How Influencers Choose Which Brands To Partner With: Exclusive Insights From 50+ Influencers

influencer brand partnerships

Influencer Brand Partnership: What Do Influencers Look For In A Brand Partnership?

Over the years, we at Mediakix have made an effort to connect with top social media influencers through exclusive interviews. Our goal has been to ask influencers for the information that both marketers and consumers yearn to know so that the influencer marketing industry can continue to mature. Through the strong relationships we build, we gain transparency and insights into the world of influencers, which helps us produce more impactful campaigns and influencer brand partnerships.

influencer brand partnerships

As many influencers try to understand what brands look for in influencer partnerships, it’s just as important for brands to understand what influencers look for in brand partnerships. We’ve compiled responses to some of the most investigative questions from our interview series—How do influencers decide which brands to partner with? And what advice would they give to brands looking to work with influencers?

Influencer Insights: What Are The Most Important Factors In Securing Influencer Brand Partnerships?

For each response, we’ve linked to the original interview article for additional insights, and we’ve also examined patterns across more than 50 responses. The results are telling: influencers are like brands—they look for mutually beneficial partnerships that are a “good match,” meaning there’s alignment between interests and values.

While these insights may come as no surprise, it’s helpful to get a clear view of what influencers want and how they determine which brands to endorse. We’ve analyzed elements from each answer and broke them down into eight main categories:

influencer insights

We discovered that relevance, trust, and brand affinity are of utmost importance. Another prominent theme includes creative freedom.

The least mentioned aspect? Money. While money is likely more important than our interviews show, only four influencers mentioned it as a factor in influencer brand partnerships. This suggests the possibility that influencers simply turn down brand deals that don’t offer enough compensation; thus, money is a qualifier, not a differentiator.

We encourage our readers to explore the range of answers from more than 50 influencer spotlight interviews below:

Influencer Spotlight Interviews: Influencers Reveal How They Choose Brand Partners

1. Chelsea Kauai (@chelseakauai)

influencer brand partnerships

When choosing whether or not to work with a brand, how do you decide? How do you ensure that sponsored content fits in seamlessly with your feed?

A lot of it is an intuition thing for me. Is it relevant to my life and to my audience? Is it something I actually believe in and would I recommend it to my friends? I think that helps keep things more natural. Some of my favorite clients are Canon, DJI, KEEN, and the National Parks—all are things I truly love and am proud to represent. I also try to maintain an exceptionally high level of creative control—it probably makes me annoying to work with, but I feel my greatest obligation is to my audience. If that means walking away from an opportunity, that’s okay with me. Don’t get me wrong, the money can definitely be a temptation, but I think I was lucky to make that mistake a few times early on, and yea, I don’t like that icky feeling of not being proud of something.

2. Amanda Oleander (@amandaoleander)

amanda-oleander-instagram

How do you approach sponsored content creation? How do you ensure branded messaging fits in well with your feed?

“I’m extremely picky about who I collaborate with. I’ll only work with a brand that I already love and use. If it’s a new brand I’m not familiar with I won’t collaborate with them until I have used their product and love it.”

The way I think of it is like this: I personally would rather discover a brand through an influencer I follow and trust. I don’t really trust commercials, I trust reviews and normal people like you and me that happen to have a following. I trust that the product is great if I purchase something through an influencer.

If the product is bad it’ll disappoint me and I’ll lose my respect for the person that is just trying to make quick money. I never want to be that person so I always go into it with that mindset. The way I ensure it [sponsored content] goes well with my feed is that I either collaborate and create an art piece for the brand and share that or I livestream/Instagram Story about it.

3. Suzanne Bruch (@wonderful_places)

wonderful-places-instagram-photos

When choosing whether or not to work with a brand, how do you decide? How do you ensure that sponsored content fits in seamlessly with your feed?

That’s a great question! We frequently receive invitations to work with brands and other accounts in different capacities. So when we receive an inquiry to collaborate, the first thing that’s important is our initial reaction to the proposal, whether it feels like it would be a good fit for our accounts.

