Influencer marketing is one of the most effective modes of online marketing, and in the past decade, brands hiring influencers has revolutionalised the relationship between brands and their customer base.
After decades of being bombarded by video, written, and banner ads, buyers have developed a keen sense of most traditional advertisements and avoid them.
Modern influencers offer brands a way to side-step this issue. Over months or even years of posting and interacting online, influencers develop a deep parasocial relationship with their audience.
And when they talk about a product, it reads like a recommendation from a friend or colleague, and it’s likely to perform better than any old Ad.
If you’re an influencer or aspiring influencer looking to work with an agency or a brand, this means that you could be potentially earning so much more. But how do you position yourself for success and ensure that brands seek you out?
That’s what this post is about. Read on to discover the top 7 things brands are looking for when partnering with influencers.
It should go without saying, but brands seek to partner with influencers whose personality, content, and audiences fit their buyer demographic. Their end goal is organic integration. Creating plausible partnerships that don’t set off your follower’s fine-tuned senses.
You have to consider everything from your online personality to the products you’ve recommended in the past to the politics of the brand, potentially.
So, before you message that brand you’re eager to partner with, ask yourself if you could integrate this into your workflow or personal life or find a practical use for the product. The end goal is to create a win-win-win situation where the buyer, brand, and influencer walk away happy.
A great example of an influencer that’s in tune with his audience is Larry Wheels. Most of Larry’s fans love fitness ,whether they are professional bodybuilders or casual gym goers. That’s why most of his content is fitness and lifting-related.
Once you’ve gotten past the relevance check, your reach as an influencer is the second thing brands will look at when deciding whether to partner with you. As a general rule of thumb, the more reach you have across social media, the better your chances of your proposal being accepted. So if you can find your way to the list of the biggest influencers, you’re golden.
However, some brands look for influence on specific platforms. Clothing brands, for example, might focus more on Instagram, Pinterest, and Tiktok. At the same time, fitness brands tend to accept Instagram influencers, Tiktok stars, and YouTubers.
Asides from the actual numbers of influencers you have, brands might also focus on the diversity/ demographic of your audience.
Do most of your audience fit into their target demographic, or are they younger/older and live outside their operational location?
At some point during discussions, the brands you’re in talks with might ask for social metrics on your social media. Relax, and understand that’s part of the process.
Partnering with influencers can be expensive, and brands want to ensure they’re putting their money to work.
Here’s a quick hint: Use Instagram reels to go rival and swiftly expand your reach.
A great example of an influencer that knows her audience is Demi Bagby. She has over 14 million followers on TikTok and constantly delivers short TikTok style content to ensure that the reach keeps increasing.
Brands go head over heels for influencers who have a great rapport with their audience. If the influencer-follower parasocial relationship is supposed to mimic friendship/ mentorship, then social engagement is a marker of its quality.
- Does your audience generally react well to your post?
- Are you in the comment section, trading barbs, answering questions, and taking requests?
- Do you have great User-generated content/Is some of your content inspired by your audience?
Most brands go this in-depth, but a great Litmus test before they start prodding is checking how many Comments and LIkes you have vs your Follower numbers.
An ideal ratio is 3-10% engagement, depending on the size of the influencer. If you’re pulling those numbers below that, it might be a sign that you’re:
- On the decline
- You don’t have a good brand strategy
- Your following is artificially inflated (Bots).
The tools look at the following:
- The username, account, and comment of the people subscribed to you.
- The growth of the social media account
- Inactive followers
- Stock image-profile pictures/ stolen pictures
MODASH works for Instagram, while GRIN.CO works for YouTube and TikTok.
Big brands might also ask for your Impressions, traffic, and page views, mentions, past collaborations, and shares when negotiating the price of the partnership.
You can also keep it simple and use affordable tools to create and edit your videos in a way that makes your followers more likely to engage with the videos.
When we talk about engagement among male fitness influencers, we have to talk about Maxx Chewning. He gets tens of thousands on all his posts, and the engagements are always through the roof. From likes to comments, it’s clear he has a deep connection with his audience.
Authenticity is hard to quantify when it comes to social media marketing. Businesses and people like to think you remain the same genuine and affectionate person online and offline.
So, they look for a mix of quality content, creative product integration, an active online community and personality, and past controversy and track record.
Authenticity is valuable in today’s online space because most influencers come off as cultured and manicured with little dimension to them. Seeing someone who’s not afraid to say it as it draws in people.
When a brand can tap into that, it means rapid growth for all parties involved.
If you know Joe Fazer, you’ll know that he’s not the biggest influencer around. But his audience loves him because he’s upfront and authentic.
Online content marketing often comes off as formulaic and tired. There’s a tendency for people to religiously stick to the formula/ strategy that worked for them and scale their following with that.
Businesses on the highest level typically avoid influencers like that in favour of smaller, more creative influencers who are not afraid to test new and interesting ideas in their mission to provide value and entertainment.
In the eyes of the brand marketing team, it’s a marker of potential and a promise of fun and innovative product integrations, promotions, and partnerships– all of which boost sales and boost brand awareness.
If you need inspiration on creative posts, check out Holly B Fitness. She always finds a way to mix fitness and diet advice with her everyday life.
In business and life, people admire and love working with consistent individuals. They are trustworthy, produce predictable results, and are generally easier to coordinate with.
Whether you post daily, weekly, or semi-monthly, brands love to see consistency and logical throughline through your content.
It paints a picture of who you are as an influencer and what they should expect going in.
Consistent influencers make it easier to coordinate marketing efforts, create campaigns, measure results, and improve their strategy.
You become even more valuable in the eyes of marketers if you’ve worked with brands in the past. It saves them the hassle of working you through your first sponsorship deal.
Jesse James West is a great example of consistency and is an inspiration to not just his followers but other YouTubers as well. He seems to release a video every other day, shot in remarkable locations from Luxurious gyms in Dubai to sunny beaches in California.
Influencer marketing is going to be bigger than ever in 2023. A report by Adgully estimates that over $32.5 billion will be spent on partnerships and sponsorships with influencers.
While over 93% of US marketers already use it, the market is still incredibly competitive. You must put your best foot forward to partner with the best brands for your follower size.
This means trying to produce high-quality, relevant content that appeals to your audience base and draws in the right sort of sponsors.
Influencer marketing has existed for almost as long as they’ve been entertainment personalities. Revamping your social media presence is your opportunity to do what you love and be sponsored for it.