Our co-founders, Ryan Stern and Alexa Tonner, sat down with Collectively community members Cara and CJ of My Haute Society to discuss all things influencer marketing from an agency perspective.

My Haute Society’s mission is to provide mentorship and resources to bloggers and content creators seeking to grow their businesses. Their weekly show, the Blogged Podcast, aims to provide insights for content creators through straightforward conversations with industry experts, bloggers, and brands.

Listen to the full discussion here or read the highlights below.

On the advantages of working with an agency...
At Collectively, we have hundreds of relationships with brands and have anywhere from 60 to 90 campaigns happening at any time, so being a part of our community is a great way to get exposure to lots of opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

We pride ourselves on being a great partner to the influencers we work with, which means not only making the payment process simple but also being the influencer’s advocate—helping brands understand the influencer’s point of view.

Finally, we’re real people, who are here to help. We have a dedicated team that develops robust relationships with our community and is always seeking ways to bring better visibility to their work.

On how the industry has changed over the years...
Collectively has been in business for four years, but our co-founders have been involved with social media and influencer marketing for over a decade. Since then, they’ve observed two major shifts worth noting:

New and changing platforms: Whether it’s the rise in platforms like Snapchat, the demise of platforms like Vine, or new functionality (like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live), the platforms that influencers use to create and share content change constantly. In short, platform evolution is the expectation within our industry.

The rise of influencer marketing in general: Ten years ago, the concept of sending product to a blogger or paying them to talk about your brand was novel. Today, the success of influencer marketing is well documented and 70% of brands across industries have influencer partnerships on Instagram.

“We’ve had to keep pace with the changes, quickly identifying the best ways to execute great partnerships with the mediums we have available to us.” – Ryan Stern, Co-founder & CEO

On what brands expect from influencers...
Brands have a wide variety of goals. Some want high-quality, premium assets to use for their social channels, while others want to generate mass awareness of a new product. When activating influencers, relevance is one focus that’s definitely changing when it comes to measurement and expectations.

“Brands are increasingly looking for conversation and comments that are relevant to their brand. So if you get a lot of comments about your shoes but the post was about an airline, the brand isn’t going to put much value in the fashion-related comments.” –Alexa Tonner, Co-founder & EVP, Collaborations

Tips for influencers on starting out, growing, and adapting...
Focus on your voice, audience, and non-sponsored content before you start working with brands.

Be versatile: know how to create a great Instagram Story and a great blog post. Practice some live content and test new platform features early to build expertise and stay relevant.

Be a good partner! Remember: a brand or agency is your customer. You can maintain your boundaries and protect your point of view while still being a kind and considerate partner to work with.

Want to work with us? Collectively is an agency focused on strategic and creative influencer-brand collaborations. We work with brands like that are interested in having influencers share their authentic experience and point of view. Join our Community.

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