Industry Insights

Tips for Negotiating with Talent in 2021

March 15, 2021

Within the digital marketing department here at Konnect Agency we work to bring the best influencer partners to our clients to build brand awareness. Depending on the brand and campaign goals, influencer partnerships can amplify awareness for a variety of initiatives spanning new product launches, location- and retailer-specific availability, generation of new content, increased followership, seeding programs to increase brand and product awareness and more. For any kind of influencer program, one key factor to align on is making sure that both the brand and influencer benefit from the partnership. 

When a brand decides to work with influencers in any capacity, it is critical to vet influencers through the lens of how organically an influencer fits with the brand, their previous partner success, engagement rate and followership. 

One common misconception is that the influencers with the highest followings should also come at the highest rates – this is not always the case. When negotiating partnerships, a key factor that decides budget is the influencer’s engagement rate and back-end analytics. Typically influencers have media kits where they share their follower demographics and past partnerships, and requesting the influencer’s back-end analytics allows us to get an accurate read on how their audience really engages with them and their content. If an influencer has high followership but a low engagement rate, that is often indicative of fake followers who are referred to as bots (“robots”). Additionally, these back-end analytics usually help us determine what kind of content works best on their page and what their audience responds most positively to. For example, if an influencer gets a high number of click-throughs for links they share, that person’s content would likely help push sales by directing followers to click over to a product page and make a purchase. On the other hand, an influencer who garners great engagement in the comments on their posts might be ideal for hosting a giveaway. Working together with influencers and their managers to get this information is critical to find the perfect deliverables for a brand. 

Within our content marketing strategy, we always look to secure at least one main deliverable that will be the center of the partnership. Depending on the client’s goal this will determine the social media platform the content is promoted on (i.e. Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or Facebook). For example, an Instagram in-feed post could be the main deliverable while Instagram stories, syndication onto other social media platforms, usage (paid or organic) and exclusivity would be add-on deliverables we leverage for the overall campaign. 

With the main deliverables, keep in mind that the more elaborate or time-consuming something is to create the higher the price tag. For example an infeed Instagram photo would typically be cheaper than an Instagram photo carousel (2-3 photos), Instagram video, Instagram IGTV or Instagram Reel. When negotiating the deliverables above we always keep in mind the client’s top goal and recommend content accordingly. 

Some things that factor into negotiating that can usually be adjusted are paid usage and exclusivity. Paid usage is when a brand can put ad spend behind the influencer’s live post for a certain amount of time. The ad will boost engagement and visibility to certain markets they choose. Ads are seen as more organic when they come from an influencer page compared to the client’s page and therefore garner more engagement for both the brand and influencer. If a brand does not plan to use paid ads, that deliverable can be eliminated to decrease the rate. We always like to recommend securing usage rights so the brand can re-share the influencer’s content onto their social media page. 

Exclusivity is also something that can also be adjusted depending on the brand category. The more specific you are with what companies this influencer can or can’t be associated with when also promoting your brand, the better aligned you can get with the influencer to negotiate a rate. We also have to look through the lens of the influencer too by seeing what they post often to help determine a fair exclusivity clause. 

When speaking about paid partnerships with influencers and their managers, it’s often preferred on both the brand side and theirs to secure multi-month partnerships compared to one-offs. While not every brand is comfortable entering into a long-term partnership right off the bat, it’s important to evaluate one-off partnerships to determine whether the influencer would be a valuable long-term partner for the brand. If the influencer’s audience reacts favorably to the brand, pursuing a longstanding partnership will likely prove highly beneficial for all parties. 

Another critical and often-overlooked factor in negotiating with influencers and managers is the existing relationship they might have with your social team and/or the brand directly. With a large roster of incredible influencer talent, Konnect regularly works on behalf of clients across the food & beverage, franchise, family planning and lifestyle industries, we know who to work with for a successful campaign. 

At the end of the day, both brands and influencers similarly want what’s best for themselves, and Konnect Agency is here to help bring forth the best partnerships to reach goals together. 

-Amanda Daucher

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