In 2020, influencer culture is now a part of normality. If you scroll through Instagram, you likely follow one. If you open YouTube you will probably be recommended one of their videos. If you open a news portal you will also likely spot a feature or two focussing on influencers in the spotlight. Now, to preface, this is in no way a criticism directed at influencers. We are utterly fascinated by influencer culture here at GottaBe! and have had the pleasure of working with many an influencer over the years. Heck, we have even put together an e-book on what influencer marketing is. Now we are exploring the nuances of gifting an influencer.
Digital Wave Of Influencers & Content Creators
The past decade has been a digital wave that has seen content creators going from people with a hobby to the target of media and consumer abuse to influencers being reputable figures that have gone on to grace the cover of Spanish Vogue and work with some of the world’s biggest brands. The influencer industry is fast approaching a net worth of $15 billion and by next year, that figure is set to soar even higher.
Culture Of Influencing
The culture of influencing has been around for years. Before digital influencers, this was typically celebrities. If they were spotted wearing X or drinking Y it would encourage customers to buy the products. When bloggers and YouTubers started emerging as tastemakers, brands began to notice and would allocate a very small amount of their marketing budget to gifting these individuals. These were the leading platforms for content creation and then Instagram started to become the one-stop shop for influencing. What was a vehicle to drive audiences to their blogs/channels began to act as their main channel for work. With the change in consumer attention spans, audiences wanted to be able to stay up to date with all of their favourite influencers as well as their friends and family all at once, thus the preference for creators to stick to Instagram over their blog happened.
With gifting influencers today, it is different to how it used to be as they would typically thank brands and agencies for gifting them with a product or would simply dive in about how great said product is. This is not the case in 2020 as the rise of influencers meant that the Advertising Standards Authority stepped in to police it an otherwise unregulated space. To gift an influencer today means that it will be declared as a gifted item and depending on who it is you’re gifting will have to pay a fee. Now we understand we’ve bombarded you with a history lesson, but it is highly important to know this in order to best approach gifting influencers.
Finding The Right Influencer
This is first step has previously been missed by more brands than we’d like to say. If you are looking to include influencers in your marketing strategy, you MUST make sure that they align with your brand, its values and the sort of target audience you are looking to reach.
If you are looking to promote your new collection, you wouldn’t reach out a food and drinks content creator. It wouldn’t be a natural fit and the creator’s audience most likely wouldn’t respond to the collaboration. You would reach out to a fashion focussed influencer and it it was activewear, you may even turn your attention to fitness influencers. Who you choose has to be someone who is communicating to the customers you are looking to reach.
Influencer Outreach And Liaisons
Once you have identified the relevant influencers for your brand, you need to have considered the following questions.
- Is this a one-off gifting in return for exposure, or is this part of a larger campaign?
- If it’s part of a campaign is there points that need detailing in a brief for the the influencers, e.g. deadlines, content specifications, etc.?
- Do they need to sign an NDA?
- Is this operating on a gifting only basis, or is there budget to pay the influencers in addition to gifting?
After you have asked yourself these questions and prepared any required materials you’re ready to perform outreach to your chosen influencers.
Brand Vs. Influencer
This is often where things can get difficult when gifting influencers. Some collaborations and relationships between brands and influencers have been ruined due to creative differences. As a brand you may have certain guidelines for the influencers to adhere to when working together, which is entirely fair, but what you must remember is that you reached out to that influencer because you like their feed and content, so don’t try to change it. Allow them to have some level of freedom and creative license.
Surprises can be great but even with gifts, if it is unsolicited, it can be frustrating. Unless you are close with the influencers, it is advisable that you notify them if you intend to send them any products. This is because they may have made a lifestyle change that no longer aligns to your brand, they may be away and miss the delivery or they may even have started working with a competitor that prohibits them from working with yourselves until the partnership is finished.
Exploring Influencer Marketing And Need Help With Gifting An Influencer?
Gifting influencers is not only a fun aspect of marketing but it can also be rewarding for your brand’s online presence. If you are interested in learning more about influencer marketing and how best to approach gifting an influencer or executing an influencer marketing campaign, please fill out the form below or contact us on email@example.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible!