We, as humans and creators alike, are caught in a very unique time of history.
We are navigating through waters that have never been seen before and we are all trying our best to keep our heads above water. When it comes to brands and influencer marketing, I do not believe there is right or wrong, good or bad. At the end of the day, we are all trying to figure this out together. There is however a level of mindfulness to be considered when approaching brands and a few ways influencers can consider approaching companies during this time.
And I think it’s important that we talk about these things:
First up: One way, as an influencer to continue to keep momentum up when it comes to any level of brand correspondence is to reach out to brands you already have a solid relationship with. Ask them what kinds of content they need right now. Sensing their needs and offering to help in whatever capacity you feel most comfortable can really set the tone for your partnership with them moving forward.
Examples may include photoshoot content, giveaways, or even repurposing content they’ve already reproduced. If you approach brands with a “how can I help” mentality, they’ll be able to let you know (without you asking) if they have a budget to spare and where you are most needed. If there is not and you still commit, you’ll undoubtedly be one of the first people that come to mind when budgeting comes back into play. This is something that is very important to remember.
If you’re thinking about reaching out to brands that you have not worked with before, particularly in a paid capacity, use caution.
Right now, the state of business has changed drastically for a lot of companies. I’d suggest doing your own research before approaching. Look at their social feeds, check out the content they are repurposing, read the captions– what kinds of things are they talking about? Have they had to do any layoffs? Are they using influencer marketing? Using your sleuthing abilities to deduce which influencers, if any, they are working with? And how.
Bigger conglomerates like the Targets and Walmarts of the world probably have more budget during this time to spend. Most of their stores are still open and their businesses are thriving. Smaller and locally-owned businesses are obviously taking the biggest hit as well as big box retailers that don’t sell essential goods. When approaching any brand, big or small - I think the biggest question here to ask is, “what value can I bring or how can I help.” If you lead with the heart during these very special times, I think your relationship and partnerships with brands will go a long way.
Influencer Marketing isn’t pausing, it’s just pivoting. Think about how you can add value to brands, and be sensitive. We are all human beings, going through this together and the people on the brand side are most likely feeling the same emotions as you are.
This piece is from Blogist’s Senior Talent Manager, Angela Rachelle Hauk, who has over 10 years of experience on the “brand side” – she knows a thing or two about how to best navigate the brand // influencer relationship.