Why brands should be giving influencers creative freedom in 2021

July 27, 2021

It can feel like influencer marketing is saturating our social media pages, with more branded content, #ad, and In Paid Partnership in the last 12 months that ever before. From a mere $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to have a market size of $9.7 billion in 2020. This is expected to jump to $13.8 billion in 2021. This rise in influencer marketing spend by brands is due to people spending more time on social media than ever before, the impact of COVID on other marketing channels, and the overall effectiveness of influencer marketing and the results brands can achieve. 

That said, we can all point to an influencer campaign that has felt contrived or inauthentic, and equally we can probably all name a campaign that has made us love that brand and the influencer even more through the engaging content partnership. What separates a good campaign from a great one?

The short answer is a truly mutually beneficial relationship between brand and creator.

Recent studies have found that the younger generations do not respond well to traditional “in your face” advertising methods. The new generation really appreciates what influencers have to say, and look for authenticity, brand relevance and meaning in the content they consume. 

So how are brands building multibillion dollar empires through influencer marketing? We are here to break it down and help you build a successful influencer driven campaign.

Understanding your audience & finding the right voices for your brand.

In order to successfully brief others on your campaign and your vision you first need to nail who exactly the audience is for the campaign you are creating. Looking to speak to Gen Z? Or millennials? People who are looking for luxury products? Or those on a budget? Are they a specific age, live in particular areas, and have certain interests? Once you can describe the ‘persona’ of who you are trying to target, it makes it much easier to identify the right type of influencer for your brand campaign objectives.

Make sure you spend time looking through their feed, brand sentiment on previous paid campaigns, understanding their tone of voice and visual style, to ensure their content style matches your vision. It’s also important to ensure the influencer’s audience demographics are suited to the campaign’s requirements and that their engagement rates are high enough to achieve traction. Also think about the type of content you want to create - for example if you are after bright colours, reel style content or spoken video piece to camera, you need to remember that this will not be for everyone.

The last thing you want to do is select your influencers and provide them with a vision board & brief that is totally off brand for them, wont resonate with their audience, and will do both you and the influencer more harm than good!

How to write a successful influencer brief without taking away the creators creativity. 

Giving an influencer a clear brief is fundamental to your campaign’s success. Empower the influencer with as much information on your brand, the product and what you’d like them to help deliver as you can. Then let them bring the content to life in a way that will resonate best with their audience. Remember, be clear but don’t be dictatorial - they know their audience best and you’re engaging with an influencer because they have built this trust with their followers.

- Timeline - specify when you would like to receive content for pre-approval and when you are expecting it to go live. 

- Product the influencer will be promoting

- DeliverablesHandles, hashtags + links.

- Brand overview

- Campaign Overview 

- Mandatories

- Moodboard 

The briefing documents are also where you would outline key regulations required for the post. For example if you are engaging influencers for an alcohol campaign you will need to insert the ABAC guidelines and effectively highlight important call outs. 

Creative freedom & letting go.

By allowing our creators to have creative control, you are allowing them to promote your brand under an authentic light and enabling the influencer to naturally engage with their dedicated audience, remember this is what they do every day successfully!

Brands  need to give influencers more license to be creative. Influencers are crying out for more creative control – 83% regard it as their first priority before accepting a brief.

When a campaign allows for their creators to have creative freedom, if done well their followers will respond positively to the content and feel that it is adding value to their lives and fits naturally with the influencers feed. When consumers see influencers they trust posting about products without it sounding out of their normal tone of voice or natural style, it re-enforces the idea that the influencer has a genuine affinity for the product and their brand endorsement can be trusted.

Avoid Scripting & remember less is more.

We always say LESS is MORE, do not be too specific and do not overdo it - try to avoid word for word scripts, identify your key pointers and pull together a visual mood board, remember they are creatives after all.

“More than 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. Collaborating with influencers helps companies create content that rises above the noise and resonates with their target groups. It also helps them build trust, establish brand ideals, and circumvent ad-blockers.”  —Media Planet

Trust the process & enjoy the journey! 

We get it can be daunting but with the right mutual understanding, briefing and vetting processes in place, letting go of total creative control can allow for maximum impact. 

If you are looking to develop long-term relationships with your brand ambassadors, creative freedom is a non-negotiable for 2021.

If you’ve always wanted to experiment with this strategy, but haven’t had the time or resources to produce your own campaigns, sponsoring content from influencers might be the right strategy for you and we here at The Influencers Agency would love to help you do it!

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