Influencer Marketing – Influencers weigh in

I wrote two posts about my experience with working with and being an influencer. But, I wanted to go further and ask influencers the best and worst things about working with brands. Followed up to that is what can brands do to make relationships better with influencers. 

I asked several influencers these questions. They filled out the form anonymously. I don’t know who answered because I wanted them to be 100% honest.  

What are your pet peeves about working with a brand?

  • Lack of cross-marketing support. I make content; they don’t promote it.
  • Low/no compensation, lack of compensation for additional supplies
  • unreasonable expectations, inadequate compensation, lack of clear communication
  • making a collaboration more complicated than it has to be (lots of micromanaging)
  • When they offer “exposure” instead of payment when they don’t allow us to have creative control when their contracts include ownership of images when that hasn’t been negotiated, and they haven’t agreed to pay extra for that.

What makes a band great to work with on campaigns?

  • Pays well, clear objectives, social media support.
  • Clear expectations, reimbursement for additional supplies, fair pay
  • Clear communication, creative freedom to make projects that fit your niche and will appeal to your audience while still showcasing the brand, not needing pre-approval for everything, brand willingness to promote me/my post, the opportunity for more/long-term partnerships, fair compensation, reasonable expectations
  • Good relationship with POC at the company, easy to reach, happy to answer questions, knowing my value and being as happy to work with me as I am with them
  • When they trust me to have creative control and know my audience (take a hands-off approach) and pay a fair rate.

What is the worst experience working with a brand?

  • I once had a brand take a viral post of mine and job a video to another person who basically took credit for my idea. It was a top ten pin for Michaels that year, so it was really disappointing. They did not do anything different, just copied the idea as a video with their hands.
  • When they send product asking you to make something, you use the product and promote them, and then they don’t return the favor. A comment or share is expected.
  • When a brand I trusted and thought I had a long-term positive relationship with decided to blame the influencers for their own lack of planning and communication. We were reprimanded, and then the expectations moving forward became completely unreasonable as far as lack of creative freedom and way too many hoops to jump through as far as pre-approval, etc…all for low compensation.
  • A large company I’ve worked with for years – their checks bounced to all of the bloggers they worked with on a campaign. No apology, no heads up, took another 90 days to actually pay and balked at paying the penalty fees from the bank.
  • When they took away creative control and then chastised influencers when a campaign flopped because of their poor planning and lack of organization.

There are some things to take away here. 

  • Trust the influencers to know their audience and what they will like and not like
  • Find influencers who you can enjoy working with and trust. 
  • Share the influencer, not just in what they do for your brand but in general. 

There will be a podcast coming soon! Stay tuned. There will be three of them, and I hope to get some influencers on the last podcast to talk. 

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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