More and more companies are relying on partnerships with influencers. Influencers earn money through sponsored posts, and brands benefit from different marketing channels. What do you have to bear in mind when collaborating with influencers? What is important for companies when working with an influencer? And what is important for influencers to know? We sat down with our Austria Brand Ambassador Viktoria and gathered some insights to help you along the way.
What do companies look for when working with influencers?
At stylink, we work with numerous influencers and brand ambassadors from different countries. Like most other companies that collaborate with influencers, there are some aspects that are particularly important to us so that the collaboration is successful and fun for both sides. Micro-influencers are particularly interesting for us because they are closer to the brand and also to the target group.
Reliability and communication: the be-all and end-all of a collaboration
Reliability comes first in a collaboration between companies and influencers. We at stylink not only expect influencers to regularly create content as part of a collaboration but also to adhere to the agreements of said collaboration. This applies to both content and deadlines. Influencers who independently deliver their content within the agreed deadline are always welcome. The campaign content should also be designed as it was agreed upon.
Reliability goes hand in hand with open and regular communication. If the influencer is unsure about what to do or the briefing is not totally clear, it is best to ask again. Likewise, influencers shouldn’t be afraid to get in touch in case of problems or delays. If there are problems in content creation or the deadline cannot be met, it is better to give a warning in advance and describe the problem rather than simply not submit anything at all.
Influencers should enjoy the collaboration
It is not only important for us as a company that influencers and brand ambassadors enjoy the brand and the collaboration. That makes the collaboration easier for both sides. Anyone who can fully identify with a brand usually has no problems creating high-quality and convincing content. Sounds logical – if you enjoy doing something, it usually turns out well. However, if it is just a necessary source of income, the collaboration may not have good fortune.
Authentic and creative content
This joy in collaboration leads directly to the next point: authenticity. Authentic content is often a catchword because all influencers want to appear credible. It is important that a brand or a company really fits the values and topics that an influencer represents. An Insta account that mainly posts content about self-love or body positivity should not advertise with weight-loss shakes. That seems implausible and would also put the company in a bad light, as it seems to have proceeded arbitrarily in the selection of collaboration partners. Companies also expect influencers to authentically embed the product or service in their sponsored posts and that the advertising is not just “slapped-on” without any care.
This claim requires a certain amount of creativity on the part of influencers. Products can be paired with good ideas. Creative content is always well received by followers, whether as advertising or as a normal post. If a product is presented in a credible, creative and emotionally appealing way, brand loyalty increases.
What do influencers expect when working with companies?
Let’s turn the perspective around: What is important to influencers in a collaboration? We received input from our Austrian Brand Ambassador, Viktoria.
Transparent and honest communication is also important from an influencer’s point of view. Viktoria, an influencer, explains that it is important to discuss the scope of work before a collaboration. In this way, she can plan how much time she needs for which tasks. As an influencer, she likes to record these campaign details and rough ideas about the content by email or in a contract. In this way, it can prevent companies from demanding more than agreed upon in a collaboration or from failing to adhere to agreements.
In line with this, Viktoria cites another important aspect: As an influencer, she likes to rely on a briefing. This not only facilitates communication, but also records all the important content that a company would like to pass on to the target group via an influencer. What makes a good briefing? It should be neither too long nor too short, contain the most important details about the product and/or service presented, as well as information about the company and the benefits.
Collaboration with companies: No prefabricated content, please
Our Brand Ambassador, Viktoria does not like it when companies send prescribed texts as part of an influencer collaboration and demand that this content be posted verbatim. Many influencers probably share this view, because this approach is inauthentic. Viktoria says: “For me personally this is out of the question because I want to address my target group as authentically as possible and that is simply not possible with given content.” When collaborating with influencers, companies should see themselves as problem-solvers for customers, instead of just aiming for sales.
Last but not least: compensation and feedback at the end of the collaboration
A fair compensation should not be an exception when working with influencers. Influencers also have to pay taxes and finance their living with content creation. Those who are just starting out as an influencer often earn little money in the first few years – an account has to be set up first. This unpaid start-up time has to pay off for influencers at some point. Viktoria, therefore, hopes that even more companies will value the service an influencer provides. Some companies are not yet as sensitive as to why influencers demand money for content creation when collaborating. For this reason, Viktoria finds it entirely appropriate to ask about the commission and conditions when first contacting the company so that the collaboration is fair for both sides.
Also important: feedback in the course of the collab. Because you learn from mistakes, feedback loops are incredibly important following a campaign. In this way, influencers find out which content was particularly valuable for the company and what could be improved upon next time.
Collaboration between influencers and companies: our conclusion
We have now looked at both sides of collaboration between companies and influencers and highlighted what is important for both parties. Influencers and companies can think outside the box and get an idea of how a collaboration can be as fruitful as possible. Transparent communication, authentic content, and reliability are high on the agenda. But the issue of commission should by no means be ignored.
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