The Influencer’s Guide to Land a Perfect Collaboration
By Pritika Matkar
With the advancing digital world, more businesses are approaching to adopt new ways of marketing across various platforms. The market predictions prompt that by the year 2022, mobile penetration in India would reach to over 64% and is expected to grow even more. Brands now have no choice but to adopt new methods of reaching the audience. One such way is influencer marketing, where businesses find influencers and collaborate with them to promote their brands. Every collaboration starts with a campaign idea and takes its form as a sponsored promotion or product placement with finding the right influencer.
Everything is not what it seems!
Starting as an influencer may look like a cakewalk to everyone, but as you jump on that bandwagon, you realize that everything is not what it seems! You have to do extensive planning and a fair share of research to find the right collaboration with brands that fit and endorse your interests. To ease the painstaking research process, we have put together a short guide that will help you understand the ways to land a perfect brand collaboration.
Qualities That A Brand Look For In Influencers
Starting a promotional campaign requires the brands to do their share of research. They scan through social media and influencer marketing platforms like Hobo.Video, looking for relevant and credible influencers for collaboration. When looking for these influencers, every brand asks itself a set of questions. They don’t just see the follower metrics and give the deals to people. They rely more on the credibility, relationship, and authenticity of the creator than on the numbers.
The selection criteria include-
· The relevance of influencer’s blog/social media to the campaign
· Audience size and reach
· Audience engagement
· Post frequency
The brands always look for people that have an interest in the subject matter of the campaign. They need to see that the person is passionate about the cause as much as they. Collaboration with brands comes easy when you have a defined niche, and this helps to establish your credibility as an influencer.
Efforts That An Influencer Needs To Put In
Now that you know what a brand needs from you, there are some things that you should focus on to score some good brand deals. It is necessary that you put in efforts into researching and building your brand. A brand would always be willing to collaborate with you if they find you relevant. To establish your relevance, you should invest your time in developing your brand value. You can always reach out to influencer marketing agencies and platforms like Hobo.Video for help. Combined below is a list of things that you should work on before approaching a business for paid collaboration.
1. Find a niche that suits you
To establish your relevancy to a brand, it is essential that you pick a niche you are familiar with and work around that. If your niche lines up seamlessly with the subject matter of the brand’s campaign, it is a no brainer for the brands to pick you for collaboration. Ascertaining your presence in a niche also helps you to get discovered on a bigger platform. If you are looking to collaborate with big players in the market, you should have a social presence in the niche to land the deals. You get brownie points if you have a blog presence in that niche, although it is not necessary.
2. Conduct thorough research about the brand
When you thoroughly know a brand that you are collaborating with, you will yield the best results. You should take a look at their website, products, and what marketing strategies they use. It is also imperative that you check whether the company is ethically compatible with your beliefs. You do not want a collaboration with brands that lack ethical standards.
You must research the following information about the brand you hope to work with-
· What social media platform they generally use for promotions?
· Do they already have influencer marketing programs?
· Who is their target audience?
· What products you find fascinating
· Is the contact information mentioned on their website?
· Their ethical compliance
3. Summarise your online presence
Building your online presence on different social media and knowing your demographics will always give you an edge while negotiating with businesses. The brands are always interested in learning about your audience and reach. As an influencer, it is essential that you have an updated media kit. Your kit can include blogs and other social media such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook profiles. Consider this kit as your resume; you need to keep it up to date and visually appealing.
These kits alone may become the deciding factor for the companies sometimes.
4. Build a personal brand
The first impression always counts!
To pitch yourself as a potential collaboration for a business, you need to make sure that you establish your presence on social media and sell yourself as a brand. Always introduce yourself in a polished way, even when you are sending them a direct message through Instagram.
We are sharing with you some tips on building an appropriate image-
· Always put your face out there for people to see. People usually take you at your face value.
· Maintain consistency in posts across all the social media platforms. Stick to one niche, don’t try to be a jack of all trades.
· Align yourself with a single type of audience.
· Get straight to the point when communicating with the brand, don’t beat around the bush.
· Mention the reason you want to collaborate with this particular brand for and specify if you are looking for a paid collab or discounts.
5. Approach the brands you are interested in
Once you are through with building your brand, you can start approaching different businesses for a paid collab or sponsored post. Always try to be professional while sending across the communication. State your expectations clearly and ask them about their conditions. It is better that you approach the brands that already have influencer marketing campaigns and are looking for paid collaborations or brand ambassadors if you are a micro influencer.
Some tips that might come in handy when you approach brands to collab with-
· Negotiations are a significant part of your pitch. Sometimes a brand will have flexibility over its budget, and, sometimes it won’t. Try to approach your negotiations professionally.
· Always be polite, even when you are declining an offer.
· Know your influencer rates! You wouldn’t want to come across as unprepared while pitching.
· Ask them about the partnership contracts and terms of this collaboration.
