Authentic partnerships with an influencer

In an era where consumers are increasingly wary of traditional advertising and seek genuine connections with the brands they support, authenticity has become the currency of trust. Authentic partnerships with an Influencer offer brands the opportunity to tap into the credibility and authenticity of influencers, who are seen as relatable and trustworthy voices within their respective communities.

Authentic partnerships in influencer marketing offer a wide array of benefits for both brands and influencers, ranging from increased engagement and brand loyalty to enhanced credibility and trustworthiness.

You and I can probably very quickly spot something that isn’t authentic or when a collaboration seems shady. It’s not usually hard to figure out when an Influencer is just saying something because they were paid for it. Conversely, if you’ve been following an Influencer for awhile, you can also tell when they’re being genuine. 

It’s an effort between both the Influencer and the Brand to ensure that authenticity reigns!

Authentic partnerships with an Influencer
Authentic partnerships with an Influencer

The Power of Authenticity

Before we begin talking about authenticity, you may be wondering one thing or perhaps two things. This article will definitely reference influencer partnerships and authenticity over and over again. Let’s make sure we’re on the same page before moving on.

What are Influencer Partnerships?

Influencer partnerships are when an Influencer and a brand collaborate together. The influencer then becomes another spokesperson for that company, destination or service for a pre-determined length of time.  You must have an understanding of this to understand how authentic partnerships work.

I wrote this article, “What are Influencer Partnerships?” to dive more into the topic.

What is authenticity in Influencer Marketing?

Authenticity in influencer marketing is the cornerstone of successful collaborations between brands and influencers. It encompasses the genuine, sincere, and transparent nature of the content produced and shared by influencers, as well as the alignment of brand values and messaging with the influencer’s personal brand. 

Authenticity in influencer marketing goes beyond mere endorsements or product placements; it involves building real connections with audiences based on trust, credibility, and relatability.

Increased Engagement and Authenticity

One of the primary benefits of authentic partnerships is the ability to generate higher levels of engagement and authenticity in sponsored content.

Authentic Content Resonates with Audiences: When brands and influencers collaborate authentically, the resulting content is more likely to resonate with audiences. Authenticity breeds relatability, leading to increased engagement and interaction with sponsored posts.

Building Genuine Connections: Authentic partnerships allow brands to connect with their target audience on a deeper level by leveraging the influence and credibility of the influencer. This genuine connection fosters trust and loyalty among consumers, ultimately driving higher levels of engagement and brand affinity.

Long-Term Brand Ambassadorship

Authentic partnerships have the potential to evolve into long-term brand ambassadorships, further amplifying the benefits for both parties involved.

Building Trust and Credibility: Over time, authentic partnerships can solidify into long-term relationships built on trust, mutual respect, and shared values. Brands that invest in nurturing these relationships can transform influencers into loyal brand ambassadors who advocate for the brand authentically.

Consistent Messaging and Brand Advocacy: Brand ambassadors who have a genuine affinity for the brand are more likely to deliver consistent messaging and advocate for the brand across multiple social media platforms and channels. This consistency helps reinforce the brand’s message and values, driving sustained engagement and loyalty among consumers.

When an Influencer consistently and constantly continues to showcase the brand on her channels, it does wonders for brand awareness and loyalty. When an influencer keeps showing up for the same brand over and over again, that’s a great sign that they truly believe in the product. 

Better yet is when the social media influencer creates both sponsored and organic content for this one brand. This means the social media influencer is creating content they are paid for as part of a brand’s digital marketing strategy and other content out of their own goodwill. 

Positive Brand Perception

Authentic partnerships contribute to a positive brand perception by aligning the brand with trustworthy and relatable influencers who resonate with their target audience.

Enhancing Brand Image: Collaborating with influencers who embody the brand’s values and ethos helps enhance the brand’s image and reputation. Consumers perceive brands that engage in authentic partnerships as genuine, transparent, and trustworthy, leading to a more positive perception overall.

Humanizing the Brand: Authentic partnerships humanize the brand by associating it with real people who share authentic experiences and stories. This human element adds depth and authenticity to the brand, making it more relatable and appealing to consumers.

Enhanced Credibility and Trustworthiness

Perhaps the most significant benefit of authentic partnerships is the enhanced credibility and trustworthiness that they bring to both the brand and the influencer.

Bolstering Influencer Credibility: Collaborating with brands that align with their personal values and beliefs enhances the influencer’s credibility and authenticity in the eyes of their audience. Followers are more likely to trust recommendations from influencers they perceive as genuine and trustworthy.

Building Brand Trust: By partnering with credible and authentic influencers, brands can leverage the trust and credibility that influencers have already established with their audience. This trust transfer increases the likelihood of consumers engaging with the brand and making purchasing decisions based on influencer recommendations.

Brand benefits of Authenticity

  • Increased engagement and follower count
  • Positive brand perception
  • Enhanced credibility and trustworthiness
  • Positive PR

Benefits of Authentic Partnerships for Influencers:

  • Strengthened personal brand
  • Increased credibility and trust
  • Opportunities for creative collaboration
  • Engaged community and possible audience growth
  • Possibility to go viral

By leveraging the authenticity and influence of their partners, brands can effectively reach and resonate with their target audiences in a way that feels genuine and organic. Meanwhile, influencers benefit from forging authentic partnerships by aligning themselves with brands that share their values and interests, thereby strengthening their personal brand and credibility.

Leveraging the power of Influencer partnerships

Authentic partnerships with an Influencer are built with a few key elements. 

·   Shared values and alignment

·   Transparency and trust

·   Creative collaboration

One of the foundational elements of authentic partnerships is the alignment of values between the brand and the influencer. When both parties share common beliefs, principles, and objectives, it creates a strong foundation for collaboration that resonates with audiences.