My audience looks to my accounts for visually stunning travel photography. I take my responsibility and commitment to my audience very seriously and don’t feel comfortable putting just any content on my channels. When working with brand partners on sponsored content, communication is the key to a successful collaboration. We know the types of content that will most engage our audience, so we appreciate when we have input in these types of decisions. It’s also great when sponsored content is made specifically for the collaboration and isn’t just reused, recycled, repurposed, or reposted from something else.

4. Roi Fabito (Guava Juice)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you choose which brands to collaborate with? How do you ensure that the sponsorship fits in naturally with your content?

I’m usually asked if I would like to work with a brand. I choose the brands that interest me and fit my audience the most. Having a younger demographic, I tend to gear towards brands that they like as well (i.e. toys, food, cool technology).

5. Jessica Sorkin (@TheHandyJ)

When choosing whether or not to work with a brand, how you decide? Which brand sponsorship(s) are you most proud of?
I love AdamAndEve.com. Not only are they aligned with my brand but they believed in me when I barely had any followers. They were one of my original advertisers. They’re the largest sex toys website. It just works.

“I won’t work with people who don’t have heavy budgets. Anyone else can’t afford me. While that may seem obvious, my issue isn’t even a financial one. The reason they can’t afford me whatever that means they complain about my prices and try to nickel and dime me and that brings down the value and my enjoyment. So no cheapskates.”

6. Riley Beek (@bitc.h)

How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you find the right meme to communicate each sponsoring brand’s messaging?

We like to work with brands that are true to my lifestyle and also resonate with our followers. It’s all about giving the audience things they like and want to support.

We look through the thousands of memes we have posted and see how we could plug in a brand and how different combinations could work. Nothing feels better than having a branded post that performs as well as a normal post.

7. Trey Kennedy (@treykennedy)

influencer brand partnerships

What two tips do you have for incorporating a brand’s messaging into your own content style?

First, only work with brands and campaigns that make sense on your channel. Second, incorporate it seamlessly into content you would already create. Pretty simple but easier said than done. I think my audience gets that I’m doing this for a living and the branded work is how I pay the bills, and so as long as I’m keeping the content high-quality, in my style, with brands that I truly enjoy, they respect it and even enjoy it.

8. Irene Lara (@studio4lara)

studio-4-lara-instagram

How do you decide which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that your fans are receptive to sponsored content?

“I’m very selective when it comes to working with brands. You have to keep your feed real and be ethical, and make this your priority (instead of money). Being paid for creating content doesn’t mean it’s not real, or at least it shouldn’t mean that.”

When I work with a brand it’s because it’s something I really like, wear or use in my daily life. I always try to test the products I’m showcasing to give a real and clear message to my followers. Luckily, I also work with a lot of brands I’ve been using for years, so I always keep it honest.

I have to say no to many opportunities because it wouldn’t feel right and also long term it would negatively affect my feed and following. People aren’t stupid and I’m sure they can notice when something isn’t totally true!

9. Sjana Elise (@Sjanaelise)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you choose whether or not to work with a brand, and what do you look for in branded partnerships?

I won’t work with a company unless I support them 150%!

I think that is the most important part of being an influencer, is being selective about who you do and don’t work with. Not only do I want to ensure that it is a brand I respect and support, but I also want to ensure the product is either something I do use, will use, or genuinely love.

That way, the collaboration is genuine and not forced, and I think my followers like that too. Brand synergy and resonance is essential to maintaining quality posts and an authentic relationship with your followers!

10. Garrett Gee (@thebucketlistfamily)


How do you choose which brands to partner with, and how do you ensure that sponsored integrations fit in naturally with your content?

“We’re very picky about what brands we work with because we want to make sure our community knows we’re authentic. The trust of our followers is important and we want to bring them value through the products, services, and brands that we share with them.”

Because of that, many of the brands that we work with are those that we proactively reach out to. Brands like Southwest Airlines, GoPro, Teva, Thule, Airbnb, and others.

11. Billy Wingrove & Jeremy Lynch (F2freestylers)

How do you choose which brands to partner with and ensure your audience will love sponsored content?

