How to Have Authentic Paid Partnerships


It may seem like a good idea to get as many influencers representing your brand as possible, but consumers are savvy. If your partnerships aren’t authentic, you can lose credibility and you can lose customers.

What is a Paid Partnership?

First, let’s talk about what a paid partnership is. It’s when you pay a social media influencer to mention your brand. Instagram, Facebook, and other mainstream social media sites offer this function. For the business owner and the influencer, it’s a win-win situation. You get the mention and they get compensation. They have, after all, worked really hard to create their loyal following.

So What Makes A Paid Partnership Authentic?

As you might imagine, some influencers are willing to mention anyone for a buck. The problem is that these people lose followers. They lose credibility over time and let’s face it, your customers and followers may notice that you’re being endorsed by someone who endorses anyone and everyone.

So an authentic paid partnership is one where the influencer has a relevant audience and they aren’t representing or endorsing your competition or a hundred other non-relevant brands.

What to Look for In a Paid Partnership

Okay, so you’re going to look for influencers to work with and pay them to endorse you on social media. Start by looking at the brands they promote and how they promote them. Are they relevant? For example, is a technology influencer endorsing a cooking blogger? Or are they representing a software product?

Is their content relevant and consistent, and does their audience engage with them? Is their focus in everything they do on social media on providing value and creating a quality experience? Keep in mind that when someone endorses you, they are also representing you. You want to choose an influencer who will connect with your audience and represent your brand and your message with authenticity.

Building the Relationship and the Partnership

Once you’ve identified a few people that you may want to pay to endorse your brand, the next step is to put together a proposal for them. This of course includes payment, and many influencers have that information on their website. You’ll also want to look at creating a brief that highlights who you are, what your message is, and the value that your brand, products or services offer your audience.

Top Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Date

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There are constantly tons of influencer marketing campaigns being launched. A number of campaigns have stood out in 2018, so far, both for their originality in terms of content and the high profile of the influencers. Here are a few worth looking at.

Fiji Water

Fiji partnered with Instagram fashionista Danielle Bernstein for a #weworewhat campaign. In addition to Bernstein’s fashion related posts, the campaign also offered quick and easy 8-minute workout videos to get into great shape. It never once mentions water specifically, but of course, water is essential for hydration, especially when working out. The campaign aligns nicely with health, fitness, fashion, and doing your best for your body.

H&M fashion

H&M is one of the most influential fashion brands online as lots of influencers share their looks. H&M launched their new catalog in September 2017, and sales soared thanks to influencers like fashion blogger Julie Sariñana and model Ela Velden. The campaign had almost 25 million followers by the end of 2017 and it is still growing. Check It Out – the clothes aren’t to everyone’s taste or size, but great photography helps their content go viral.

Lagavulin Whisky

The My Tales of Whisky Yule Log won the Shorty Award for Best Influencer Campaign due to its attractive presentation just in time for the holiday season. The campaign had more than 2 million views in the first day and increased channel subscribers by nearly 20,000. The video was widely shared not just by individuals, but corporations as well.

Stride Gum

Stride partnered with DJ Khaled, a popular hip-hop artist and the “King of Snapchat,” to promote their content. Most of his videos get 3 million views, so he was the perfect choice for a Snapchat take over to announce a new line of flavors. See it here.

Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner 

This campaign used three top influencers in varying fields to put together a campaign that shows what it’s like to own a Subaru. The emphasis was on adventure and got nearly 2 million likes and 9 thousand comments

Walmart’s #FightHunger Social Good Campaign

Walmart partnered with seven top influencers and the charity Feeding America to highlight the problem of hunger in the United States. Most people see America as the land of plenty, but millions go hungry every day; many of them children. The Walmart Foundation announced it would donate $0.90 to Feeding America, enough to provide 10 meals to people in need, for every like, share, or #FightHunger comment on their post. They hoped to raise $1.5 million within 30 days of the campaign starting. The campaign was such a hit, they raised that in only 1 day.

Stella Artois Beer

Stella Artois teamed up with influencers to help with their fundraising for, a charity which aims to provide fresh drinking water to the millions on the planet who currently have to do without. They tied into the Oscars as well to get the campaign to create even more of an impact. See the campaign here.