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Influencer marketing is maturing, and this was certainly felt at the BlogHer conference last month where many key learnings were shared that can help influencers and marketers alike ensure they are optimizing their partnerships.
In May, the BlogHer community of female entrepreneurs, content creators and influencers brought 500 people together for the day in Brooklyn to hear from experts and discuss sustainability, influencer-driven food trends, engaging food content and the #MeToo movement in the food industry. Panels and keynotes included Bethenny Frankel, Ali Maffucci and Rayna Greenberg, among other notables. Here are some of the top influencer tips from the event:
Influencers are more savvy than ever
Many of the top-tier food influencers shared that they’re aware of their own metrics, conversion rates and audience demographics. They aren’t just blindly posting content with no understanding of how it may perform, and they can see which content is the most successful against benchmarks. They take this into consideration when discussing partnerships with brands. These influencers think brands should ask for this information in the negotiation phases because it shows they’re committed to working with the right influencer partners. On the flip side, it has made these influencers also more aware of what they’re worth and they’re going to ask for it.
Use your influencer partner’s audience
Influencers mentioned more than once Instagram is the platform they spend most of their time on. And they work with their brand partners in some interesting ways based on Instagram’s features. On Instagram Stories, users can poll their audience, quiz them and encourage them to donate to a nonprofit. One influencer mentioned she has used these capabilities to help define what kind of content she creates in her sponsorships. For example, she’ll poll her audience about which recipe they want to see and then work on the one more likely to have successful engagement metrics. Or she quizzes her audience to see how much they know (or don’t know) about a particular product, which can help her draft copy that raises awareness about key product messages. For brands, it’s a great way to get some inside info and help drive the influencer relationship to maximize returns.
Long-term partnerships and licensing
We keep hearing it from our influencer friendlies across verticals, but influencers reiterated at BlogHer – they want to work with brands in long-term partnerships. They are less interested in one-and-done posts because it devalues their audience’s trust and feels less authentic than working with a brand they love over a long period of time. Finally, a quick watch-out for brands: influencers want to know if brands will use their content. They are content creators and if their imagery ends up in the brand’s ads or website, they want to know about that in the negotiations. Using their content without permission outside of what was agreed upon isn’t best practice, and the creators should be additionally compensated for these uses.
Lucy Arnold is a Vice President of Digital focused on influencer marketing and social media strategy.