2 Things to Look Out For Your Influencer’s Past Brand Collaborations

Who Have They Been Working With?

Scenario: You are looking for an influencer to work with and they have passed all the basic tests — no fake followers, a high engagement rate, followers belong to the right demographic, and they have potential for further growth. Are they good to go? Technically, yes. But here are two extra things you might want to look out for to ensure that you get the most out of your brand ambassador campaigns.

We recommend that you look at their collaborations.

This means (1) brands and (2) other influencers that they have worked with before. This is especially important for micro-influencers because their collaboration history is lesser known, and followers are unlikely to pick up any product that they endorse if it doesn’t already fit their (both influencer and follower) ethic and aesthetic. Unlike the Kardashians, not everything your everyday influencer touches turns to sold.

Looking up an influencer’s past collaborations answers two questions:

  1. Did they work with a competitor brand in the last couple of months?
  2. Who are the kinds of people that the influencer often features in their posts?

Working with Competitor Brands

In this example, I picked an influencer who has worked with two competitor brands simultaneously.

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Her best-performing posts with Chanel, a famous luxury brand, were produced from January to March 2019 while her best-performing posts with Prada, another luxury brand, were produced during the month of March in the same year.

As marketing manager of a third luxury brand like Louis Vuitton, for example, you can decide if these collaborations mean that this influencer is a trusted voice in the industry, or if working with her will just dilute your brand image. It is important to recognize which possibility outweighs the other because both could be equally good or bad for your brand image — depending on what you decide.

Comparisons Between Brands

It is important not just to look at the kinds of collaborations that this influencer has had but also the success of them. Conducting comparisons on performance vis a vis different niche areas can be very telling of an influencers capabilities promoting a certain brand.

In the example below, we see that this influencer receives high engagement rates when she mentions/works with street-style brands, but does not do as well with makeup brands.

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This probably means that the mosts made in collaboration with MKUP SG did not resonate with her followers as much, thus explaining the fewer likes and comments. While some influencers don’t conform to a niche and instead brand themselves ‘lifestyle’ influencers, followers tend to prefer collaborations with some brands over others.

 Such information allows you to decide if you want to work with this influencer, based on which industry your brand belongs to. Simply put, brand managers of PlacesPlusFaces might consider, while Bobbi Brown will likely give it a pass.

Working with Other Influencers

Finding out which influencer knows/works with whom allows you to pick from a bigger pool of talent, or hire them all.

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If the engagement rate is high on these posts, then you might consider hiring them both. This allows them to collaborate with each other during campaigns, since they are both clearly very popular with audiences. Alternatively, if you don’t want to hire them both full-time, you can add a clause in your marketing brief which asks the influencer you hire to feature another influencer in one of their posts.

Written by Deesha Menon

Influencer Marketing at Popular Chips. Interested in social issues, narratives, books, social media, and machine learning.

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