Partnerships aren’t all the same. Certain structures are more common or well known than others, but the truth is that influencer marketing is full of variety and opportunity. No two partnerships are the same, there really is something for every audience, and there’s always room for innovation. Half
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Partnerships aren’t all the same. Certain structures are more common or well known than others, but the truth is that influencer marketing is full of variety and opportunity. No two partnerships are the same, there really is something for every audience, and there’s always room for innovation. Half the battle of getting great partnerships is knowing what’s possible, so we’ll help you out there with list of partnership options below. This list is not exhaustive, but will hopefully spark ideas for your own endeavors. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and create your own, those can often be the most fruitful.
IMPORTANT: Most of these partnerships are available to anyone who has demonstrated that they are a dedicated influencer, even if you have a smaller following. So if you have a strong, engaged audience, do not be afraid to start thinking about partnerships, even if they are unpaid. Getting started early will help you learn and make you better as you scale and work on bigger projects.
Re-Using Images When a brand asks to use images you’ve created on their own social media or website. (Sometimes brands do this without asking, which is a copyright violation.) Lots of brands do this because influencer content is creative and engaging, often much more engaging than the studio-created assets brands create themselves. You have something they want!
Affiliate The basics are that influencers receive a portion of the brand’s profits on any sales generated by a link (or discount code) the influencer has shared. There are affiliate networks that that aggregate relationships for you so that you don’t have to negotiate with each individual brand. Later, you can negotiate directly with a brand and get 1) a dedicated link to share with your followers or 2) special discount code for your followers.
Guest You’ve definitely seen these, when an influencer takes over a brand’s Instagram Stories for the day, or even posts to their feed. If you have a good relationship with a brand, try suggesting this. It’s one of those partnerships that brands might be timid about, but if they see a great example or similar work you’ve done in the past, they may be willing to try it out.
Product Probably the most well known, these occur when a brand pays an influencer to post their product on the influencer’s blog or social media channels. Everyone from single-location fashion boutiques to McDonalds has utilized this method. It’s very popular and easy to find examples of online if you’re looking to make a case to a brand for engaging in one.
Press Trips Brands can often partner with an influencer or a group of them, to provide that influencer’s followers with something free or the chance to win something (usually their product) in exchange for following the blogger(s) and the brand.
Commercials / Ads As many influencers try to understand what brands look for in influencer partnerships, it’s just as important for brands to understand what influencers look for in brand partnerships. We’ve compiled responses to some of the most investigative questions from our interview series—How do influencers decide which brands to partner with? And what advice would they give to brands looking to work with influencers? INFLUENCER INSIGHTS: WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN SECURING INFLUENCER BRAND PARTNERSHIPS?
For each response, we’ve linked to the original interview article for additional insights, and we’ve also examined patterns across more than 50 responses. The results are telling: influencers are like brands—they look for mutually beneficial partnerships that are a “good match,” meaning there’s alignment between interests and values.
While these insights may come as no surprise, it’s helpful to get a clear view of what influencers want and how they determine which brands to endorse. We’ve analyzed elements from each answer and broke them down into eight main categories: