The Top 7 Factors Brands Look For When Casting Creators in Campaigns
For Creators who are eager to book brand partnerships, knowing how to become an indispensable asset to brands is a game-changing advantage.
And who knows more about what brands want than Collective Voice’s Vice President of Brand Partnerships and Development, Meredith Waltman. Below, Meredith lays out seven important attributes that brands prioritize when choosing their ideal Creator partners.
1. Authentic interest and a brand fit
Brand fit is everything! In fact, brand alignment is more important than ever. Brands want to feel that Creators representing them fit into their overarching marketing goals and the vision they’ve laid out for their company.
A Creator’s aesthetic should be aligned with the brand’s aesthetic, and a Creator’s branding should feel like an extension of the partners they work with.
Similarly, the brand should fit into a Creator’s life naturally. If a Creator is going to promote a product line or brand in a sponsored manner, they should normally be seen in that brand or promote a lifestyle where the brand is part of their life and daily routines. Anything that feels like a hard fit will not be authentic and a consumer can see through that right away.
Brands also look to see that Creators have worked with and featured similar brands. They want to be “in good company” amongst other brands and products that they admire, respect, and that are aligned with their target customers.
2. Diverse backgrounds and perspectives
Diversity in marketing efforts is paramount. This continues to be a huge focal point for brands, as they want campaigns that reflect their audience and customers.
At Collective Voice, we’re dedicated to giving marginalized communities a place to tell their stories, and we work directly with brands on a commitment to diversity and inclusion in each and every campaign.
3. A consistent posting schedule, and quality content they can repost
Brands are looking for consistency in posting. At a minimum, they’re expecting 3-4 posts per week on a Creator’s platform. On Instagram, they’re also looking for daily Instagram stories. However, brands don’t want Creators sacrificing quality and engagement for the sake of quantity, so they should play around and see what posting schedule works best for them.
Additionally, many brands seek out Creators whose content they can leverage as part of their own content strategy. Creator content is arguably the most valuable and impactful marketing asset a brand can use. Accordingly, many brands cast specific Creators in campaigns whose elevated content they can use across their social channels, digital channels, and in email marketing efforts. (Note that usage fees and permission will always apply when Creators’ content is used outside of a traditional campaign).
Offering quality, user-generated content is a great way for new, small, and growing Creators to begin working with brand partners. Oftentimes, the criteria for content-generating campaigns are much less focused on follower count and engagement, and are heavily focused on quality, look, and feel.
4. A diversified content strategy that includes a digital storefront
Diversification is key right now! Ideally, Creators should have success on multiple platforms and adapt their content to speak to the audience on that platform. At the moment, the most requested platforms are TikTok and Instagram, but these are ever changing.
By far, video is the most heavily requested medium at the moment—regardless of platform—given its algorithmic importance. If a Creator is already creating video, they should not be afraid to try new formats and trends, and see what performs best. If they are new to video, then they should test it out. If this medium is intimidating, it can be helpful to tap into the expertise of a Creator friend who can provide guidance.
That said, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that a Creator is authentic to themself and knows what their audience responds to. If photography is core to their identity as a Creator, then they should double down on photography! As long as a Creator has one primary social channel where they are posting consistently, engaging with their audience, and growing, it’s OK to focus more heavily on that platform.
And regardless of platform, brands want your followers to be able to easily click through to their sites and products. Make sure to have a visible digital storefront of some kind or a link in bio, like TapTo.Shop.
5. Clear growth potential and a consistent connection with their audience
Brands want to see that a Creator is growing their audience organically. If it’s a newer Creator with a smaller following, they want to know that the Creator has a clear path to growth. Ideally, a Creator should also be tapping into new audiences, and bringing new consumers to their brand partners.
Brands are also looking to see that a Creator consistently engages with their audience, responding to follower questions, and fostering conversations in their comments section. This gives a brand a true sense of how much a Creator’s followers care about their content and recommendations.
6. Proof that a Creator can accomplish a brand’s marketing objectives
When casting for campaigns, brands want to work with Creators who have a proven track record of meeting marketing objectives.
Of course, each campaign is different, each brand has different goals, and the casting has to reflect a strategy to achieve these goals. Sales can be a primary KPI for one Marketer, whereas reach and engagement could be the primary measure of success for another.
If a Creator wants to be considered for sales-focused campaigns, they should have an affiliate strategy in place and look at their data and insights on a weekly basis to set goals, track performance, and pivot where necessary. If they want to be considered for awareness-focused campaigns, they should focus on their engagement rate and reach.
Either way, a Creator looking for brand campaigns should ensure that they have data that proves their value to brands. That could look like case studies demonstrating the sales they’ve driven, or how they have helped a brand reach its target audience during a campaign, both of which can seal the deal.
7. The potential to become a brand ambassador
A brand ambassador’s influence is unparalleled for a Marketer. Creators are the faces of brand campaigns, taking over where celebrities used to dominate marketing efforts.
Brands are actively seeking out Creators with the potential to become brand ambassadors. They look for Creators who embody the brand’s core values and are genuinely invested in the brand.
The best brand ambassadors have the power to consistently deliver on the retailer’s goals. For example, if the goal is sales, they are the consistent sales driver in the retailer’s program. Brand ambassadors are also consistent voices in the daily lives of consumers, and can help spread the brand values and messaging through intimate conversations with their engaged audiences.
The key to standing out to brands and demonstrating the potential to become an ambassador is ensuring that the brand or product authentically fits into your lifestyle. The brand’s products should feel like something that naturally fits into your routine. The brand should be your go-to for any occasion or need.
Posting organic content about a brand and its products shows the brand that you could be a good fit for future campaigns. And consistently driving sales, engagement, and traffic from that content not only helps you get noticed but proves your value as a potential ambassador.