicate with influencers to ensure greater partnership success 

By Alex Frolov, CEO and co-founder of HypeAuditor.

Over the past decade, influencer marketing has become a well-established strategy for brands in their efforts to connect with their key audience. And its appeal is set to last as more brands look to partner with influencers to appear more authentic.

It therefore does not come as a surprise that the influencer marketing industry was worth $9.7bn in 2020 and is expected to grow to $15bn by 2022, with almost half of marketers saying they’re spending more than 20% of their budget on influencer content.

Despite this, the influencer marketing industry remains a relatively young industry and could be perceived as a little rough around the edges. There are unfortunately countless examples of influencers who eschew the terms and conditions of social media platforms, publish controversial opinions, and even use shadow tactics such as purchasing fake followers.

There are also many examples of brands who could do better when partnering with influencers. The recent launch of the new platform “F*** you, Pay me” which enables content creators to review and compare brand deals before partnering with them, highlights the need for brands to ‘do better’ and pay influencers a fair share for the engagement that they earn.

The recent survey published by HypeAuditor also provides some interesting insights on other areas where brands could improve when seeking partnerships with content creators, namely in the ways they communicate with them.

The research reveals that only 57% of influencers never or rarely receive personalised messages from brands. It sounds simple and straightforward, but as it turns out, many brands and agencies do not spend time on personalisation and instead, send template offers in droves.

This can be very obvious to influencers, as it was to Harriotte Lane (@harriotte_), Instagram beauty influencer and Miss International UK 2019who told us that despite being six feet tall, she receives sponsorship offers from petite clothing brands.

It is clear that brands are interested in developing their communities on social media, and building long-term relationships with creators, yet the lack of personalised communication is often a deterrent for influencers to work for them.

The data also highlights that 38% of influencers would refuse to work with a brand if they had no creative freedom in what they post. Others (51%) mentioned they would turn down sponsorship if they do not like or value the brand, or if they were not happy with the proposed budget (42%).

When looking at ways for brands to improve, the survey reveals that 61% of influencers want brands to provide a clear description of the product or service to be advertised. In addition, more than half (51%) ask for information on the company they would be aligning with.

Based on these insights, brands and agencies should consider how they can improve when outreaching to content creators to ensure the success of their partnerships, as data clearly suggests this can be a make or break for influencers.

For instance, they should ensure they have a good knowledge of the audience they want to target and the influencers they want to work with. There are countless research and insights tools to help identify influencers that are relevant to a target audience. These tools are also useful to assess the quality of the influencer’s audience, to ensure any budget spent reaches potential customers and not bot accounts.

In addition, marketers should ensure they have done their homework before reaching out to an influencer. The majority of influencers share a lot of information about themselves online. They should use this to their advantage, to get to know them and personalise their sales pitch according to their interests.

Finally, clarity is key. Brands should ensure they provide the important facts in their first messages to help influencers make a more informed decision. Details on the product services, timelines, budgets and expected deliverables should all be listed in the initial outreach.

Recent scandals involving well-known influencers have unfortunately tarnished the reputation of the industry, despite the fact that influencer marketing remains a powerful tool for brands to connect efficiently and authentically with their audiences. However, brands also have a role to play to ensure fair, transparent, and effective influencer marketing.

By making small changes to the way they approach content creators, they will ensure they provide a trustworthy environment for successful partnership to thrive.

 

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