This alignment ensures that the partnership feels genuine and authentic to both the influencer’s audience and the brand’s target demographic.

How to find out whether influencers align with your brand values

Study them. Research them. Follow along with their content. Get to know their voice, their vibe and how they interact with their audience. That’s truly the best and dare I say, most authentic way of figuring out if there’s alignment between you and them. 

Brands should prioritize transparency in their interactions with influencers, clearly communicating expectations, objectives, and any potential limitations or constraints. Similarly, a brand should partner with influencers that are transparent with their audiences about sponsored content and partnerships to maintain credibility and trust.

The right influencer for a brand does exist. It absolutely takes some work to figure out who is the best match for a brand. Someone who may be the right influencer for one partnership, may not be the best match for another brand. 

What are some best practices for disclosing sponsored content and maintaining transparency with audiences?

The best practice is to follow the FTC guidelines. They aren’t necessarily the most clear with their instructions, it is a bunch of governmental lawyers remember(!), but they are clear that you must disclose partnerships within a set window of time with the content. They’re also clear, as of writing this, that the disclosure must be in the same way in which you introduce the partnership.

For example, if you have a voice over on your IG reel talking about a laundry detergent, then your disclosure must be at the start of the voice over. 

The best brand partnerships are when the creator and the brand get to creatively collaborate on the campaign. This allows space for the Influencer’s voice, perspective and story to shine through in a very real, ahem authentic way. Yes, the brand shares the brief but those are guidelines and inspiration for the creator. Ideally the messaging document isn’t a script but important information to mention as part of the project.  The Secret to Gaining Consumer Trust through Authentic Influencer Relationships

The secret here is, don’t be shady. 

When both brands and influencers are transparent about their motivations and intentions, it enhances the authenticity of the partnership. Audiences appreciate honesty and authenticity, and transparent communication helps foster genuine connections between influencers and their followers.

Here are a couple examples of successful Influencer marketing campaigns with the disclosure prominent in the caption. One the second photo, you can see the disclosure in both the caption AND in the video overlay.

How do I find a company to partner with an Influencer?

Finding the right company to partner with an influencer can be a strategic process that requires careful consideration and research. Whether you’re an influencer looking to collaborate with brands or a brand seeking to leverage the reach and influence of an influencer, identifying suitable partnership opportunities involves several key steps.

Which of the following is a good way to approach partnering with an Influencer?

Oh how exciting that you’re ready to reach out and partner with an Influencer! Approaching the Influencers you want to collaborate with takes a little bit of thought and intention. I can’t underscore the importance of doing your research, as mentioned above.

After you do your research, I recommend to engage with their content. This is a great way to begin to build a relationship. Learn more about “Which of the following is a good way to approach partnering with an Influencer“.

What are the warning signs of inauthentic partnerships, and how can I avoid them?

  • Lack of transparency or disclosure in sponsored content
  • Discrepancies between the influencer’s personal brand and the sponsored content

Recognizing warning signs of inauthentic partnerships is essential for both brands and influencers to maintain credibility and trust with their audiences. One glaring red flag is the lack of transparency or disclosure in sponsored content, where influencers fail to clearly disclose their relationship with the brand. 

An Influencer’s audience has a pretty high ability to detect inauthenticity and see right through a partnership that isn’t authentic or disclosed as a paid partnership. This omission can erode trust among followers and lead to skepticism about the authenticity of the partnership.

Additionally, discrepancies between the influencer’s personal brand and the sponsored content can signal inauthenticity. When sponsored posts deviate significantly from the influencer’s usual content or values, audiences may perceive the partnership as disingenuous. 

Also, if a brand consistently partners with an Influencer who buys their followers and likes, it reflects negatively about the brand. 

Authentic partnerships thrive on creative collaboration, where brands and influencers work together to develop content that is engaging, relevant, and authentic to both parties.

Brands should empower influencers to bring their unique perspective and creativity to the partnership. By involving influencers in the creative process, brands can co-create content that resonates with audiences and feels authentic to the influencer’s personal brand. The more true the content is to an Influencer’s voice, the more real and authentic the content will be. 

Final Thoughts on Building Authentic Partnerships in Influencer Marketing

For as important as it is to be as authentic as possible in Influencer Marketing, it doesn’t take much for that to happen. 

  1. Only speak the truth when creating the content
  2. Be transparent about the partnership
  3. As the brand, don’t put words into the Influencer’s mouth 
  4. Be sure to disclose your partnerships

As influencer marketing continues to evolve, the importance of authenticity in partnerships will only continue to grow. Authenticity is a prized currency. In a landscape where consumer trust is increasingly hard-earned and easily lost, brands that prioritize authenticity in their partnerships will stand out from the crowd and build stronger, more meaningful connections with their audiences.

Authentic partnerships with an Influencer FAQs
Authentic partnerships with an Influencer FAQs

Authentic Partnerships with an Influencer FAQs

Do you think most creators are authentic and true to their brand and voice in their collaboration with brands?

I do believe creators are true to their brand voice, for the majority of the content out there. Most creators I know won’t do partnerships that aren’t true to their brand. My creators turn down 85% of the inbound requests because they aren’t a good fit. 

How crucial is it for brands to maintain authenticity in influencer marketing?

I believe it’s very crucial for brands to maintain authenticity. I think it’s an integral pillar of Influencer Marketing. 

What can help you create a genuine relationship between brand and creator in Influencer Marketing?

The first step is to ensure the creator is familiar with the brand and has time to use and test it. The second step is to allow the creator to be honest in the content they create. Best to allow the creator to share their experience or their story in their own voice.