Do Influencers Care More About Money or Creative Freedom?

As you probably already know, I have an unhealthy obsession with digital marketing case studies and research reports.

Last week eMarketer posted a survey that Crowdtap did with influencers on what would make an influencer want to work with a brand more than once.  They found that while they want to get compensated for their posts, influencers value creative freedom even more than money.

emarketer graph

Don’t get me wrong, being compensated was a close second, but I was really excited to get a piece of data that reinforces my advocacy of a creative influencer marketing strategy that focuses on the individual strengths of an influencer.

Don’t fret, if you are behind on implementing a strategy that embraces creative freedom here are the 5 must haves for an influencer marketing strategy that leaves room for creative freedom.

Create an Individualistic Plan

While many business decisions can be made with data and charts and viewed broadly, your influencer marketing should not be.

Instead of looking at influencer marketing as one strategy, look at each influencer as a unique person creating content. Weird, I know.

This way you can tailor your content creation strategy according to their individual strengths. For example, a protein bar company may be tempted to send their network of 30 bloggers their new protein bars with a generically generated request to review them. That would be fine but I would encourage said brand to tailor communication and make a unique plan according to each blogger’s strength. For example, some bloggers are stronger on Instagram so a brand would want to encourage that blogger to create photo worthy content of their brand interaction.  Other bloggers may have more of a parenting niche following so emphasizing how easy these bars are on the go for moms would be a great idea.

Make Sure Communication Lines are Wide Open

So many marketers still get surprised that being upfront about how they want to work with an influencer is so effective.

In your outreach email it is perfectly acceptable to say “let’s explore how we can partner, can I send you a pair of shoes from my brand to see if you like?” Or something shot, sweet and to the point that opens the door for brainstorming and communicating.

Other than being upfront about intentions, make sure that you follow up with influencers after a piece of content goes live. Chat with them about what you could do better for the next partnership. Ask them to always keep you in mind if a fun promotion or great fit for partnering comes up.

Ask Them Questions

Your influencers are not only your strongest assets when it comes to word-of-mouth brand mentions, they also have great input and feedback about your brand. You just have to ask them for it.

Whether it’s an email asking simple questions, scheduling a call or sending them a survey, include your influencers anywhere you can! Look at them as an extension of your brand not an outsider and the feedback you can get on your marketing, product, sales process, etc. may be surprising.

Work With Influencers More Than Once

The more you work with an influencer the more your relationships can grow and maximize power.

Embrace a network building approach to influencer marketing and make sure you are nurturing and keeping in touch with all of your influential contacts!

Have a Creative Column

So you most likely have a spreadsheet with your influential relationships listed and all of their necessary data points like contact information, total reach, level of engagement, etc. These data points are fantastic, but open your mind to a new column.

Obviously this “creative column” should be a data asset that pertains to your brand. If you are an active footwear company you could have a column for shoe size and send them shoes on their birthdays. If you are a craft company having a simple column for birthday is great so you can mail out gift cards with nice messages! If you are targeting the parent demographic note the age of their children so you can send age appropriate items. Etc. One simple, personalized touch can go so far….

What tips do you have to share when it comes to giving influencers creative freedom?

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