With social media being such a strong medium for advertising, brands have become increasingly aware of the power of collaboration with influencers. Big name brands can afford to pay influencers for posts and have the capacity to gift product. Small business owners on the other hand, don’t have it so easy. Small business owners often ask whether collaborating is worth it.
My answer is always YES!
If you’re collaborating with the right people…
Here are a few key benefits to collaborating:
- It can be more cost effective than conventional advertising, which many small businesses simply cannot afford. This is mostly due to the fact that many influencers are happy to post in exchange for product.
- You can re-post the content generated by the influencer. This is obviously something that needs to be agreed upon prior to the collaboration and you will need to credit them for the image unless you buy the rights.
- You can target an audience based on the type of influencer you want to collaborate with.
Whilst the right collaboration can mean HUGE benefits for small business owners, there are a few things you should look out for prior to sealing the deal:
1. Check their engagement
Does their content generate likes and comments? You want to be sure that this influencer’s audience are genuine! If someone has 20,000 followers but only gets 20 likes per image? You can be pretty certain that they’ve purchased followers or that their audience simply isn’t engaged with what they’re posting. Not a good sign if you’re investing money or product with them.
2. Do they collaborate with quality brands often?
If you have a tight budget or are hesitant to gift product, have a look to see what other brands the influencer has worked with. Have other brands trusted them in the past?
It’s easy to tell if they an influencer has worked with brands as Instagram now requires users to declare sponsored posts. So look out for hashtags like #sponsored, #ad, #collab or something similar.
3. Ask what they envision for the collaboration
An easy way to see if someone’s just after a freebie is to ask HOW they’d like to collaborate. How do they want to showcase your product? Are they asking for anything in return? Do they want you to re-post their content?
These are all great questions to ask because QUALITY influencers won’t just approach brands asking for product. They should have a vision, which should be consistent with your brand and their blog or feed.
4. Make sure you set out the terms in writing
Having the conditions of your collaboration set out is so important!! It keeps both parties accountable in terms of what is expected, by whom, and by when. That way, if images aren’t posted by the date agreed, you have the agreement to refer back to if issues arise.
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