There’s plenty of guides out there that help marketers identify best practices for influencer campaigns. In fact, if you’re looking for some of these tips, you should definitely check out our own multi-part guide to influencer marketing. But one less-understood part of influencer strategies is the first-person perspective of creators themselves. What can we learn from the creators about what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to influencer campaigns? Here are some guidelines:

  1. Pay your creators a fair price: One of the most common misunderstandings between creators and brands that are new to the influencer world is how much a creator collaboration should cost. While some marketers still assume that influencer campaigns involve working with amateurs who will except freebies or exposure as payment, the creators would suggest otherwise. The majority of today’s creators are professionals that require fair compensation much like any other photographer, copywriter or designer. Wondering about the right dollar value? Check out this guide.
  2. Let your creators’ authenticity shine through: Another frequent mistake made by marketers working with creators is assuming they can dictate all the terms of their sponsored campaigns. As many influencers are quick to explain, too many brands demand creative control of their campaigns without properly understanding what a specific creator’s audience will like. In fact, according to one recent study of fashion creators, 93% said that brands needed to give them more creative freedom to define the narrative of campaigns.
  3. Make sure to understand their audience: Connected to the point just above, authenticity has a lot to do with what kind of audience a typical creator attracts. Too often, marketers assume creators with large audiences will offer them the best return. But marketers who only look at audience size often miss subtle clues about why a particular creator’s followers gravitate to that individual. Knowing what types of consumers follow a creator will ensure sponsored campaigns post the right kind of content and messages. Captiv8’s insight tool is a great way to get a sense of the demographics of the audience for a particular creator.
  4. Don’t expect instant results: Metrics-driven marketers often hold creator campaigns to the same standards as all of their advertising campaigns. While they’re right to demand accountability and understand the ROI of their creator efforts, many are too quick to expect instant results. Especially for products that have a longer purchase cycle, or a higher price tag, a couple of sponsored posts aren’t necessarily going to create instant revenue. But as those in the industry like Gary Vaynerchuk like to remind us, “patience is a virtue” in social media.

Much like any form of marketing, influencer campaigns need be designed with brands’ best interests in mind. But as a growing number of creators are telling their marketing colleagues, this ever-evolving discipline requires a slightly different approach than the campaigns of the past. Make sure to partner with an expert like Captiv8 and do your research to ensure you get the most out of your next creator-driven campaign.