Have you ever scrolled through Instagram only to find a painfully obvious, brand-sponsored post by an influencer and thought to yourself, “what is happening here?”

You know the direct-to-consumer invisible braces company that has their influencer sprawled across a bed with their product hidden among pillows – still inside the box?

Or what about when the influencer clearly cut-and-pasted the caption request from the brand they’re endorsing?

Look, we get it, no campaign is perfect, but let’s agree that there is a lot of room for improvement in many brand’s partner-generated content strategy. It seems as if there is a core principle that is being ignored when we look at these influencer-fails:

Influencers should not only be looked at as a way for your brand to connect with targeted audiences, but also as an extension of your brand itself. 

The secret to a beautifully co-branded relationship between a company and an influencer starts with integrating the creative team into the process from the start. By doing so, you’ll reduce the chance of misaligned content while creating some valuable efficiencies in the campaign workflow.

Have Your Team Create an Influencer Mood-Board

When searching for your next influencer partnership, consider asking your creative team for a mood board that outlines the aesthetic of the campaign. You can then use this mood board while vetting an influencer’s content aesthetic to ensure their visual identity matches your brand.

Does your candidate’s content match your brand’s production quality (or surpasses it)? Would you share the influencer’s content on your website or social channels even without product placement? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, you just might have a fit.

Work Together On The Influencer’s Creative Brief

Implementing your creative team’s input on an influencer’s content will help maintain a cohesive campaign once activated. We suggest working with your team to assemble:

  • The do’s and don’ts of your content requests
  • Examples of acceptable content from previous campaigns
  • Ideas for props, locations, or themes that compliment your brand
  • Provide samples of the desired copy for captions or talking points

Remember that while you want to ensure that your brand is represented properly through the influencer’s content, it’s important to provide space for their own creativity and voice. After all, you hired them for their unique delivery, right?

Schedule A Pre-Production Phone Call 

In some cases, you may invest in a particular influencer relationship to engage in a long-term campaign or a highly produced video series. In these cases, there’s no hurt in scheduling a brainstorming call with the producers and the influencer to flesh out the campaign objectives together. By doing this, you’ll also provide space for the influencer to communicate their perspective and you will likely gain some valuable feedback.

The next time you decide to partner with an influencer, remember that they are not just creating content for a particular campaign, they’re creating content for your brand. With that in mind, recruit your creative team to help you create and hold the standards for influencer partnerships. Their assets and experience are essential to a powerful influencer campaign that delivers more than impressions – it delivers results.