The other side: How influencers choose brands
But after being in the business for so long (8+ years in fact), we’ve come to create lots of great working relationships with influencers and the talent agents themselves. This means we have great insight into the other side of influencer x brand relationships. We know the thought processes behind pricing and how they choose who they want to work with – which is what we’re going to explore a bit more here.
Connection is Key
The biggest thing and perhaps the most obvious is if a brand connects with the influencers’ audience. A creator knows what their audience is interested in as they’ve built it from the ground up. They have their niche, their main areas, what makes their audience click on content. So, any brand deal they take on has to make sense and relate to the influencer. and their content, otherwise not only will it not do well engagement wise but it may lead to loss of audience trust!
Longevity and Synergy
Tom Exton is a content creator with 244,000 followers on Instagram and 238,000 on YouTube. We’ve worked with Tom on a few occasions at Disrupt across different brands. On how he knows which brand is right for him, he says: “I’ll only work with a brand if I believe there is a real synergy with or interest from a tangible percentage of my audience, and if it’s a partnership I’d be happy showing or explaining to anyone, even in years to come.”
So longevity is also a key part of a partnership. Creators will have long term goals in mind that brands, agencies etc might not have considered. They’ll know the type of creator they want to grow into or areas they want to explore.
Brand ethics also play a huge part in if a creator wants to partner. Creators portray certain images, they chat to their audience about what is important to them and are most of the time, extremely transparent with their followers. For model, business owner and creator Lanthe Rose, cruelty free products are a must: “I know a brand is right for me to work with when it aligns to my values. For me, I will only work with brands that are both cruelty free and a product I have tried and will continue to use.” She continues on to use that magic word in influencer marketing, authenticity. “I want my page to reflect authenticity and be somewhere my audience feel they can trust.”
There’s also the word trust again. One of the most appealing parts about buying something you’ve been recommended by an influencer, is generally you follow them because you trust them/have the same interests as them. So if suddenly your favourite vegan food blogger is promoting leather, you know something is up and that trust breaks.
Advice from an agent
While some creators represent themselves, most will have a talent agent. It’s their job to streamline all of the brand partnerships coming in and only take what they think will benefit both the creator and the brand. Mahmood Ansari is a talent agent and creator himself, he says: “The most important thing for me is to see if the brand’s messaging and products align with an influencer’s audience and vice versa. This ensures the audience, regardless of the size, is shown content which is relevant to them, and the brand is targeting the right potential consumer, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership. This means there is scope for both parties to work long-term, taking the audience from awareness to purchase funnels.”
The three golden words to have in mind when approaching talent for campaigns are ‘authenticity’, ‘trust’ and ‘values’. If the talent can’t be authentic with the brand’s values, their followers will lose that trust. So remember that when suggesting talent for your next campaign.