We have offered up plenty of research on how marketers should be evaluating the influencers they are considering, how to estimate those costs and the red flags to watch for, but this new research from influencer-focused AI analytics platform HypeAuditor provides insights into what influencers themselves want to see from brand partners—and why they would refuse to work with brands.
The survey, which polled social media influencers across the globe, showed that 43 percent of influencers reported to have never or rarely received a personalized message from a brand tailored to their platform. This means in a large proportion of cases, influencers are being approached by brands with generic, cut-and-paste style messages, without any personalization to them or their platform.
The survey also revealed why influencers would refuse to work with a brand, with the top reasons being that they do not like or value the brand (51 percent), that they were not happy with the budget (42 percent), and that they were told exactly what to write with no creative freedom (38 percent).
When asked what they’d like to see in messages from brands, to make it easier to select potential brand partners, the following top reasons were selected:
- 59 percent of influencers stated they’d like to see a clear idea of available budgets and expected deliverables
- 61 percent of influencers want a clear description of the product or service to be advertised
- More than half (51 percent) asked for information on the company they would be aligning with
Despite the rise of social media talent agencies in the last decade, only 15 percent of influencers have opted to work with agents. In addition, more than two thirds (67 percent) of the influencers surveyed that work with agents and talent agencies prefer to be contacted directly by brands. In fact, 40 percent of all influencers questioned stated that they prefer to be contacted directly on their social platform. Email communications remain the preferred methods by 51 percent of influencers surveyed.
On average, each month, most influencers (37 percent) receive one to three messages sent by brands; most enquiries are in relation to free product testings (for 33 percent influencers), collaboration on sponsor posts (31 percent influencers), and brand ambassador proposals (for 18 percent influencers). However, only one to two brands’ enquiries result in paid collaborations for almost 39 percent respondents.
“We know that the best brand and influencer relationships are based on authenticity and meaning,” said Alex Frolov, CEO of HypeAuditor, in a news release. “This research has reinforced that from an influencer perspective, it is so important for brands to strike the right tone in their communication to influencers, prioritizing personalization and clarity above anything else. With our new outreach tool, we’ve made it easier than ever for brands to discover, analyze, and reach out to potential influencers, all in one platform.”
Kami Gray (@thepsychologieofhome), an interior design influencer with a reach of 79.9k Instagram followers, shared her experience when it comes to the lack of personalized messages from brands: “Most of the messages I receive from brands are one size fits all and not at all personal. Brands need to understand that influencers are people, and they need to do a little homework in order to establish a mutually-beneficial relationship,” Gray said, in the release. “When brands approach me, I’d like to know that they respect me, my audience, and what I put out in the world. I can help brands reach my audience authentically and turn that engagement into new relationships, fans, followers, and customers—but it has to resonate with my audience, and I know them best.”
Helping to remove friction and increase efficiency for brand marketers, Alex Frolov has developed these top tips for brands marketers to improve how they communicate with influencers:
Know your audience and your influencers
Use research and insights tools to identify influencers that are relevant to your target audience and also assess the quality of the influencer’s audience, to ensure any budget spent reaches potential customers and not bot accounts.
Let’s get personal
The majority of influencers share a lot of information about them online, use this to your advantage. Get to know them and personalize your sales pitch according to their likes.
Clarity is key
Ensure you have the important facts in your messages to help influencers make a more informed decision. Details on the product services, timelines, budgets, and expected deliverables should all be listed in the initial outreach.
HypeAuditor’s study was conducted as an online survey in September 2021 and analyzed responses from 1,656 people who self-identified as influencers and have social media accounts with over 1K followers (verified by HypeAuditor). Among those surveyed, 62% identified as female and 33% identified as male. Responses from influencers in the 18-25 age category made up 37% of the results followed by the 31-40 age category with 26%. Influencers with 1K to 10K followers made up 53% of the results and influencers with 10K to 50K followers made up 34% of the results. Lifestyle influencers were the most popular surveyed coming in at 31.5%.