Jeremy: We always try to work with brands that come to the table with some great ideas or give us some creative freedom to come up with the ideas for ourselves.

It is also exciting to work with brands that have sponsorships with big-name players and events, within the UK and internationally. If we can bring all of those elements together into something compelling, we know our fans tend to love it.

12. Lola Tash & Nicole Argiris (@MyTherapistSays)

influencer brand partnerships

What are some tips for successfully integrating a brand into your memes?

For the most part, the integration depends on the brand, and what approach they want to take. Almost anything is meme-able in our eyes, so if a brand is willing to go there, to put themselves out there, we’re more than ready to come up with something on their behalf. We’ve been fortunate to work with genuinely great people.

13. Lindsay Ostrom (Pinch Of Yum)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When partnering with a brand how do you best integrate a product into your content?

We only work with brands that we truly enjoy and recommend, so integrating products is easy and natural. I usually show the product in a picture in the blog post and talk about why we like it. Sometimes I go on my Instagram stories to talk about the product further or show it in a real-life context.

14. Tammy Hembrow (@TammyHembrow)

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When choosing whether or not to work with a brand, how do you decide? Which brand sponsorship(s) are you most proud of?

“I only work with brands I truly love so I wouldn’t work with a brand just for money. I find it’s so important to be transparent with my online community. I feel an obligation to them because they trust me and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that.”

I love Women’s Best, I have partnered with them for a while now and I personally use their products every day so it made sense to work with them. I also love Fashion Nova, they have so much to choose from and I love their jeans! If you scroll through my Instagram you will come across a lot of Fashion Nova because they have pieces for every occasion and I love that.

15. Skyy John (TipsyBartender)

influencer brand partnerships

As an influencer, how do you determine which brands to partner with?

Boy, that’s a tough one because we get a lot of calls from a lot of different brands and to be honest, I tell a lot of people no. I want liquor products or products that are tangential to our brand, something related to what we do.

I do not like going outside of that and doing stuff that’s unrelated to what we do. I mean there are times that I’ve done it. I’ve done stuff with Audible.com, I’ve done stuff with different video games or different movies.

But you have to relate it every time to alcohol, to really make that connection. If you’re a brand that’s sensitive about booze then don’t call me because it needs to fit in with my videos. I look for partners that are a match with what we do, regardless of money.

16. Sawyer Hartman (@SawyerHartman)

sawyer-hartman-malibu-instagram

When brands approach you, what do you expect from them and how do you decide on working with them?

“My biggest selling factor when contemplating working with a brand is a simple question: “Does partnering with this company or service allow me to create content for my viewers that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to capture?” If the answer is yes, we can start planning!”

17. Jamie Salvatori (Vat19)

As an influencer, how does Vat19 decide on which brands to partner within your YouTube content?

Did their check clear? In all seriousness, that’s super important.

But all kidding aside, we feel like we’re creative enough to find a way to work with nearly any brand. We’ve spent the past 10 years practicing the art of selling people stuff, so we feel absolutely zero shame in promoting another brand’s product or service. It’s what we do!

Plus, our fans fully understand that we’re a store, so it doesn’t come across as “weird” when we promote another brand.

18. Lil BUB (@iamlilbub)

i-am-lil-bub-instagram-cat

How do you decide which brands to partner with on BUB’s account?

“There are a number of variables that factor into this decision, but one of the most important is if it’s a brand/product that we would use and support ourselves. We also consider if there is a charitable aspect to the campaign.”

19. Juniper Fox (@juniperfoxx)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you decide which of brands or non-profit institutions to work with? What is your process for selecting?

Collaborating with brands and non-profit institutions is a natural part of having a large audience on Instagram. We’re presented with new opportunities daily. Some companies pitch great offers, but what it really comes down to is whether or not they’re animal-friendly and if they have the best intentions for both animals and our audience. I really enjoy being completely authentic and open with our growing audience, and I would never promote anything I’m not in love with myself.

20. Violet Benson (@daddyissues_)

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What is your process in choosing which brands you collaborate with?

