By Pritika Matkar
It is a well-established fact that influencer marketing works for a brand. These social media celebrities do have the power to ‘influence’ people and drive the audience to purchase a product or a service. This article serves as a complete guide to the different types of collaboration with brands.
About 63% of marketers these days work with at least ten influencers on every campaign. They rely highly on these influencers, mainly micro influencers to sell their products.
It is the efforts that an influencer puts in making a connection with the audience and creating personalized and well-researched, authentic content that drives any campaign to success. It is worth mentioning that these influencers have the power to make or break any marketing campaign just through their posts. This is where it becomes essential that the brands work in developing a good relationship with the influencers, and vice versa.
What is collaboration?
To put it simply, when an influencer agrees into a collaboration with the brand, they agree to promote and personally endorse the products or services offered by these brands. They do this on different social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and video-driven platforms like Hobo.Video. In more sophisticated words, collaboration means when people across the businesses come together to achieve a collective goal.
In influencer marketing, this collaboration is between a brand and an influencer, with a shared goal of endorsing a product and making a sale. To successfully endorse a product, there must be good relations maintained by both, the brand and the influencer- with each other, and with the audience.
Perks of running a successful collaboration
A successful collaboration opens up a plethora of opportunities for influencers to grow. If the brands notice your success, they are more likely to approach you on their own. For an influencer, there are many perks associated with hosting a successful collaboration campaign-
1. They get a chance to grow their audience base.
2. Influencers may be offered long term deals by brands.
3. Brands might give a higher commission if the sale hits beyond the target.
4. A successful campaign helps to build up trust with the brand.
5. It provides the influencer with an opportunity to get substantial exposure in the market.
6. Once any influencer bags a successful campaign in their portfolio, it helps them establish their personal brand presence.
Do’s and Don’t for a brand collaboration
There are many best practices and pitfalls of collaborating with brands. A good practice can get you a collaboration of your dreams, on the other hand, if you land in a pitfall, it might tarnish your image as an influencer to other brands as well. To help you avoid this mishap, Hobo.Video provides you insights into some foremost do’s and don’t’s while approaching a brand for collaboration-
1. Make a list of brands that you wish to collaborate with.
2. Do thorough research about the brand you are interested in collaborating with.
3. Make sure that your morals align with the ethics of the desired company.
4. Have a media kit handy before applying to brands for collaboration.
5. Draft personalized, yet professional Email or direct message pitches. Address the marketing head instead of addressing the entire company.
6. Know your follower count and page engagement demographics. Knowing what you are talking about helps to leave a strong first impression.
7. Be specific with your expectations and clearly state what you want from the brand.
1. Don’t be vague about anything while communicating with a brand.
2. Do not approach brands that fall beyond your niche.
3. Put maximum efforts in creating content. Do not create inauthentic or highly disengaging content.
4. Don’t expect the brands to offer you big deals right after your first campaign.
5. Don’t expect the brands to chase after you just because you have a large audience.
6. Do not neglect your audience after a few successful collaboration. Remember, they are the reason these brands are reaching out to you.
7. Most importantly, do not misuse your power as an influencer. It may invite unnecessary legal troubles and lawsuits your way.
Types of brand collaborations
There is not just one, but many ways in which a brand wishes to collaborate with an influencer. These collaborations do not restrict only to sponsored posts. There are several ways in which a brand may wish to drive a campaign and approach influencers for collaboration. Most effective and commonly driven campaigns by brands include-
1. Sponsored social media posts-
Sponsored social media posts are the most common type of collaborations offered by brands. These campaigns require the influencers to generate authentic and engaging content to endorse and promote the brand on social media. These campaigns are quite popular for Instagram influencers. Almost 59% of micro influencers say that the sponsored posts work better on Instagram than other platforms.
The basic principle of this campaign is the creation of effective content in exchange for a fee. The brands provide you with content guidelines, objectives of the campaign and product specifics. It is your job to create an interesting and engaging brief out of the provided information. Brands usually recruit at least ten micro influencers for every sponsored post campaign to ensure the maximum profit. Producing good content can leave a lasting impression on the brand.
