In the ever-changing sea of influencer marketing, navigating a brand partnership can be a challenge for even the most savvy sailors. But, there’s no need to grab a life jacket just yet. We sat down with Hannah Schwartz (@hannahsigma), the Influencer Relations Strategist at Sigma Beauty, to discuss what influencer marketing tactics you’ll want to keep on hand and what to throw overboard.

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Knowing the difference between a content creator and an influencer 

With new social media terms emerging every day, it’s easy to get confused with all the jargon. Some choose to use the terms “content creator” and “influencer” interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences to take note of. Both influencers and content creators manufacture media to be consumed. The difference? Influencers have a larger audience, while content creators possess a specific skill set (such as photography, videography, or graphic design) to create shareable media for you to post on your brand’s channels, rather than their own. Consider your business’s unique needs when deciding to utilize an influencer or a content creator.

Giving your influencers as much creative freedom as possible

Audiences aren’t naive. They can sniff out a brand deal quicker than you can say, “#ad.” Because of this, authentic content is a necessity. It’s okay to send your influencers campaign briefs with main points to discuss, but steer clear of scripts. Let your influencer communicate with their audience in a way that’s natural to them.

Establishing face-to-face connections with your influencers when possible

“If you want the best content possible, it’s important to build real relationships with your influencers. If you’re ever in the same area, reach out to meet face-to-face,” Schwartz says. “Having that off-screen connection will separate your brand from the rest of the pack.” And of course, take lots of photos and stay in touch. Being able to showcase your relationship with your influencers from your side of the social world enriches the connection for your audience.

Adhering to FTC guidelines

In any post relating to your brand, your influencers must include a “clear and conspicuous disclaimer of sponsorship” as required by the FTC. On Instagram, Schwartz recommends influencers to utilize a hashtag such as #ad or #sponsored. Other forms of disclosure include using the paid partnership feature, where influencers can add a line of text in the location section of their post which states, “Paid partnership with (business partner).” In terms of blog posts, Schwartz advises influencers to be transparent about affiliate links by including a disclaimer at the beginning or end of the posting.

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Hiring an influencer without doing some investigating

Nowadays, it seems like there’s a new influencer PR crisis every week. Just google it. If you don’t dig around the web for drama surrounding an influencer you’re considering, that crisis could fall into your hands. “Always do extensive research before hiring an influencer to see if they are associated with any controversy that could be projected onto your brand if you work with them,” Schwartz advises.

Lucky for you, Wahine Media has a vetted influencer network at our fingertips. Need help finding a match? Learn more here.

Failing to review and approve content before it goes live

Schwartz encourages creative freedom from her influencers, but she doesn’t do so blindly. It’s important to review the content your influencers create before it goes live to ensure that everything reflects your brand properly. 

Overlooking users with smaller follower counts

Commonly known as “micro-influencers,” users with lesser follower counts but mind-blowing engagement are a major key in niche influencer campaigns. “Regardless of follower counts, if a user’s audience trusts them, they can have a massive impact. Smaller influencers typically have a more trusted audience and are more connected to the people that follow them. It’s sometimes difficult for an everyday consumer to relate to a celebrity because their lifestyles differ so drastically. It can also be obvious when larger influencers are being paid to say certain things,” Schwartz explains.

Influencers Embracing Brand Partnership Opportunities in Hawaii

From Hawaii-based Youtuber Ava Jules (@avajules_), to Instagrammer Chelsea Yamase (@chelseakauai), to the bloggers behind Wanderlustyle (@wanderlustyleblog), and Communikait (@bykaithanson) from Wahine Media’s very own influencer network, kama aina are finding creative ways to create content with a lucrative twist. Check out the ways these island locals are utilizing transparency in their brand partnerships.

Are you ready to sail into the sea of influencer marketing? Or do you need a few extra hands on deck? Learn more about how we can assist you by contacting us below!