“I’m fortunate enough to be able to say no to 90% of brands that come around. It’s really important for me to collaborate with brands that I believe in. I would never push something onto my fans that I didn’t use or didn’t believe in. I tend to promote comedies because they usually go really well with my account.”

21. Jackelyn Shultz (Life With Jackie)

How do you choose which brands to work with? How do you decide which of your social platforms is the right choice for a campaign?

The brands that I work with have to fit my lifestyle and have a product that I believe my subscribers would benefit from. For example, I worked with a company called Dock-A-Tot. At the time, my son would not sleep more than a couple hours at a time. I was desperate to find a solution so I agreed to give their product a try because it was something that I genuinely wanted to use. The product was incredible and I felt good about recommending it to my viewers so that other moms could reap the benefits of this brand and get a few extra hours of sleep.

22. Jennifer Tuffen (@izkiz)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you choose which brands to collaborate with and what is the creative process for those campaigns like? Do you have a particularly memorable campaign?

I only work with brands if they fit my style and blend into my feed so itʼs natural. One of my favorite campaigns was with Dubai Tourism.

They flew us business class to Dubai and had us explore and eat our way around the city. It was just amazing. Helicopter rides over the Burj Al Arab, sunset dune bashing in the desert. I love any campaigns and collaborations that are travel related.

23. Nala Cat (@Nalacat)

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How do you decide which brands or charities to partner with?

Most of the time I try to support local shelters, the shelters around our place or some shelters that really need help. I don’t really give back to just one shelter, I try to spread it out so that everyone else that needs help can get help, too.

24. Kyle Huber (@KyleHuber)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Which of these chip flavors makes your taste buds spin!? Comment BLUE for Himalayan Pink Salt, GREEN for Lime & Cracked Pepper or RED for Red Curry Coconut below! @RedRockDeli #SnackingFantastic #ad

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What are factors you consider before deciding to collaborate with brands?

When my style and audience became appealing to brands, I started taking on collaborations that allowed me to get creative and advertise in a way that still felt on-brand. With my strong background in graphic design, I’m able to visually communicate in ways other photographers can’t.

I almost never say no to a paying client, but I do know my limit. Some brands just don’t make sense to promote. I will also never post something that I don’t love, whether it is sponsored or not.

25. Iga Wysocka (@igawysocka)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you choose which brands to collaborate with?

Sometimes I write to them if I really like their products, but most of the time I answer email requests and check to see if I like their products or not.

26. Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard)

chris-buckard-instagram

How do you choose which clients to take on?

“I like to work with clients whose values match my own. I love to show clients the importance of environmental conservation while also infusing their brand with the outdoor world. No matter where I am in my career, the ultimate goal is to create meaningful work while also incorporating the client’s vision.”

27. My Nguyen (@myhealthydish_)

my-healthy-dish-instagram-fabfitfun

How do you decide which brands to collaborate with now?

I think it’s important to have multiple streams of income when you are an influencer, and there are so many ways to monetize if you have a large enough audience. The key is developing quality content and engaging with your followers because my analytics on my blog and social are what I use to pitch to brands.

I am very particular on what brands I work with. It has to be products that either I use or would use. I would never recommend any brand if I didn’t like
it myself.

28. Jack Morris (@DoYouTravel)

do-you-travel-amex

How do you choose which brands to work with?

“I only work with brands that have an authentic fit to my style. I’m quite picky with who I do work with. I tend to just work with brands I find inline with what I do, which is mainly travel stuff. I work with a few different brands, like watch companies, insurance companies, apps and things like that. It’s mainly just the travel industry.”

29. Murad Osmann (@muradosmann)

influencer brand partnerships

What’s your process for choosing which brands to partner with?

The key to successful collaboration is in the content, how organic and native it is, and such a campaign is only possible in cases where the vision of two collaborating brands are the same. #FollowMeTo cases are about making the world around us warmer and better, not about selling things.

30. Manny The Frenchie (@manny_the_frenchie)

manny-the-frenchie-merck

How do you choose which brands to collaborate with?

