The best influencers get loads of offers from brands for social media marketing campaign partnerships on a regular basis. That’s because smart brands realize that the relationships top influencers have developed with their followers have considerable value. But before you approach a social media influencer to collaborate on a campaign, keep in mind that there are some things you need to know.

What Is a Social Media Influencer Campaign?

A social media influencer campaign is when a brand or marketer works with an influencer to promote a product or service on social media. Because influencers have loyal followers on social media, brands collaborate with the influencers on campaigns that target their audiences.

The Benefits of Working with an Influencer on a Social Media Campaign

Social media marketing is generating impressive ROI, and brands are bumping up their budgets to stay competitive. Growing numbers of brands are collaborating with influencers to power their social media campaigns. The benefits of working with an influencer on a campaign include:

  • Grows Brand Awareness: An influencer can help introduce a brand to new markets. Because followers trust the influencer, they trust the influencer’s endorsement of the brand, even if the brand is new to them.
  • Reboots Brand Image: By working with an influencer on a campaign, a brand can get a fresh, contemporary image. Influencers can update the brand by using its products in new ways and by presenting the products in different environments.
  • Drives Brand’s Website Traffic: An influencer’s sponsored posts can drive consumers to a brand’s website to get more information about the products or, better yet, to buy them.
  • Boosts Engagement: Working with an influencer can get people interested in and talking about a brand. Consumers ask questions and make comments about products on social media. They share sponsored posts about products with other people they think have the same interests.
  • Grows Leads: A bump in a brand’s website traffic means a bump in leads. When consumers visit a brand’s website or social media pages and engage, it gives the brand the opportunity to gather information about them.
  • Boosts Sales: There are plenty of influencers who have followers that’ll buy a product based solely on the influencer’s recommendation. That’s one reason brands like to work with top influencers on product launches.
  • Improves Brand Loyalty: Working with an influencer can remind customers of all the things they love about a brand’s products. It can also introduce them to new products that make them want to keep buying from a particular company.

The Top Campaign Facts Influencers Care Most About

Influencers are running their own businesses. Like any other business, they have certain concerns about partnering with companies on campaigns. Here are the top campaign facts that influencers care most about and the reasons why they do:

  • Brand Image and Campaign Message: Before influencers become involved in a campaign, they want to be sure the brand image and campaign message align with their identity and their audience’s.
  • Product Quality and Relevance: Influencers care that the product they’re promoting is high-quality and relevant to their followers. The influencer’s reputation is at stake with sponsored posts, and they want to be sure they don’t get blowback from customer dissatisfaction. They care that the brand is the right fit for their audience and want to work with products that can benefit their followers.
  • Desire to Be First: Influencers are competitive with others in their industries. They want to be the first to try out new products. Sometimes they want to be the exclusive influencer on a campaign to stand out or to reinforce their trend-setting image.
  • Compensation: Influencers care whether compensation is in the form of money, product and/or exposure to a new audience. The influencer’s needs and the type of compensation they think they’ll benefit the most from are front and center in their decision-making. They want offers that realistically reflect the value of reaching their audiences and the work they’ll be doing.
  • Paid Support of Their Content: For a growing number of social media campaigns, brands are providing paid promotional support of influencers’ content. It’s support that social media influencers care about because they know how difficult it can be to cut through all the noise on social media. They know what a successful influencer campaign requires.
  • Deliverables: Influencers care about the types and the amount of content the campaign requires. They want to make sure that a campaign can show off their content-creation talents in the formats that work best for them. They also want the volume of content they’re required to create to be reasonable and not keep them from other responsibilities. And they don’t want the guidelines for the deliverables to be too lengthy.
  • Displays of Their Expertise: Influencers want to be portrayed as experts in their fields. They want to work with brands and campaigns that understand and reflect their status.
  • Creative Freedom: Creative freedom is a big concern for influencers. They don’t want brands or marketers to micromanage them because they’re concerned the content won’t appear authentic to their followers. They also don’t want brands or marketers to over-edit the content they create for the same reasons. They want the leeway to work their magic. They have loyal followers for good reasons and don’t want to lose their audiences because of content that seems like a hard sell.
  • Content Ownership: If content is popular, it has value, and it’s value that both the influencer and the brand want to get the most out of. Influencers care about getting a fair deal when it comes to content ownership.
  • Exclusivity: Influencers have to make a living, and for many that means working with multiple clients. They’ll want to know campaign facts like whether they can feature other non-competitive brands in their sponsored content. They also care about whether the campaign requires exclusivity within the product category, and if so, for how long.
  • Long-Term Relationships: Most influencers care about establishing long-term relationships with brands. They’re not looking for one-off campaigns. They know that long-term relationships with brands that develop multiple campaigns with an influencer are the most successful.

Reaching Out to Influencers for Work

Emphasize the campaign facts that influencers care about when reaching out to partner with them. Before you make contact, do the research to make sure you’re approaching influencers that your brand is a good match with. Otherwise, you could end up wasting time and energy and likely won’t get a response.

Approach influencers with respect, knowing what they represent and acknowledging their value. Don’t try to low-ball them on compensation.

Make it clear that you won’t present influencers with a list of unrealistic demands for the campaign. Tell them that you respect the relationship they’ve developed with their followers and the ways they engage. Let them know that they’ll have the creative freedom they need and that you’re looking to foster a long-term partnership.