How-to Collaborate with Brands
Once you’re ready to collaborate with brands, it’s important to know the different types of collaborations you will encounter. You should decide upfront which types of collaborations are right for you and your audience.
Posting Content you Create for the Brand
This is by far the most common request from brands. They will ask you to create content for your social channel(s). Normally they will provide some guidelines such as how they want their content represented visually, what hashtags or account mentions they want, and when they want it posted. They are essentially paying you to create an ad for their product that they want you to show to your audience. So they are paying for your time to create content and also for the value you’re giving them by having built your audience.
Posting Content the Brand Creates for You
This is much less common as influencers tend not to want to share content they did not create on their feeds but there are some instances where this makes sense. Brand-created content can work well on Stories where you can add your own text overlays onto their content or if the content is relevant such as a description of an event you’re helping promote.
Businesses may ask you to review their product. Reviews are very common on blogs, Amazon (see warnings below), stories or in videos on YouTube or TikTok. In general, you should only do a review if the brand is willing to let you honestly publish your review including all the good and bad. In many cases (such as Amazon), receiving payment for a guaranteed positive review is against the terms of service of the platform and can get both you and the business banned from the platform.
Events and experiential marketing are becoming much more common activities these days for influencers. In both cases, the influencer is asked to appear at a specific time and location, engage with the event and post about it to their social channels. This can be a very fun way to work with a brand, meet and work with other influencers, and create compelling content for your audience. Just make sure when you consider event-based influencer campaigns that you consider the costs of getting to and from the event.
Contests and Giveaways
Brands may ask you to run a contest for your audience or giveaway products to them. While these can be great perks for your audience, there are very strict rules on a state by state and country by country basis on how these contests can be run.
Brand Ambassador Programs
Brand Ambassador Programs are usually longer-term engagements with a brand where you participate in multiple influencer marketing campaigns and state publicly to the world that you are a brand ambassador (e.g. you note this on your Instagram bio).
Popularized on Snapchat, takeovers let brands effectively control your stories for a given period of time as if you handed your phone to your best friend. Obviously, during that time, they will be inclined to discuss and promote their products and services.
Many influencers are incredible content creators. Having honed their skills in photography, editing, shot composition and creativity - their content alone is worth a brand paying for it. Many brands need a constant stream of fresh content featuring their products especially content coming from different perspectives and voices. They also love to be able to say the content they are using for their marketing was created by an incredible influencer. In content deals, you may not even be required to post the content to your socials.