Influencer Marketing: What Do Brands Look For?


July 22, 2020

We sat down with our amazing Director of Brand Partnerships, Samantha Dunning for a full Q&A on what you need to focus on, prep for and expect from working with the brands you love!  Q: What advice do you have for Influencers starting out to make a statement and stand out to brands?

A: I would say be sure what you are sharing is truly your passion and the rest will always follow suit. Whether that be DIY, wellness, food, motherhood, or a mix of all of the above, if you are passionate about it, your authenticity will show to your audience as well as brands. Second to that, I think content quality is a huge factor in standing out to brands. Most want to be able to reuse the content on their social and/or digital channels and quality content is going to be a big bonus when standing out.


Q: Do you recommend Influencers keep an up to date media kit on hand for brands?

A: Yes, I think a media kit is so important. Influencers are running legitimate businesses that are incredibly successful and this acts as your creative resume. You can showcase your engagement, demographics, and share about any brand partners you’ve had in the past that they may not know about yet. We see so many brands asking to see media kits so I think it’s definitely something to think about creating and/or investing in having someone help create for you!


Q: What is the process like when partnering with brands?

A: It varies a bit from brand to brand, but I would say establishing a strong relationship is the first key piece. Creating that relationship typically comes from our influencer management side of the business. We see so many brands that are still trying to find the experts in this industry to try and take over the casting and campaign management side for them. After talking with the  brand more and finding out what they are looking for, I then look into our immediate network as well as the social media platform the brand is hoping to have influencers create content on to find candidates for them. From there, I vet the influencers and share insights/demographics/media kits with the brand. The brand then has the final say on who we proceed with and we go from there into the contracting process. After contracting, the influencer begins content creation and the most exciting part, getting the content live for their audience to see and engage with!


Q: How important is it to define a niche for yourself?

A: I go back and forth with this when asked by influencers. I personally don’t think it’s as important to define a niche as it is to have something to be known for. I think those two things aren’t mutually exclusive and could vary. I also think it all comes down to the question, what are you most passionate about? Being an influencer is a full time job plus some since you are really never “off” so anything you are sharing needs to be something you fully love or it won’t ever feel authentic. If you are passionate about beauty, clothes, and the food you eat then I think there is a way to share it all and fall under that “lifestyle” realm because people do truly want to see all aspects of your life. 


Q: How do you find brands that are a good fit for your personal brand?

A: If you are just starting out in the influencer space, find brands that you already use and love to share. No matter what, you want it to be authentic so taking a look  at what you already support within your own life is the best start. If you are a larger influencer and brands are consistently reaching out to you to partner, It’s typically the best fit if a brand has already done their research on you and is truly wanting to partner with your authentic self. When being vetted by a brand, ask them for a creative brief and then ask them questions about what is most important to you. Based off of those answers from the brand, it’s typically easy to get an answer for yourself on whether or not it’s a good idea to move forward. 


Q: What do you look for when searching for talent to partner with a brand?

A: I’m searching for influencers that sharing the product would be a seamless fit based on what they already share. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for someone who has never shared their home to promote home décor. I always strive for it to be a seamless experience for both sides! 


Q: What back end metrics do you ask for when vetting influencers for brand partnerships?

A: I can get a good idea of post engagement and  content quality when looking at their page so I want to see things that are shared on the backend of Instagram. If they have a media kit that is helpful to typically answer most of my questions. If they don’t I usually want to see story views, link click insights, and follower country + city %.


Q: How important is timeliness for an Influencer to maintain when working on a campaign?

A: Timeliness is so important. We see people rebooked all of the time with a strong factor being just how professional they were to work with. Most campaigns coincide with a launch of a product or some other sort of deadline on the brand side so those dates are typically decided with many other moving parts. Ensuring you are on time with getting content in for review and live is so important.


For more on the business of being an Influencer, visit our main page 

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