Ways You Can Collaborate With A Brand
Are you confused about what is the right way of collaborating with a brand? Well, there is not just one but many ways in which you, as an influencer, can collaborate with and promote a business.
Different ways you can endorse the product are-
· Avail of a trial for the merchandise/sample and post a review
· Product promotion through short videos or YouTube
· Lead or organise a giveaway campaign
· Write relevant blogs or captions if you have a knack for writing
· Promotion through pictures and affiliate links
· Promotion through Instagram/Facebook stories
· Set up a mailing list for your audience and send across endorsement mails
To get benefits from the brand and develop a relationship, you need to prove its return on investment. Brands measure the ROI by counting the audience’s engagement with the posts. According to TapInfluence, the ROI of influencer marketing is eleven times higher than that of traditional marketing practices. If you post with a call to action, say, you ask them to repost their stories with a hashtag or comment down their thoughts, your post is most likely to receive a higher engagement. You can also track the number of views on your stories and likes on your posts. And if you mention links on your blogs or affiliate posts, the number of clicks on the link can be easily counted.
To land a successful collaboration and run a hit campaign, it is necessary that you do thorough planning and pitch in your ideas correctly. There should be no room for rookie mistakes as it may cost you your dream collaboration. There are few common mistakes that both, a brand and an influencer sometimes make, which results in a less effective campaign.
Conventional Errors That People Make In Influencer Marketing
Sometimes, people fail to realise that influencer marketing is not about the brand or the influencers it is about understanding and considering the desires and needs of the audience. Failing to understand this, results in very basic errors made in the campaign.
1. Absence of mutual understanding-
As we know, everyone is in this game to win. Brands need to hit the sales target; influencers are in it to bag freebies and cash. And the target audience needs content that is different from the generic advertisements they see on TV and the internet. The lack of mutual understanding between the brand and the influencer defies the whole purpose of the campaign goes to waste. Sometimes, as an influencer, you don’t understand the intent, or sometimes, the brand ends up interfering too much. This interference might lead to a tone-deaf promotion, that lacks the personal touch of the influencer. For running a successful campaign to which, an audience responds well, it is essential to have a mutual understanding. And influencer marketing platforms like HoboVideo provides this opportunity for trust build-up between the brand and the influencer.
2. Inadequate supervision and reporting-
Consider this, you have joined a campaign and uploaded a promotional post, few days have passed, and there is only little response on the post. You decide to look for the cause of less engagement, but you realise that you don’t have the data for monitoring the reach or engagement. Such situations make brands question your credibility as an influencer. It is essential that you monitor every post or content that you generate as a part of a brand collaboration. This data is also extremely crucial for brands to produce reports and gain insights over audience response. Many influencers don’t send this data to the companies, and few agencies still fail to ask for it, resulting in damage to the company’s brand image and audience reach.
3. Not building a good rapport -
Once you land a collaboration with brands, don’t shy away from going an extra mile to develop a good relationship with the brand. If you care about this collaboration, you should show it by creating personalized and highly engaging content for the brand. Drive the traffic to the brand, share the post on every social media and be proactive with the engagement. This will not only help in strengthening the relationship but might as well turn a single-post collaboration into a long-term contract with the brand.
Successful Collaboration- Best Practices While Working With Brands
With the competition rising in this industry, there is a need for you, as an influencer to stand apart from others in the eyes of a brand. To ensure that you run a successful collaboration, there are a few best practices that you must follow.
1. Stand out with a dose of creativity-
Do some research and experiment with your content. Put out creative edits or videos that will not only thrill your followers but also increase the engagement. Most of the audience base falls in the age group of 18 to 25 years. As a micro influencer, you should work on creative ways to keep this age group engaged with your feed.
Think about your personal brand goals and strategies to bag a long-term deal with your preferred brands. Do a SWOT analysis and identify your strengths before approaching any brand for collaboration. Do you know that Gen Z is set to form about 40% of the consumer base by 2021? Plan your campaigns to attract this audience base.
3. Review your profile-
Check your post insights and learn about real-time engagement. You may also work on the ways to boost engagement rates to land a deal with virtuous brands. Your audience base is most likely to be of the age range 18–25. Work on ways to make the campaign appealing to this target age.
4. Know your worth and have an offer ready-
When you are approached by a brand for any kind of collaboration, you must know how much you need to charge. Have an offer ready and use it as a template to quote your demands.
Establish Your Online Presence With Hobo
If you are nano or micro-influencer or even a budding influencer, HoboVideo is the best place to start. Hobo is a vernacular fun video-based and community-driven marketplace, where everybody can earn. We at HoboVideo, provide special guidance and a big influencer marketing platform for budding influencers to thrive on. We also enable businesses to sell directly to the customers across India from our platform. Grab our premade templates and video ideas to create engaging content and bag good brand collaborations. Try out Hobo.Video if you are nano or micro-influencer looking to earn and grow your follower base.