2017 was a pivotal year for influencer marketing. Brands really started to buy-in to the idea of influencer marketing and the need for using influencers as a strategic part of their marketing strategies - 84% of marketers (source) are now using influencers as a part of their marketing plans.
We all know that having eyes on your content, good quality pictures etc are important, but what about the 'soft skills' that really separate those that get to be an influencer full-time and those that don't?
Brands are really starting to put money into this form of adverting and today, I'm going to share with you some of the specific things brands and PR agencies are looking for when figuring out who to work with (and ultimately pay) to create content.
1. Creators That Act Like Professionals |
When brands work with content creators, the creator essentially becomes an extension of the brand. With some of the youtube influencer scandals that have been going on as of late, brands are rightly apprehensive about partnering with certain influencers.
The cleaner your content, the more brand-friendly you'll appear and the more likely you are to get on the radar of brands for brand-sponsored content. I know a creator who got on the radar of UBER for a campaign but ultimately lost out of the opportunity because their content was considered too 'vulgar'.
I'm not saying you need to whitewash your content, but you need content that is a positive reflection of what a brand can expect if and when they want to move forward with working with you.
Things to keep in mind: quality, language, and production value.
2. Relationship Builders |
There is no getting around this one. The industry is growing to be a lot like the entertainment industry...it's really about who you know. You don't have to be the biggest or even the most talented person to be a successful, full-time content creator, but you WILL need solid relationships with people from both the PR and brand side in order to get paid campaign opportunities.
I had the opportunity to speak with the influencer partnerships manager of one of the largest beauty conglomerates and they let me know that a big part of their job is to actually sell the value of influencer marketing to the higher-ups that are older and still don't totally *get* influencer marketing compared to traditional marketing and it's value. If you want the opportunity to work with certain brands for certain opportunities, you need to make sure you've built a solid enough relationship with them so they are willing to go to bat for you.
When an influencer manager is confident that you are able to make nice with multiple stakeholders and make them look good, it makes it a much easier decision to move forward with working with you on projects and campaigns.
Never forget, what you do is valuable and these brands work with influencers because they see it's valuable, too!
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3. Engagement |
Engagement is still king and the main way that marketers are measuring the success and usefulness of sponsored content. It's the main way that brands and PR offices are able to show the type of return on investment that they are getting by working with certain influencers. It's why I've spoken about the importance of engagement here, here, and here on my blog.
At the end of the day, sending out product and paying for sponsored content cost money and the people in charge of the money need to know whether or not the investment is worth it. A whopping 81% of marketers are using engagement as the primary measurement of a campaign's success or failure. If you're able to show that you have excellent engagement rates, you'll be able to peak the interest of decision-makers when you reach out to them.
4. Influencers Who Know Their Stuff |
This is an industry that is very much creator-driven. Many brands and PR agencies don't know how to do what you do: create content that converts as effectively as you can. A lot of brands are willing and actually looking for creators that are comfortable taking the creative lead when it comes to content collaborations. The great thing about influencers is your ability to think outside of the box and create captivating content that gets people to pay attention in a unique and honest way.
Be confident in the content you create, the audience that you've cultivated and the value that you can bring to the table. These brands are looking to you to be a confident expert in what you bring to the table. This is where you need to be very self-assured that what you create is valuable because it will go a long way in making your brand contact confident in deciding to work with you also.
5. Creators That Make Their Lives Easier |
Are you attentive in your business relationships? Believe it or not, public relations firms and brand marketing teams have very full schedules and are juggling dozens of competing priorities all of the time.
Brand and PR reps love working with influencers that are good communicators, that are responsive and who can keep the lines of communication open. The better you are able to nurture these relationships, the better off you will be career-wise.
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