Beyond the Match: 5 Tips to Marry Brands with Top-Notch Talent

Matching talent to an influence marketing campaign is just the start. Marrying cream-of-the-crop talent to a brand is what can really make the difference in a successful campaign. And it is no easy feat!

Our first-rate talent team at WHOSAY works diligently to provide our clients with a selection of vetted talent, from icons and trailblazers to influencers and micro influencers, that satisfy their campaign needs and also bring something unique to the table. At the end of the day, we have to be able to answer the question “why does this influencer make sense for this campaign?

Here are five tips to achieve the perfect talent-to-campaign match:

1. Aim for authenticity:

Strive for creatively balancing the branded elements of the campaign with the talent's own voice. Since one of the biggest challenges of every campaign is brand integration, every single piece of content that's created must convey a sense of authenticity and flawlessly connect talent, brand, and fans across social feeds in a non-disruptive manner.     

Do your research! Study the talent's social feed to get a sense of their tone, voice, and how they interact with their fans. Social media can offer an intimate look into someone's life, and you can learn a lot about them simply from what they post. We also always insist on hopping on a creative call with the talent before truly developing any content. Asking the right questions and discussing the goals of the campaign can open doors to creative direction.

2. Ideate talent-centric campaigns:

If the goal is to create content that feels natural to your talent's social channels, then they should have a voice in what we're creating. Working closely with the influencers allows us to bring the vision and needs of the brand to life in a way that makes sense for the talent and the campaign as a whole.

This drive for authenticity is just as much a brand goal as it is a talent goal. The brands are often the ones stressing the importance of creating content that feels natural, and turn to a partner like WHOSAY for expertise in achieving this. While surrendering a bit of creative control can be scary, brands have to feel like they are in good hands.

3. Go Live!

On average, WHOSAY has experienced 200% more organic impressions when we broadcasted live versus a pre-recorded video (WHOSAY Insights Summer 2017). It is no wonder that live video is an effective way to achieve brand integration that feels genuine. Besides being an awesome way to engage brands and influencers in real time, live video provides fans with an instant connection in a truly personal way.

But live content is scary! Anything can happen, so how do you ensure that you’re always accomplishing the needs of the campaign? From streaming errors to getting kicked off the red carpet, you never know what might come your way. It’s tough to prepare for the unexpected when it comes to live content, so it's vital that the pre-production phase is diligent and extensive. This includes navigating on-site logistics, confirming points-of-contact, and creating comprehensive briefing documents and day-of handbooks that house any and all information anyone will need.

4. Plan for the unplanned:

Nothing is going to go 100% according to plan. That pesky human factor can throw you for a complete twist and keep you on your toes with unexpected changes and surprises. Make sure you have a backup plan as well as options for those pieces of the puzzle you won't have total control over—especially when dealing with live content.

There was an instance once where an event space was covered in copyrighted materials we couldn't show on camera. A majority of the walls were off limits, which meant we had to get creative. We found ways to adjust the setting as needed and used various elements on-site to cover what we couldn't show. We closely monitored where the talent interactions took place and paid careful attention to how each shot was framed. In the end, we were able to capture everything we needed and avoid any potential issues.  

5. Have fun:

This is supposed to be fun! Always take a minute to remember what you're doing. Live content from the red carpet? How cool is that!? This will help you look at the big picture while giving you perspective (and keeping you sane throughout the whole process!)

Taking a minute to look at the big picture is also a reminder that an authentic and flawless match between brands and top-notch influencers is key to any successful influence marketing campaign.

Allison Hopfan is WHOSAY’s Senior Manager, Activation & Branded Content