What in the actual heck is influencer marketing? – Part 1

January 12, 2022

First things first. Send this to an influencer that needs to be paid for their work.

An influencer cannot go to a store and take a product for free just like that, right? So, turning the table, as a brand you cannot expect to take their content without paying for it, content is their product.

In our marketing past lives we’ve had experiences with brands and influencers that have taught us so much about the complex influencer marketing world. Having the chance to see both sides of the mirror had left us with a lot of insights. Here is a small list of what was our best takeaways.

1. Influencer marketing is about creating a win-win relationship

As a brand the reason why you use influencers is because they have the reach, you may not, or they are hitting the audience you are specifically looking for. And let’s face it, influencer’s make content because “they love their following and content is their passion”, but also looking for revenue. Content creation is an absolutely legit form of income nowadays and creators see it as their job. As brands, companies and marketers, we should be paying them for their work, free product should just be bonuses.

For an influencer to create content for your brand requires time and resources (not to mention their investment on equipment, internet, editing software, etc).  Let’s say you are Goodyear. Yes, it’s ok if you offer a set of tires as part of your offer to onboard them on a campaign, but if your campaign is 6 months, how can they pay rent with tires, you feel? After the second set, they might not make sense as a currency anymore (and that doesn’t mean your product has no value, it’s just how the world works). Remember, you want to build long lasting relationships with them. So you both need to speak the same language.

2. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) leave your brand in the hands of an inexperienced marketer, right? So…. Are you giving guidelines to the influencers you work with?

If your idea of influencer marketing is sending a package to someone’s address and expect to somehow get something back for your brand, sorry to pop your bubble, but that’s not any form of marketing. Don’t forget marketing is all about strategy.

Not every influencer can fit every brand. Do your research, reach a bunch of them, present your ideas and your campaign concept and finally work only with the ones that resonate with your brand.

Working with influencers is about collaboration. They cannot create the content you need without you guiding them, at the same time, you cannot expect for them to just replicate a script that is super strict. You are not hiring actors or models to pose with your brand, you are working with them because you like their personalities and style. Let them be them, and the content that will come out of that is the content that will resonate with their audience, and that is the end goal.

3. Be clear about your expectations, otherwise, how would you get what you want?

The more professionally you manage your influencers relationships, the more goals you are going to reach. Look at them as providers, you need to brief them, make a request and set a deadline for delivery.

We’ve heard so many horror stories about brands sending their product to influencers and they never heard anything back…. But these brands complaining usually don’t tell you the other side of the story: Was there a contract? Was there a strategy? Was there any sort of agreement with them?

Don’t be afraid of contracts, if anything, they are a tool to protect both sides of a professional relationship. Be open to have the conversation, be transparent and clear with what you want. If someone doesn’t want to work with you because there’s a contract in between, is that really the person you would like to involve with your brand?

We bring all this up because we want to bring understanding of what influencer marketing really is, but if there is no standards in this industry, things will never get better. We want you to be able to work with influencers, understanding their needs and them understanding yours. We will be sharing an example of how to work with some influencers in one setting. Let’s keep moving forward positively.

  • Author Fero Mercado

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3 more info blogs coming!!

  1. […] part one we talked about what to expect and what not to demand from influencers. Now in this new post of our […]

  2. […] marketing blog series. In case you haven’t been following up with our latest post, go check PART ONE where we talked about what to expect from influencers. Or give a quick read to PART TWO with our […]


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