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Influencer and Brand matchmaking: How to ensure it’s a good fit

by | Feb 14, 2022 | Best Practice, , ,

Every time a brand decides to include influencers in their campaigns, there are a number of questions they need to answer. The same is true for influencers when they are approached by a brand to take part in a campaign. How do you know if this new partnership is going to work? What criteria can you use to understand what makes a good fit for both the influencer and the brand? Here are some tips for influencers that will help you answer those questions.

Make sure your audience matches who the brand is looking to target

This is probably the first thing you want to check. If your audience isn’t a match, then it’s a non-starter. As an influencer, you should ask the brand what audience they are trying to reach and get as much audience demographic information as possible (age, roles, industry, etc.). Then check to make sure these demographics match your audience on the platforms you are most active on. If your audience does not include the type of people the brand is looking to target, then it’s probably best to part ways. It’s unlikely a brand will get the results they are looking for in this scenario, which could reflect badly on you.

“For a successful influencer strategy and to successfully recommend services or products to your audience, you have to first clearly establish who exactly is your target audience. Your content format, promotional channels, target demographics and interests are going to be very different considering the audience that you’re targeting.” Neal Schaffer

Ensure you’re aligned on values

Before accepting a proposal from a brand, it’s important to make sure you share the same views and are aligned on values. This could be around key topics you care about or the way the brand promotes itself and what its mission is. Ronald van Loon, top AI , Data and IoT influencer said:

“To ensure that a brand or company is a good fit for me, I first examine the topic to determine if it’s within my area of expertise. Next, I consider if their brand aligns with mine, such as messaging and how they present themselves online. Then I check the type of content they create, ensure it’s educational and non-promotional, and learn more about the SMEs I’ll be working with. Lastly, if their content strategy formats are the same type of content I create, like video content, white papers, or audio broadcasts, then I know it’s a good match for me.”

Do you have proven experience producing the kind of content the brand is looking for?

Determine what it is exactly that the brand is asking you to do, and what key topics they want you to talk about. Do they want you to write a blog post, appear at an event or feature on a podcast for example?  Before accepting the job, ask yourself if you feel confident in doing what they want you to do? Have you done it before? If so, why not share your previous content with the brand, so they can see how campaigns you’ve been involved with have performed in the past.

From the brands’ perspective Laura Mackey Director, Influencer & Independent Analyst Relations at Five9 had this to say:

“There are three things that I look for when selecting an influencer to work with our brand: authenticity, credibility and authority.  Authenticity covers a variety of things like predictability, genuineness and most importantly representing our brand with integrity. Of course, they must also be a credible source of information.  And lastly, they need an active and engaged audience which shows me their authority on the topic.”   

Onalytica’s Customer Success Director Joel Morris also had this to say:

“The identification process prior to an influencer collaboration will define the success of the campaign. There are four things that I prioritise for my clients when selecting the perfect influencer.

  1. Does the influencer have proven expertise within the topical area in question, and do they have a track record of posting and creating on-topic content which generates strong engagement.
  2. Is their content reaching the right people? When collaborating with this influencer, will the content created be seen and reach the target audience? Be that by role, geography, or industry.
  3. What type of content do we want to create, and does this influencer have previous experience here? For example, when planning for a podcast or a webinar, does this influencer have experience behind a camera and are they a strong speaker.
  4. Finally, do I think this influencer will represent the brand well and do they have the same values? For this reason, I think introductions between brand and influencer via a video call is vital to get a sense of chemistry and common ground.”

Is the deal fair?

Work out how long the job will take you, then make a call whether you think the reward they are offering is worth the effort. If the reward is financial, you can use a day rate to work out your expected return. If the work incurs costs for you such as travel and accommodation, make sure your expenses will be repaid.

The scale of the project and the amount of work and time required is the main factor when deciding how much to charge a brand.

“I take into consideration my accomplishments, the client’s brand and the work they ask from me. For instance, giving a keynote speech will take a lot of time to prepare, and I will need to be compensated appropriately. Since I don’t have much time due to all my investment and advisory commitments, I need to choose my partners wisely. All those points mentioned define the fees I charge for going into such a partnership. In the end, it is a partnership, at least if both parties want it to be a success.”  Spiros Margaris founder of Margaris Ventures

Another good question to ask during the negotiation is what extra value can you get out of the deal? Will the brand agree to you turning this experience into a case study which you can use to promote your services for example?

Set expectations and define success

When partnering with a brand, it is vital you make sure you know what good looks like for them. What is the objective? How will success be measured?

“Beyond the obvious confirmation of value and compensation alignment, ask about the expectations and success criteria.  Don’t forget to verify for any conflict of interest.  Is there any exclusivity clause that prevents other (perhaps better) opportunities in your pipeline?  Review your schedules and make sure there is adequate time for creative and impactful delivery.” Helen Yu – Founder & CEO of Tigon Advisory Corp.

When looking at influencer generated content, typical success criteria we have seen brands use tends to focus on views and engagement, impressions isn’t always the best measure and can be misleading (this many people may have seen this post).

Brand awareness can also be measured by looking at the number of mentions of the brand in conjunction with the piece of content. If the client is focused more on driving sales, success could be measured in terms of clicks on affiliate links, and sales thereafter.

Through our experience of helping brands run thousands of influencer campaigns over the past 10+ years, and conducting interviews with hundreds of influencers, Onalytica are perfectly poised to assist brands when it comes to introducing brands and influencers.

If you are an influencer looking to collaborate with brands, click here to signup up our B2B influencer marketplace, MyOnalytica where you can create your free profile which will be visible to Onalytica clients which include many of the world’s largest brands.