Building trust and authenticity is the name of the game for marketers today to build long-term, loyal customers, and there is no better way to accomplish that than with valuable content and genuine creator partnerships. However, the process of determining the right content and influencer relationships has never been more difficult as the digital landscape becomes increasingly fragmented.
Here are five steps marketers should take to ensure they are selecting the ideal content publishers and creators for their brand:
Step 1: Audience Research and Analysis
A critical key to determining if a publisher or creator is right for your brand is understanding if they are going to be able to effectively reach your core audiences.
For publishers, you can often determine this by looking in a media kit, which breaks down things like total readership/website visitors and job titles or seniority of readers.
For creators, it’s all about understanding their followership, which is more easily understood when leaning on SaaS tools that outline follower demographics, interests, geography, and more.
Step 2: Content Quality and Relevance
Content is king, so it's key to ensure the content you are receiving from these partnerships is effective and adds value for your audiences.
For creators, start by looking through their feeds to understand their historical approach:
You don’t want to put too many limits on the creator that will result in the content coming off as inauthentic to their followers.
From the publisher side, look at their editorial calendar and historical content. Are there any editorial themes that closely align with thought leadership topics that you need to build up for your brand? Are there custom content opportunities that can provide a personalized touchpoint for your audiences that will resonate and highlight your organization’s subject matter experts?
Step 3: Seamless Execution and Timeline
The key to partnerships is the working relationship. Gut-check the ease of working with the publisher or creator. Do their timelines work with your brand’s needs in getting content live? Is each side able to be flexible to achieve a win-win situation?
Step 4: Omnichannel Integrations
While endemic alignment on the publisher’s site or creator’s profile is effective, most brands want to be able to expand reach to audiences in other social or programmatic environments. Understand what omnichannel integrations are available through the publisher, and negotiate content rights and ownership to know where additional amplification opportunities might exist.
Step 5: Measurability of Desired Impact
Evaluating the effectiveness of partnerships has historically been more challenging when marketers are limited to just receiving impressions or clicks back from the partners. Additional metrics can be explored to deepen the ROI analysis, such as determining if brand or sales lift studies can be applied, or using website analytics data like time on page or scroll depth.
While qualitative analysis goes a long way, we recommend layering quantitative evaluation into this process as well. Rate how closely the publisher or creator fits your needs on a 1-10 scale, and create a weighted model so each component is considered in accordance to its impact on brand success. It’s best to have several marketers on the team complete this exercise to have well-rounded opinions that reduce the risk of biases.