“We love to work with brands and companies that have similar missions. We got here organically and we want to stay true to our “brand.” Manny gets several requests daily and we simply can not partner with everyone. We love to give back! So any campaigns where we get to raise awareness or funds for animals or people in need are always our favorites. Manny at the Puppy Bowl was quite the experience. Adoptable puppies everywhere!”

31. Liane V (@lianev)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Tis the season for a fresh new fit. Thanks to Champs Sports for the early Christmas gift. I Love it! Get yours at @champssports.womens ????? #WeKnowGame #ad

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As an influencer, how do you decide which brands to partner with?

I only work with brands that would make sense with my brand. So, I choose to partner with brands that would look organic to collaborate with.

32. Hayden Williams (@hayden_williams)

hayden-williams-mary-poppins

What do you look for in a brand partnership?
For me personally, it’s very important to be genuinely invested and passionate about the project I am being offered to work on. A lucrative partnership is always nice of course, but I wouldn’t attach my name to something just for the sake of it. I have to truly be passionate about the brand and project because I want to deliver my best work at all times. To do that, I have to be inspired and happy with what I am working on. Every project and brand partnership I have done in my career thus far has been something I genuinely wanted to do. I manage myself, so this makes things easier when making decisions. I get to choose what is right for me!

Professionalism plays a big part for me also.

“I love working with brands and people that know what they are doing and know what they are talking about. Professionalism makes things to run smoother and makes everyone’s life much easier.”

Further, it’s important for a partnership to be mutually beneficial and not just one-sided. Lastly, for me personally, the partnership has to make sense for me as a brand and what I’m about. I like things to be a fashion illustration or fashion design focused and not be totally random.

33. Jessica Ricks (@hapatime)

influencer brand partnerships

What do you look for in a partnership with a brand or company?

I really just think right away if my brand matches the company and is it a product that I love and my readers will love? It’s great working with brands and companies who are familiar working with influencers and allow total creative freedom. It’s important for brands to remember that each influencer has his or her own unique style and understands their audience best.

34. Rachel Ballinger (@missrballer)

missrballer-lipstick

How do you choose what kinds of brands/companies to work with?

I choose what brands and companies to work with based on if I’d actually use the product or like the company. It took me a while to figure out my screening process. At first you just say “yes” to everything because you’re amazed that people want to work with you. But after a while, you learn to say “no” to things that don’t fit your brand. I genuinely love, fitness, food, phone games, and sports. So anything related to those, I’m probably going to say yes to 🙂

35. Kristine (Family Fun Pack)


How do you choose which brands to partner with? How do your kids affect your decision making on this matter?

I partner with brands I like. If my kids like the brand, we will be a lot more likely to work with them. Alyssa likes to shop at Justice (LOVES it actually). Justice treats us like rock stars, so we always agree to work with them. Sometimes a brand comes that really has no connection to us, like a strange app, or some random electronic gadget. In these cases, we pass because it’s no fun working on something that we don’t connect with. We also don’t like to work with brands that we don’t think sound exciting for our viewers to see.

36. Linus Sebastian (LinusTechTips)

influencer brand partnerships

What is your process for choosing which brands to partner with and which best fit your content?

We’ve never stressed too much about how a brand fits with our content, since we offer everything from product placement all the way to completely separate segments of the video that are focused on the brand message, but we do care about working with reputable brands who treat our viewers correctly. We’ve rejected numerous sponsors after doing initial research into their history and/or receiving negative feedback from our audience.

37. Raven Elyse (RavenElyseTV)


What is your process in deciding which brands or products to partner with?

“First, I look at the brand itself. Are they reputable? Are they professional? Then I look at the product or service that they want me to promote, and if it’s something that I would actually use and enjoy regardless of if I was promoting it or not, and if it’s something that I think my followers would like as well, then I’m likely to partner with that company. Also, the integration has to be authentic and a good match for my channel and I look for brands that are flexible in respecting my creative freedom.”

38. Matthias & Amanda (Matt & Amanda)

On your joint and individual channels, how do you choose what kind of brands to partner with?