2. Sponsored or paid blog posts
Apart from social media platforms, buyers also look into blog posts for obtaining trusted information and reviews about products and services online. Therefore, brands have also turned to bloggers for leveraging the trust of their audiences in the products.
If you have a blog, you have the power to voice your thoughts and mould your audience’s thinking in a way you want to.
There are two main types of blog posts in this sort-
1. A dedicated blog post that talks about the brand’s products, and the services they offer. You may also include a unique discount code for a purchase, or host a giveaway on behalf of the brand.
2. Another way of a blog collaboration with brands includes roundup posts where the company may ask you to mention the brand in a roundup post of products. In this case, your content would include other businesses as well. ( top 10 businesses in the niche)
Writing a blog post takes time, make sure you create good quality content in the first go so that brands pay you generously for your blogs.
This partnership campaign involves brands gifting you free products to try out for free. Brands do this to encourage influencers for using their products and create content around these products. Brands such as Daniel Wellington often give away their minimalistic and chique watches as gifts to the influencers and encourage them to post about these watches on their social media accounts.
Gifting is an effective method to promote books, items of clothing, accessories, makeup, etc. Although this campaigning technique is effective, there is a catch. Since brands are gifting the products to influencers, you as an influencer are not bound to post about the product on your social media. You can choose not to do so if you don’t like the product unless there is some legally binding agreement between you and the brand.
These campaigns work best when there are a mutual understanding and a relationship of trust between the brand and influencer.
4. Instagram Takeovers
Instagram takeovers is another popular campaign format that brands use to collaborate with the influencers. This is especially beneficial for brands as they get direct traffic through the Instagram takeover campaign.
How does this campaign work?
In takeover campaigns, instead of sponsoring an influencer to produce a post on their account, brands give the influencers, access to the official Instagram page of their company. The influencers are required to create engaging content and post it on the brand’s Instagram page instead of their own.
Instagram takeovers are beneficial to brands as the influencer content is more effective to reach an audience than the brand created content.
In these campaigns, brands might provide you with access details of the account, or ask you to create a video or photo-based content along with an engaging caption. Mutual trust plays a key role in such type of campaigns.
5. Guest blogging
The unique concept of guest blogging is another effective way of collaborating with the brands to promote their products. In such campaigns, brands identify and invite bloggers with unique and effective content who have a high domain authority in the same niche as the brand. Brands reach out to them to ask if they accept guest copy blogging on their website. If the influencers agree, the brands pitch them ideas for guest post topics that might interest these bloggers and their audiences.
In this collaboration, brands create an informative blog post and ask the influencer to publish it on their blog page. They also include a link to their website to avoid adding overly promotional content and to drive the traffic to their websites. The brands also reply to all the comments on that blog post which helps them increase the traffic.
6. Brand ambassador programs
Many brands are taking influencer marketing to a whole new level by initiating brand ambassador campaigns for Instagram influencers.
Who are the brand ambassadors?
Brand ambassadors use the company’s products on a daily basis and continuously promote them online. They are the influencers who share posts about their experiences with the products every other day. They also host small campaigns like meet and greet and other local events where they endorse the products and share freebies with the audience.
Brands usually suggest ambassador campaigns to influencers only after working with them on some other project initially. They look for influencers whose ethics and interest match to what the brand stands for. Influencers are sent merch and new products regularly and are provided with an exclusive discount code to put up on their Instagram pages for the audience.
Get your perfect first collaboration!
As an influencer who is just starting out, it is essential that you land a transparent and effective collaboration in the first few times. This not only boosts your ranking as a worthy influencer but also puts you in a spotlight for other brands to approach. The rule of the thumb to land a good collaboration is thorough research. Research about the types of campaign that a brand runs, which campaign is suitable for you, who is the contact person or campaign manager, how to get in touch with them.
Establish a strong and compelling presence across all social media and content creation platforms like Instagram, a short video-driven platform such as Hobo.Video, and if possible, blogs. Always make sure to build a trustworthy relationship with brands. Look at how influencers can collaborate and grow your brand here.
Remember- not all brands are looking to take advantage of influencers. Look for the amazing ones that aren’t.