HOW TO: Creators and Brand Collaborationsmai 24, 2022
We sat down to sit with Dulcedo Digital’s Team Manager and Senior Project Manager, Bianca Ricchetti, to talk about what it takes to match a brand with a creator and what brands look for in a potential partnership. And guess what? It’s not always about having a massive following!
When you are working with a brand on a campaign, what kinds of attributes aside from social metrics do brands look for in an influencer/talent?
When casting, with a brand in mind, we obviously aim for a specific aesthetic in regards to the client overall– the product/push, aesthetic, etc. On our side, when looking for talents, it starts off with finding what makes them unique, niche, and how the individual themselves can really diversify the content on a larger scale. Our goal is to combine a mix of influencers that can take one product, often the same one, and in their creative and unique way, have them apply what they know their audience responds well to, while being aligned with the client’s vision.
On the influencer’s side, I think it’s very important and fundamental for them to know what types of brands they want to work with. It’s important to have a vision board, it’s important to go the extra mile to showcase to a brand that you want to work with them, and that you’re a fan of their products. This ties in directly with showcasing and using the brand organically, mentioning them on your platforms organically, and tagging them organically. I think it’s also important to note that this doesn’t mean that as an influencer, you solely need to exclusively tag the brand in one dedicated piece of content, it can be a tag among other items you’re loving, it can even be a story mention, but from a behind-the-scenes perspective as the brand and agency, these are cues for us when trying to find the perfect talent, which helps them stand you from the rest.
Do brands prefer macro over micro creators? Or does that depend on the project? What kinds of projects have worked better with micro-influencers?
This is solely dependent on the brand, their budget, and many more factors, but I do think it’s very important to note that from an agency standpoint, it really comes down to dissecting the potential talent’s insights, their audience demographics, geographics, and seeing how we can optimize our client’s budget, based on their targets, where we then really utilize the metrics to optimize the results.
There are many factors that can play into the client’s decisions in regards to wanting to work with a specific talent, whether that be micro or macro, and it can be as simple as they genuinely just want to work with that creator. That happens very often but on our side, it’s also our role to educate our clients based on industry benchmarks, our internal benchmarks, and all the factors mentioned above. But at the end of the day, our clients will be the ones to make the final call, and based on the knowledge we provide, they’re free to choose what creators they prefer, and based on that, we execute and create their campaign, which can range from micro creators to macro creators, and very often, a mix of both.
Why do you feel brands have shifted towards working with content creators over traditional and tried and true marketing efforts from the past (ex. television adverts, models, etc.)?
On a large scale, social media is where consumers are spending most of their time, and that doesn’t go without saying that there isn’t a place for traditional marketing, but influencer marketing is a form of digital marketing and is treated as such from our end from an agency point of view. I think where there’s sometimes a misconception, is that individuals don’t understand the depth of metrics we’re able to measure for our clients, and the depth of the strategies we’re able to create and put into action based on our client’s needs. This can be to optimize their ROI, gain visibility, and more. For our clients, we report on CPM (cost per every thousand impressions), we can trackback monetary value based on redemptions from talents, we can drive traffic to specific pages and links and based on those links, we can track directly what type of individuals have been reached and their locations, and many things as such, which are always developed based on the client’s needs and desires.
Do you find there are certain challenges when it comes to pairing a brand with a creator/influencer? If so, what are they and how can they be overcome?
I wouldn’t categorize it as a challenge, but I would definitely agree that the match between a creator and client isn’t always aligned, which is only normal. I think this is where our clients highly rely on us and is a fundamental step and service we provide when creating a campaign for a brand, the casting aspect. As the agency, and specialists in this role, it’s our job to listen to what our clients want/need, it’s then our role to source the perfect talent for them and create a casting, this provides them with talents, but they can also go in and pick who they’d like, and based on that, we can reach out and onboard each individual.
From your professional experience, what is one piece of advice you could give to a creator looking to take part in a brand collaboration?
I think a very valid piece of advice would be to know that as a creator, the reputation you build, can follow you a very long way, and especially if you’re looking to take this on as a job, it’s really important that you are committed. When I say this, I want to highlight that brands and agencies appreciate when talents are genuinely happy to work with the brand. If you’re committing to a timeframe, it’s important that it’s respected. From a brands perspective, when they see and work with a talent as such, the chances of them wanting to build a long term relationship is very frequent, and from my experience, I’ve seen this happen an abundance of times.
In addition to this, I think that it’s very important that as a creator, you educate yourself on your own metrics, that you are able to justify your rates based on your results, to be able to know what your audience responds best to and to know what makes you unique and niche as a creator. Doing the extra research, and knowing the worth of your metrics can really set you apart from the rest.