This is a relatively easy task for us. Does the brand resonate with our values? Does that brand have a purpose for existing, do people need what they make? Are they passionate, or just trying to make a dollar? A lot of this stuff can be easily derived from just looking at the brand’s service/products. Sometimes we don’t know much about the brand at all, and have to do a bit of research, but the biggest thing is will it work for us, and our viewers.

39. Austin Hargrave (Peanut Butter Gamer)

influencer brand partnerships

How do you choose which brands or companies to work with?

Choosing brands for me is pretty simple. If I like the product or service, or think my audience would enjoy it, then I’m generally open to working with them. I’d rather not pitch something to my audience that I know they won’t like because not only would it be a waste of time for the brand, I’d also hear all about it in the comments. I’d rather it be a win-win for all parties involved.

40. Lisa Schwartz (Lisbug)

How do you choose which brands to work with?

“I’m not gonna push something on my audience I don’t genuinely believe in. So, you will never see me promoting diet pills or laxative teas. If I’m going to expose my audience to a brand deal, it’s gonna be something I use or think is worth them actually checking out. Like coffee, or poop spray. The necessities.”

41. Chris Ballinger (Ballinger Family)

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with YouTubers?

Brands need to trust that YouTubers know what their audiences like and respond to. By letting a YouTuber get creative with how they present the brand, they will be able to influence their audience in a more effective way. But it’s a two-way street. YouTubers have to earn the trust of their audience and the brands. By being smart and using good marketing strategies they can help the brands without alienating their audience.

42. Sharzad Kiadeh (The Mom’s View)

influencer brand partnerships

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with YouTubers?

I would tell brands to trust the YouTubers they’re working with to create content that’s best for their channel. It’s their audience and they know how to speak to them. I think a brand can still get their message across without being too obvious. It’s all about trust and communication!

43. Courtney Horan (Sweet Tooth Sweet Life)

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What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?
I really appreciate when a brand shows that they truly see the value in working with a blogger. When I’m asked to promote a brand/product in exchange for “free social shares” or product only, it’s a little bit of a turn off because that is likely not benefiting both parties equally (depending on what the product may be).

If a brand wants to reach out to a blogger to create a partnership, show some interest in them! Let them know that they’ve been watching them, they like what you see, and maybe give some ideas on how they can partner up.

“I absolutely love when brands are open to my ideas, because it allows us all to work collaboratively on something that is best for the brand and for the blogger and readers. It’s a win-win for all!”

44. Gina Harney (Fitnessista)

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What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

I love working with companies who are clear in what they’re asking for and their deliverables and are also easy to work with. It helps if they’ve done research on my blog and know if their company would be a good fit.

45. Austin Evans (Austin Evans YouTube)

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with YouTubers?

Trust the YouTuber. It’s a different world on YouTube, we have very personal relationships with our audiences and they’re 100% tuned in to authenticity. The best result is a collaboration that results in a cool video that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

46. Emily Malone (Daily Garnish)

influencer brand partnerships

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

I don’t like to do big advertising campaigns that are blanketed across a ton of blogs all at once, as that can feel really overwhelming and redundant to readers who read multiple blogs. I’d much rather be part of a focused campaign, and be hand-selected for a partnership that is a good fit with my content and audience.

47. Kath Younger (Kath Eats)

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What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

I always think the best campaigns bring the bloggers and brands together under one roof. The more hands-on the blogger can get, the more interesting the post will be. Some of my favorite sponsored posts have been trips brands have hosted that have enabled me to share not just the “what” or “why” behind a brand, but to show and tell the “how.” During my early days of blogging I got to travel to Kenya with Lipton Tea to tour their tea estates and documented my whole trip. The trip was such an amazing experience in my real life and the recaps remain some of my favorite blog posts in all of the archives.

48. Dana Miller (House Tweaking)

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What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

“Give bloggers creative freedom! When brands allow bloggers to present their product or service in their own way, it’s more authentic and better received by their audience. It’s a win-win-win situation. The blogger creates fulfilling, original content. The readers are engaged and inspired. The brand sees increased interaction and sales. I’ve also heard from readers that they don’t like it when the same brand has a sponsored post on every blog at the same time or within a short period of time. Readers may be more receptive to campaign posts staggered among different blogs at different times.”

