So you’re looking to start building some long term brand partnerships. Well you’re in luck. As the digital marketplace continues to grow and more brands look to move business online, the opportunity is there. The events of the last 9 months have changed the way a lot of businesses operate. Many are looking for new ways to market products and create brand awareness in the digital space. Because if this influencer marketing is becoming bigger than ever. But the old way of sending products to hundreds of influencers without clear goals and objects is fading away. Brands and businesses are now eager to create meaningful and long lasting relationships with influencers that goes beyond a dedicated post or two.
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These long term brand partnerships have benefits to both brands and influencers alike. For brands, it allows them to build meaningful experiences with their marketing campaigns. Instead of just sending off product to large quantities of influencers, brands can instead focus on cultivating quality relationships with a smaller group. This brings the opportunity to personalize aspects of the campaign for each individual influencer to ultimately better reach their audience. It also makes influencer marketing initiatives easier to manage. Instead of having to always chase a list of influencers to approach, a brand knows they have a core group they can continuously work with. Plus brands know they can count on the quality of content coming from these influencers because of that working relationship.
For influencer side the opportunities that come with long term brand partnerships are endless. For one it allows you to set an identity to your personal brand’s niche. What we mean by this is instead of working with endless brands and products, you narrow down the list. Being more selective with the brands you promote not only helps keep your brand consistent but builds trust with your follows. How can anyone trust your recommendations when you’re promoting every brand? It’s okay to love multiple brands within a similar niche. But keeping your brand partners to a minimum will help your sponsored content to be more organic.
Brand partnerships can ultimately lead to bigger opportunities down the road like paid work, branded trips or experiences and capsule collaborations. Take the original online influencer for example, Chiara Ferragni. What started off as her small blog, The Blonde Salad, transformed into brand partnerships and eventually her own fashion brand. The opportunities are endless and the time to seize on them has never been better. So buckle up and get ready for our top tips on snagging long term brand partnerships.
Long Term Brand Partnerships: Tips For Influencers
1. Focus On Brands You Love
The easiest way to find any long term brand partnerships that will be successful is by looking to work with brands you actually use and love. How are you supposed to be in it for the long run in the relationship when you’re not authentically into the brand. Start to think of some of the products you use in your everyday life that fit within your niche. For food bloggers, that might be a brand of kitchen tools or food products you use. In the style space you might want to focus on your favourite retailer or accessories brand.
2. Interact Consistently and Authentically
When you want to begin to build that relationship with brand the best thing to do is to interact with them on Instagram. Obviously you want to be following them, and showing support by commenting on posts or replying to Instagram Stories. Make sure your engagement with them is authentic and sincere. You don’t want to come off as spammy with your comments so put effort and thought into what you say. It’s also important to show the brand your love of their products by creating content featuring them. This is ultimately the number one way influencers get noticed by their favourite brands. Supporting a brand isn’t expecting product for free so make the investment and purchase their products on your own.
3. Start Off Slow
You can’t expect you land a paid long term brand partnership overnight. Most influencers being their relationship with brands by doing content in exchange for free content only. Any established influencer will tell you it’s like paying you dues and there are many reasons for this. If the brand happens to be a start up or small business, they might not necessarily have the budget for paid influencers. On the other hand bigger brands usually run their partnerships through PR agencies who handle gifting and might not offer a paid collaboration budget altogether. So it’s important to be open minded and understanding that you need to start off slow. Especially if the product (or service) is of a high value. Overtime as that relationship builds and you continue to put in dedication and quality content these sacrifices may ultimately pay off towards paid offers.
4. Draft A Strong Proposal
There are so many influencers in the sea, and that’s just the reality of things. And everyone is out there hustling to stand out in the crowd. Creating quality content and interacting with a brand is one way to get noticed. But a lot of people do that. So if you’re really ready to take that next step and get serious with a brand partnership, draft a proposal. Like with any project, a proposal will outline your exact plan of execution. This should included everything from you reason for wanting to work with them, the content you’re going to create and your goals for the partnership. It’s also important to share things like your stats and rate card, if you have one. But remember, we recommend if you’re approaching the brand to take it slow. So offering free work in exchange for product to begin the relationship is not a bad idea.
5. Go Above And Beyond
Anyone will tell you to be successful in anything, go above and beyond. And creating a meaningful relationship with a brand is no different. If you care to work with a brand in the long term then make sure you give it all you got. This is the time to invest both time and money in your collaborations. Things like hiring a photographer or purchasing props to take your content to the next level are great ideas. Take the opportunity to push yourself and the quality of your work, while saying authentic to why the brand chose to work with you in the first place. It’s also not a bad thing to produce more than expect of you. Did the client ask for 3 Instagram Stories and 1 image? Well then shoot 5 stories and submit multiple images. Showing you’re invested in working with the brand will show them the value in working with you.