Isn’t it strange how the lessons our parents preached to us at an early age are the ones that continually find application in the real world? Sure, my dad’s number one rule of always laying out an exit path in case of a fire hasn’t found much use in my career. His passion for honesty though resonates with me anytime I’m approaching a client conversation. Additionally, when it comes to partnering with influencers, I’ve found that honesty is always the best policy.
Whether you’re an agency recommending influencers for a client project or a business owner looking to leverage influencers for your first brand launch, leading with honest influencer partnerships are vital to your success. How do we go about maintaining brand integrity and authenticity with influencers partnerships? There are two keys.
- Brand Alignment. Careless brands and celebrities have made consumers more skeptical when it comes to advertising and brand ambassadors. That is why you must check, double check and triple check that the influencer you’re looking to partner with aligns with every aspect of your brand and what you’re looking to promote. Influencers are successful because of the personal brand and online personality they’ve properly executed, so be sure to consume their content before partnering. Choose someone that is actually passionate about the cause you’re advocating for or the product line you’re selling. Consider whether or not the influencer’s content, values and passions align with the content, values and passions of your brand. If you’re promoting a chemical-free, all organic makeup line, choose an influencer who values organic products and has become a thought leader for healthy beauty products. Don’t force a relationship because consumers will quickly catch on if they sense they’re being lied to.
- Free Thought. Once you choose an influencer that you believe aligns with your brand, let them take the wheel. The only way to produce authentic, honest influencer content is to allow the influencer to dictate how they will share with their followers. The influencer knows their audience best, so trust that if they have signed on to be an advocate for your cause, they will ensure the messaging is delivered in an honest manner. Writing scripts or social copy for influencers to follow is often what causes a crisis. If you’re vetting an influencer and don’t like how they speak to their audience or maybe they’re too informal, move along to find a better fit before.
In summary, the further you stretch the truth, the further you stretch budgets and bandwidth. There is no follower count that should make you consider jeopardizing your brand’s integrity. When choosing influencers to partner with always ensure the stars align with branding partnerships and give them the freedom to create honest, authentic content.
If you’re unsure how to navigate influencer relationships, let us lead the way! Send me an email at [email protected]and let’s chat.