How To Work With Social Media Influencers

"Dear brands, I've been having a bit of trouble with you recently. You don't seem to understand social media at all. What's worse is, you don't seem to understand that we do...far more than you. Which is why we have these audiences you want access to."

Want To Get The Most Out Of Working With Social Media Influencers? Start By Listening To Them.

Increasingly more and more brands are teaming up with top social media influencers to market their brand, product, or service. In an effort to engage millennials, fast food giant McDonald's recently announced their partnership with YouTubers Gabriella Lindley and Oli White in order to build their new YouTube channel, Channel Us. Hallmark, for their recent "Signature Styles" branding campaign, partnered with notable tastemakers, bloggers, and YouTubers to feature stylish outfits inspired by their new line of cards. Mercedes-Benz partnered with Casey Neistat to make a "YouTuber commercial" with an adjoining 3-part behind-the-scenes promo series.

From Adidas to Starbucks to Castrol and almost every industry vertical and advertiser category, companies are now recognizing just how immensely valuable marketing with social media influencers can be. In order to effectively break through the growing social media noise, brands seek the aid of powerful social media influencers to help with both branding and direct-response marketing initiatives.

The Glaring Problem With Brands Working With Social Media Influencers?

Most brands have a difficult time working successfully with and creating alongside top social media influencers. Influencer marketing is a newer sect of marketing that involves critical elements of social media, social media platforms, online video channels, and the influential tastemaker personalities that shape massive consumer audiences.

After a particularly frustrating month of dealing with brands, London YouTuber Dodie Clark "Doddleoddle," created a video titled "Brand Deal Rant" where she outlines the existing problems she's encountered and her best advice for brands desiring to successfully partner with social media influencers. With two YouTube channels totaling over 300K+ subscribers and 21.5+ million total video views, Dodie innately understands how to create content that resonates and build audience affinity.

Here Are The Major Takeaways For Brands Wanting To Work With Social Media Influencers:

In an effort to help brands better grasp the process of working with social media influencers, Dodie created "a little video outline" to illustrate common brand pitfalls. The video showcases her affable personality and succinctly presents timely and much-needed experienced advice to brands on best industry practices for creating truly great brand sponsorships with social media influencers.

  • Allow the social media influencer to be authentic with their audiences = no scripts. Social media influencers like Dodie innately know and grasp how to create/script content that works.
  • For YouTube, hashtags don't work. Hashtags diminish the "shareability" of creator content.
  • Refrain from requiring brand endorsements within the first 15 seconds of a video. This practice kills views. Allow social media influencers to organically integrate the brand mention in a way they feel is best.
  • Trust the influencer when it comes to social media best practices -- after all, social media and creating content that does well on social media is, in fact, their job.
  • Trust the social media influencer's expertise to best represent your brand in a way that's successful for the brand, the influencer, and their audience.
  • Research the right social media influencers for your brand beforehand -- a critical element of creating a great brand sponsorship is finding and reaching out to the right social media influencers.
  • Allow the social media influencer to exercise their creative control over the sponsored content.

As one of the first and most experienced influencer marketing agencies, this video is spot on and elegantly crystallizes several of the problems resulting between brands and influencers. Not only does this video raise awareness on this issue, but is worth the four-minute view to ensure brands don't make the same mistakes when partnering with social media influencers to create the best-sponsored content.

Also See Our Posts On:

Why Social Media Engagement Matters For Sponsored Content

Brand Resource: Top Social Media Influencers Series 2015

Brand Guide: How To Find Instagram Influencers

September 4, 2015 By Evan

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