49. Julie Fagan (Peanut Butter Fingers)

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What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

When reaching out to a blogger, keep your emails short and to the point. Many bloggers receive tons of emails every day (we’re talking hundreds), so a concise email that states exactly what you’re looking for, your budget and your timeline is really, really helpful.

50. Grace Atwood (The Stripe)

influencer brand partnerships

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

Tailor your approach, and think before you email! I receive so many blanket emails…it’s very overwhelming. It’s nice when a brand takes the time to get to know my site prior to reaching out.

51. Christina Haupert (Carrots N’ Cake)

What’s your advice to brands looking to build a campaign or partner with bloggers?

“Establish long-term relationships with bloggers and keep the lines of communication open. Bloggers want to create meaningful relationships between themselves and the brand as well as their readers.”

52. Stefano Tratto (@stefanotratto)

stefano-tratto-camera

What is your decision-making process when you are deciding to collaborate with brands?

My agency and I are very selective with brands/collaboration. I choose brands that align with my style and profile that I truly love.

5 Don’ts When Working With Social Media Influencers 

Partnering with social media influencers to create sponsored content, promote an event or product, or “takeover” a company’s social media channel is an extremely effective way for brands to engage with an influencer’s followers and increase brand awareness among thousands or millions of attentive consumers. As brand collaborations with social media influencers become more prevalent—84% of companies plan to launch at least one marketing campaign involving influencers, according to a May 2015 study detailed in eMarketer—it’s now increasingly important that businesses understand the best ways to establish partnerships, create content, and develop campaigns with today’s top social media stars.

In order to cultivate a positive relationship with social media influencers and ensure the success of your campaigns, brands should abide by these five don’ts:

1. Don’t Control The Influencer’s Creative Process 

Authenticity is essential to the success of a brand’s sponsored content with influencers. Difficult as it may be, surrendering creative control to social media influencers will ensure that the brand is represented in a way that maintains the integrity of both the sponsoring company and the influencer while appealing to the YouTuber, Instagrammer, or blogger audience. Developing a relationship with the social media influencer—including doing research on the content they publish—also goes a long way toward aligning a brand’s interests with an influencer’s personality and audience.

2. Don’t Try To Control The Messaging Of The Content

Forcing a social media influencer to follow a script is the fastest way to create content that is inauthentic, stale, and will likely receive little or no engagement. Most digital stars will be unwilling to compromise their integrity and risk being branded a “sell out” to deliver a brand’s messaging word-for-word. Companies that want to work with influencers, take note: instead of telling an influencer exactly what to say, give them a set of talking points and allow them to put stories, reviews, or experiences about your brand into their own words.

3. Don’t Forget to Provide Clear Directives For Brand Messaging

Social media influencers often express frustration when brands approach them about an influencer marketing collaboration before establishing exactly what they hope to accomplish (goals) and what message they want the YouTuber, Instagrammer, Viner, Snapchatter, or blogger to convey (messaging) through their content. Knowing the campaign goals, objectives, and key touch points before reaching out to a digital star will start each influencer marketing collaboration off on the right foot and prevent time-consuming revisions and unnecessary back-and-forth communication throughout the development and implementation of each campaign.

4. Don’t Make Unreasonable Requests

To avoid alienating an influencer’s audience (and thus jeopardizing the success of the campaign), brands should be careful when making unreasonable requests of their social media stars. Demands for overt product placements, gratuitous brand mentions, or elaborate travel (without providing funds) are just a few of the ways that brands can compromise the quality of an influencer’s content.

5. Don’t Fail To Trust Influencers On Best Practices

Too often, brands fail to remember that social media influencers are successful because they are extremely adept at engaging audiences and creating authentic content in their own unique voice. To that end, if an influencer says that something will or will not work for their particular audience, they probably are right. The best way for brands to develop a positive working relationship with social media influencers is simply by listening to them and trusting that they know what’s best for their content, audience, and channel.