You have done your research on influencers you would like to work with.
Then, you have spent an astonishing amount of time reaching out to each individual, trying to build a rapport.
Now it is time to sign up for the best content creators for your brand; however, what is the best way to select the ones that will bring higher exposure and ROI to your brand?
Watch out for the five tips below before signing the dotted line.
Engagement, not followers
Big numbers of people following an influencer only translates to business benefits if they have genuine engagement from those followers. Do not limit yourself to only checking the main platform for which you will hire the creator to collaborate on e.g. Instagram. Looking at how your future influencer posts over different outlets will help you to gather his/her strong and weak points, as well as how good they are at engaging their followers.
Money talks. Besides, no one is working for free to promote a brand these days.
Ask for a rate card or a breakdown of fees as soon as you start a conversation with a creator. Remember: time is valuable. It is best to know from day one if you are able to afford that influencer. While negotiating, try to put together a package; this moves the negotiations away from a single post that will bring you almost no results. Long term partnerships also will help to obtain more affordable rates from creators.
Very important: be cautious with influencers that don’t have a standard rate card or individuals who say that it ‘depends on the brand’. Creation is charged based on the amount of work involved, length of image usage and distribution (local versus global campaign, for example). Influencers’ rates should not be based on how much a client can afford, instead, prices should reflect how much an influencer can bring to the table.
You should definitely look for creators that have a hands-on approach to delivering content for you.
Although it is sometimes great to work with influencers so big that they have an entire team producing on their behalf, it is important to understand that you are buying a media slot to tap into their audience built over years – not their exclusive creative mind.
Remember: creators that can deliver not only photos but also high-quality videos, IG stories, etc., will be a plus when negotiating a content package, as you won’t have to hire that service from a third party.
No matter how cool the influencers in your shortlist look, at the end of the day, it all comes down to delivering a service (content) and producing exposure to your brand (reach).
Nothing works better than collaborating with creators that genuinely like your product or service. Before signing a contract, check previous collaborations of your selected influencers (especially previous collaborations with your direct competitors, if any) and have an upfront conversation with the creator about what he/she already knows about your brand.
This is an easy one to start checking from the initial contact.
If an influencer takes a long time to reply to a simple request regarding their fees and availability, chances are he/she isn’t available or willing to work with new clients.
I would recommend chasing up to a maximum of three times to get an answer and give up after that, moving forward to more reliable creators. Truth is: if a creator delay so much to answer an email where you’re offering to pay them money for their services, you can probably imagine what a nightmare it will be to brief and wait for him/her to deliver the agreed assets for a campaign.
If you get a reply many weeks later, you can politely reply that ‘all the collaboration for this project has now been signed up and it won’t be possible to work together on this occasion.’
It goes without saying that the best tip to shortlist anyone to work with you is your own gut-feeling while looking for the right people to create content for and with you. If something doesn’t look or feel right at the very beginning, or you are not sure if an influencer in your list is the right fit, it is always advisable to look for someone else.
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